NUMBER : +44 (0)7555 507683

Your wellbeing is important to me.

Services Offered

 

  • Behavioural therapy
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • Cognitive therapy
  • Couple counselling
  • Family/group therapy
  • Gestalt therapy
  • Humanistic therapies including existentialism
  • Integrative
  • Mindfulness
  • Person-centred therapy
  • Play therapy
  • Psychodynamic therapy
  • Solution focused brief therapy
  • Transactional analysis

 

HELPFUL ADVICE:

 

Finding purpose and direction in your life.

Areas of counselling I am able to deal with.

 

  • Abuse
  • Addictions
  • Affairs and betrayals
  • Anxiety
  • Attachment disorder
  • Bereavement
  • Bullying
  • Career
  • Carer support
  • Child related issues
  • Cross cultural relationships
  • Depression
  • Domestic violence
  • Emotional abuse
  • Family issues
  • Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Learning difficulties
  • Loss
  • Low self-confidence
  • Low self-esteem
  • Miscarriage
  • Obsessional behaviours
    • Hoarding
    • OCD
    • Perfectionism
    • Procrastination

 

CONTACT ME

HELPFUL ADVICE:

 

Learning strategies to help you make the right choices for you.

 

  • Panic disorder
  • Passive aggressive disorder
  • Phobias
  • Physical abuse
  • Postnatal depression
  • Redundancy
  • Relationship issues
  • Seasonal affective disorder
  • Self-harm
  • Separation and divorce
  • Sex problems
  • Sexual abuse
  • Sexuality
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Terminal illness
  • Trauma
  • Work related stress

 

Services and therapies offered

  • Behavioural therapy
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • Cognitive therapy
  • Couple counselling
  • Family/group therapy
  • Gestalt therapy
  • Humanistic therapies including existentialism
  • Integrative
  • Mindfulness
  • Person-centred therapy
  • Play therapy
  • Psychodynamic therapy
  • Solution focused brief therapy
  • Transactional analysis

 

HELPFUL ADVICE:

 

Making meaningful connections to people in your life.

  • Bereavement & Loss___read more

    Why do I need support for bereavement? What can a bereavement counsellor help with? Bereavement can be a painful time for us when losing a loved one, who is now no longer in our life, which can be by death or loss, such as separation from a loved one. We can be affected in many ways and all of us will react in our own way. We can go through many feelings including shock, numbness, anger and sadness, which are all part of how we react to grieving. It may feel that everyone has moved on, and why does it still feel so difficult and sometimes you feel guilty if allowing yourself to try and move on. I may feel guilty if I am happy, but aware that it is really causing me problems in my life and in relationships by holding on to this sadness. Relationships may become stressful, and feel unmanageable when partners grieve in different ways. One partner may want to talk, while the other wants to try and continue with life, and appear to be trying to be ‘normal’ again. This can cause a distancing in the relationship, and lack of empathy and understanding of how the other person is acting. When our feelings are unable to be expressed due to not allowing yourself for various reasons, then these feelings become ‘stuck’, and while remaining within ourselves, without being processed, can lead to long term problems. I recognise that we are all individuals going through the grief process in our own ways, some of us having more support than others, some more able to express their thoughts and feelings, some more unwilling to do so, and needing to try and get back to life’s responsibilities, such as work. We may go through many stages before we are able to feel that life can be for us to be able to live again, and to be able to recount memories as happy ones. There will always be times that we find difficult, such as family occasions, and birthdays of our loved one. Healing from a loss can take time. Having someone alongside you at times, which can feel very lonely to be able to explore your loss, and the effects this has had on your life. To find a way to help you to be able to start adjusting to your changed future. Sometimes by talking about your loss can help you come to a place you may then be able to look at memories with fondness and happiness, which may seem like a long way ahead at the moment. I am experienced with working with bereavement for over 3 years as a counsellor at Cruse Bereavement Care, and I currently work there as a supervisor in a voluntary capacity. I am able to offer a sensitive, supportive space for you, and I have the knowledge of the grieving process, and how this may affect us, to help you to navigate a way through this unknown, territory, which can appear frightening. Having someone to work together by identifying an approach which will help you, which will reflect your personality, values, culture, beliefs and those influences in your life from family, close friends, which make up you as an individual. It may seem you have no meaning or purpose to your life, and having an empty feeling can mean wanting to make changes in your life, as part of adapting to a new life without your loved one. By being able to move forward can be so difficult. Remembering your loved one as still being there for you in some form, whether that be by thinking of what they may be saying to you in those times you most want to reach out to that person, can bring real comfort. When recalling memories and thought relating to that person can initially bring pain and suffering, but finding ways to help these be meaningful and positive ones can be a real step forward in the bereavement process. Counselling can help you in coming to this place. If when trying to cope with bereavement, you are more likely to experience anxiety and stress related illnesses, such as sleep and stress related work disorders. This can happen, and understanding this can help, and be a part of how we can work together to help you with your experience of bereavement, and find your own coping strategies, and support you on your journey on either a short or longer term basis. Some Issues involving grief/loss counselling Death of a loved one Divorce or separation from a loved one Loss of a baby Life limiting illness Personal injury Redundancy/ loss of a career Moving home Children moving away from home
  • Addictions & Dependency___read more

