How counselling helps
People come to counselling/therapy for a range of reasons:
Bereavement counselling can help in coping with the pain and potential loneliness of grief. The death of a loved one can be devastating, one of the hardest challenges we face in life. Bereavement counselling offers an opportunity to understand the process of loss, the stages of loss are not linear, and offers a framework to manage grief. We will explore areas that could potentially prevent you from moving on, helping to resolve areas of conflict in order to be able to move forward. It is so important to have time and permission to grieve. People come to bereavement counselling a different times. This could be a couple of months after their loss or a year or more later. It also could be during a terminal illness as the bereavement process can start before someone dies. There is no right way to grieve, we all experience loss in different ways.
When we feel anxious it can be overwhelming and debilitating. It can become very hard to see clearly and can stop us in our tracks, from living our lives as we had before or as we have the potential to. Counselling can help to pinpoint some of the triggers that are causing the anxiety and we can work with techniques such as Gestalt two chair work and strategies such as mindfulness to begin to manage the anxiety.
A panic attack is an exaggeration of the body’s normal response to fear, stress or excitement. It is the rapid build-up of overwhelming physical sensations, such as:
- a pounding heartbeat
- feeling faint
- nausea (feeling sick
- chest pains
- feeling unable to breathe
- shakey limbs, or feeling like your legs are turning to jelly
- feeling like you’re not connected to your body
This can be very frightening especially if you have not had a panic attack before.
Counselling is an opportunity to firstly talk about the panic attacks, when or how they are triggered. It can be quite a disassociating experience and counselling can put it into a context and make it more manageable. Knowing that it will pass is key. We can look at ways to manage the panic attacks and anxiety finding ways of self care.
- Take time to breathe
- Shifting your focus
- Listen to music
- Physical exercise
- Keeping a diary of positive options to do in that moment, like going for a walk
- Changing the environment
I supervise a support group for eating disorders called BHEDs in Brighton and Hove and have worked extensively with young people, students and older people with food related issues such as anorexia and bulimia. Counselling can make such a difference to understanding what is causing our addictive behaviour and how we can take steps to change it.
Working through shock, a crisis, anxiety, low self esteem, exploring unresolved issues from childhood/growing up, can enable us to move forward. Some people have had counselling at another stage in their lives about the same or different issues, others have never had counselling before. Therapy can be short or long term.
Counselling is a way in which to make sense of past issues and patterns of behaviour to see how aspects of past history are perhaps getting in the way. Perhaps you are struggling to accept a change in your life or want to look at unfinished business from the past. Working through this in Counselling can help come to terms with change or loss in a more manageable way.
The situation may be a familiar one and seem to be part of a pattern of similar events. You may be trying to make a difficult decision or struggling to cope with some change in your life. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness but of strength. it is a sign of belief in change. Taking steps to deal with past or current events, allows for the possibility to move forward, to feel happier and more able to cope.
I also work with clients with serious health related issues including cancer.
Relationship issues – relationship counselling/couples therapy
All relationships go through difficult times – it is how those times are handled that makes the difference between staying together and splitting up. Whether you are lesbian gay or heterosexual or whether you are married or single I aim to offer a safe and confidential setting in which to take time out from normal life to reflect on your issues and plan different ways forward together.
Relationship Counselling/couples therapy is an opportunity to explore emotional anxiety or distress, anger and resentment. Understanding how it is affecting you, your relationship and your life and helping to discover the causes and find ways of making changes that are more long-term can be very exciting. Discovering together that you do have choices where perhaps you felt that there were none or your relationship has felt stuck, can be very liberating.
It’s an opportunity to look at a problem in a different way in a non judgemental supportive environment. Counselling can help to improve self esteem, feelings of self worth, relationships at home and at work. It can give a general improved sense of wellbeing.
I am a MAHPP and UKCP accredited counsellor and am located in central Brighton, a couple of minutes walk from Brighton station. Counselling sessions last 50 minutes.