Experiencing difficult thoughts and feelings can be overwhelming. Friends and family might provide the support you need to see you through, but sometimes this doesn’t feel right and you wish you could talk to someone who is not directly involved.
Counselling is a talking treatment facilitated by a therapist trained to maintain a professional and confidential helping relationship. The counsellor’s most important skill is the ability to listen and bring a focus to your difficulties. Working with a counsellor can give you time to understand difficult thoughts and feelings, and why you may have a particular reaction to a situation or person. It can help you move from being trapped and caught up by these experiences to feeling able to navigate your way through them.
Counselling can be short or long term. Short term counselling takes place over an agreed amount of time (6-12-20 sessions) and tends to focus on recent issues, such as a relationship break up. Long term counselling tends to be open ended and usually focuses on difficulties that may have impacted on you for a significant period of time.
Most of us experience anxiety from time to time. It is a natural feeling which is a reaction to difficult situations (e.g. job interviews, exams, your child’s first day at school …). Normally, when the situation that causes the anxiety is over, the anxious feelings disappear. However, when these feelings persevere, you might feel frightened, agitated, indecisive, or overwhelmed as your body and mind react to a prolonged sense of danger.
Often we can identify what causes normal feelings of anxiety, but when these escalate it is often difficult for us to work out where the anxiety comes from and what we can do about it. Counselling can help to identify the triggers and find strategies which will help break the cycle which maintains these anxious feelings.
Most of us experience depression at some point in our life. You might be feeling alone, low, hopeless, disinterested, have a lack of pleasure in doing things and experience negative thoughts. You might be reacting to a significant life event, or depression might be something that you are experiencing for no apparent reason. Talking through your feelings and thoughts can help you identify unhelpful patterns which might be maintaining the depression and help you work through changes which will bring relief from the symptoms of depression.
There are some events which might have profoundly impacted on the way you experience the world and the people around you. This can be a one off event like a car crash, assault, robbery, loss or more of a prolonged experience such as abuse. Counselling can provide you with a safe space in which to gain an understanding of the experience and alleviate persistent unhelpful reactions and feelings evoked by the trauma.
We all have a fundamental need for intimate, loving relationships and friendships. Our relationships can provide a deep source of stability and well being, and when they go wrong it can be intensely distressing. That can lead to unhappiness. Counselling can help you with the process of coming to terms with the loss of the relationship, develop a sense of how you can look after yourself in a relationship, restore your self esteem and move forward.
We all respond to a death or to a bereaved person in our own personal way. Your response to grief may depend on your life experiences, your religion or culture and the support you receive from those around you. Grief reactions may be felt not only in response to a death but also in response to other life changing events, such as, ill health or divorce. Counselling can help with facilitating the mourning process, or when the process of mourning becomes stuck and you feel unable to move forward.
Work related stress
Work is one of the major sources of stress today. If you are experiencing work related stress, you might be in a situation where the demands of work are greater than the resources you have to cope with these. When overwhelmed by stress we feel under threat and our sense of security can become compromised. If you are experiencing stress in your working life you are more vulnerable to finding other aspects of life stressful.
Counselling can help with identifying the source of stress and the unhelpful behaviours and thoughts that impact on your ability to cope.
Understanding your dyslexia and the impact it has had on your thinking, emotions, academic studies and work performance can feel overwhelming. Most notably dyslexia can cause difficulties with spelling and learning to read, but it also has a profound effect on how you think, learn, organise and remember things in your everyday life. It can also impact on how you socialise. Growing up with dyslexia, you may have experienced feeling misunderstood and different, and described as being lazy which can have an impact on your self esteem and confidence.
Counselling can help you identify problem situations and work on strategies to overcome the obstacles as well as exploring the emotional and behavioural responses to those difficult situations.