    Addiction is a dependency upon a particular substance or activity. Due to this being a habit or pattern overwhelming other areas in life this can cause problems by neglecting relationships and yourself. You may now realise that this drug did something for you, which was different from the way it affected others. A party or going to the pub was useless without a drug such as alcohol. Despite trying to control this compulsion nothing may work, and if the addiction is severe, this can be a disease, and receiving the right help is paramount. Do you find that you never experience the same pleasurable experience as your first drink or drug? You may be searching for this, but the experience becomes less and less pleasurable, and actually involves negative and harmful consequences. Mental health problems can arise such as depression and anxiety, when feelings and emotions have not been expressed or dealt with, which may have been due to a bereavement, a traumatic or abusive situation/relationship preventing this from happening. It may have felt unsafe or wrong to have these feelings at this time, or you were unable to understand what was happening, and want now to have this time to have this understanding to help manage and cope with your feelings and emotions. Alcohol and drug addiction is often referred as the artificial connection to a substance rather than to an actual real life connection to a human. In counselling having this human connection can be the start to help replace an artificial connection to a drug, which can be the beginning of your journey to a new healthy lifestyle showing the benefits to having human support. This can be built upon to help other relationships in your life, whether that be with your partner, husband, wife, daughter, son or other important person. The 12 Steps programme used by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) can be incorporated within counselling to work side by side. Support groups provide meetings locally, and are a constant emotional fellowship, facilitating you being able to take each day as it comes, which is very much the approach I would use. The first step is the awareness that you have a problem, and this is how counselling works also by helping to step back from life, and have a safe place to see the extent to your dependency, and by doing so I can help work with you to find a way forward, which is right for you. You may have tried cutting back and seen this as not working for you, so this may not be an option. If you have not then we can work towards this to see if this may be possible. To help you see the extent of your dependency it is helpful to see how you are dealing with relationships in your life. Do you find that you are often blaming others when things go wrong? Things would be ok only if … Counselling helps you to be able to change the things that are in your control, and seeing a blaming attitude as not being helpful in your life, as other people are not within your control. We can look at what you can do to help you take more control over your life, and with this to be able to take responsibility over your actions, and this will help you to feel better about yourself, and allow you to see what is important in your life, and what you want to do to help keep this continuing. There are other dependencies and addictions regarding eating, gambling, gaming, social media, sex and love and smoking, which can be helped with by working with you to help you gain awareness, the extent, and ways to manage, by finding other coping mechanisms, to help with expressing your feelings, and discovering your basic beliefs, which can be self-destructive. You may find you are behaving in vicious cycles, which perpetuate these addictions from your unhelpful thoughts about yourself and others Counselling can help by involving other family members within the process, as change will involve them too. The focus is on you, and we would agree prior to arranging this what you feel would help, and the session can support with you being able to implement these changes within your life. Often there is guilt and shame surrounding dependency and addiction, and by involving others in your life this can help deal with these feelings, which are often deep rooted, and can be hard to change, but are often the triggers to addiction and dependency. These can come from our upbringing or from circumstances later in life, which we have felt ‘bad’ about, and have not been able to move on from. These feelings can result in problems with our growth as fulfilling human beings, which prevent us from being the person we want to be. When we act in ways we want to see ourselves, rather than using an artificial coping mechanism to hide behind, we can truly enjoy and find meaningful relationships and activities to be involved with. Counselling can help you on this journey, and towards one of looking forward to having the life you want. I work in an integrative manner adopting the main theoretical approaches that of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as practised within the NHS, Transactional Analysis (TA), Existential, Interpersonal therapy and the 12 Steps Programme, to adapt to what will suit you. By looking at patterns of thinking, behaviour and to find helpful coping strategies can be a way forward to breaking the cycle of addiction and dependency. I can arrange a programme with you that is right for you. I offer the availability of reduced session rates when a programme of sessions are booked in advance, rather than the individual session rate to help make the cost more affordable.
  • Relationships –___read more

