What is counselling?
“A talking therapy that involves a trained therapist listening to you and helping you find ways to deal with emotional issues.” (nhs.uk)
Counselling can help with a number of things. The following are just some examples.
Bereavement and Loss
The death of a loved one can turn your world upside down. When a bereavement is sudden or traumatic this can be especially hard to deal with. We all cope with grief in different ways and any bereavement counselling needs to be individual to you. When someone close to us dies there will be expected emotions such as sadness and anger but there may be other feelings such as guilt, regret or even relief. This can be confusing but these emotions are valid and need to be expressed in order to heal.
In counselling you can explore these feelings in safety with someone who will listen without judgment.
This can be really wide ranging but could include relationship problems, work stress, parenting stress or bereavement. You could be struggling with a life event that happened many years ago. Perhaps you still need to talk about this event so that you can deal with the emotions that are associated with it. Perhaps you find yourself struggling with the daily routine of life and you have no idea why. This is all something that we can work through together.
Depression can take many forms and can vary from mild to severe. For some people it can be so hard to focus on anything but the depression and you may want to hide away from everyone and everything. Coming to counselling might seem like too big a hurdle but it can be very helpful. Just connecting with another adult can help to regulate our emotions but if that person understands you on a deeper, empathic level it can be very healing and the first step on your road to recovery.
As with depression, anxiety can take many forms. Mild anxiety may be a feeling of unease or worry. For some people this worry can escalate and can be described as a feeling of doom or dread. It can affect your life in many ways and can trickle into every aspect of life including work and relationships. You may find that your anxiety can be accompanied by panic attacks. These can be very frightening but there are techniques that can help you to cope.
Having the opportunity to explore your anxiety and to talk about how it is affecting your life can really help to reduce the intensity of these feelings. In counselling we would explore what your anxiety means to you and we would work on ways in which you can start to look at your anxiety in a new way whilst incorporating strategies to cope with difficult times.
Many people associate trauma with abuse and this is often the case but it can be any event that led to you feeling frightened, powerless or unsafe. This could include witnessing violence or growing up in an environment where you did not feel safe or supported. Bullying, racism or discrimination can also have this affect.
The effects of trauma can be wide-ranging and can last for many years. Trauma can be held in the body, not just in the mind and can be triggered by later events. It can be accompanied by many emotions which can cause further distress.
Confidence and Self Esteem
Low self confidence and self esteem can appear in many aspects of life. That could be work, relationships or friendships. Low self esteem can contribute to mental health problems like anxiety and depression.
Within a safe space provided by counselling, you can start to explore negative beliefs and messages that you may have lived with for some time. These messages can tell us that we are not 'good enough' and can be like a bully that is constantly with us. Through counselling you can come to understand these messages and explore their origins. We would then look at cultivating kind and compassionate self talk so that you can find your inner confidence and self esteem.