    How to manage relationships and survive break ups

    Relationships can be times of joy, happiness and also of conflict, disagreements and unsettled feelings. We may find it difficult to navigate through some of these periods in a relationship. You may have thoughts of having loved too much, not loved enough, or feelings of guilt about distancing from the relationship of not wanting to hurt the other, but not knowing how to do this and to look after yourself too. Managing expectations can be important by knowing what we are able to change, and not thinking that we can change the other person’s behaviour. Taking responsibility for our own actions and knowing what we are willing to accept in a relationship can make a real difference. By being aware of what is happening is often the first step in feeling able to be prepared for things, which may be occurring in repeating cycles. Counselling is all about helping you to be aware of patterns which may be prevalent in your relationships. By being aware and being able to manage these, can give you the confidence and self-esteem to be able to think of alternatives which may be more helpful to you, and ultimately to you being able to form a close and meaningful relationship. In counselling it may be helpful to look at how you communicate with those close in your life, which may reveal you or others playing games, which nearly always seem to end the same unhelpful way. You may feel that it seems to be your fault, feeling guilty for your actions, and taking on not only your responsibility but also that of your partner. You can consequently feel that you are the ‘bad’ person in the relationship or the ‘victim’, and no amount of trying to change your partner helps you to feel better about yourself or helps your situation. In counselling there are different theoretical approaches that can help you in how you communicate in a helpful assertive way, which respects yourself and those close around you. This can be done by setting boundaries of acceptable behaviour to avoid this game playing, and increase your resilience and confidence to feel better about yourself and to help yourself to form heathy relationships. Transactional Analysis (TA) is a theory which analyses how we communicate to others, and to help identify game playing. For example, this could be when someone is appearing to be caring but is manipulating situations which results in domination and sometimes abuse. By looking at our personality traits we can identify our most apparent characteristics when we communicate with those around us. Sometimes we may want to try other ways to avoid similar situations from repeating. TA identifies ourselves consisting of three ego states. The Parent ego state describes our behaviour, thoughts, and feelings copied from parents or parental figures, such as teachers. The Adult ego state includes behaviour, thoughts and feelings which are direct responses to the present time, which is our rational sense of being. The Child ego state represents our behaviour, thoughts and feelings replayed from our childhood. This may be some action we took as a child which made sense to us then, such as keeping silent, when there were arguments for fear of making these worse, or due to being frightened or overwhelmed. These actions may not be helpful to us when we reach adulthood by preventing you to face an argument, when your automatic reaction may be to withdraw. This may not be helpful in your life as an adult preventing you from being able to resolve arguments. The storing of unresolved disputes can then lead to frustration, worry or anger being triggered into an ‘eruption’ of feelings giving rise to unhelpful and even destructive consequences. Counselling can help you become aware of this, and establish ways to change and/or manage situations by developing strategies to cope. How to Survive a Break Up The number one rule is to ensure you take care of yourself, as there may be a time that you do get back together but this will be difficult if you have fallen apart and not in a position to do this. With a break up this may not be your decision, but that of your partner, so can be especially hard to accept. In a relationship there are two people, and if one decides that for whatever reason the relationship is not working for them, then without being able to change that person, this can lead to a very upsetting, frustrating and even angry experience. Remembering that the relationship is made up of two people, who take responsibility for their own actions and decisions can be something we don’t want to think about, and may want to do anything to try to make the relationship work. Sometimes there may not be anything else we can do if the other person has made this huge heart breaking decision to end. If you are able to manage the care of yourself, respecting yourself and your needs you are valuing your life as important. You may have others in your life that rely upon you, such as children, and this may help you to give you a purpose in the most distressing times. Thinking of what helps is a big first step in helping you to manage this time, such as eating healthily, regular exercise, meeting friends, and keeping to a routine. It is also not a time to try to push yourself too hard, as being kind to yourself when you are grieving the loss of your relationship may take time. You may feel more forgetful, unable to concentrate and more tearful than you normally are. However, you can be in control of your thoughts and actions, and these can help you. The counselling process can help you on your journey to feeling better. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can help you work out strategies to do this. Using mindfulness techniques by being in the present, can help you feel more grounded, and tasks such as appreciating the moment, and being with nature, can provide you peace and tranquillity, being a welcome break away from any obsessive negative thoughts. This can help during what can be an unsettling time of overwhelming feelings of change from being in a relationship to not. Think now about what you would like, and take time out for you as you are important, and treat yourself to whatever this may be, which could be as simple as a walk, meet with a friend or just to spend time listening to yourself, and then act on this, and think that doing something different may be ok. What is a Healthy Versus an Unhealthy Relationship? Ask yourself these questions and be honest with yourself, and you will know the answer. Do you have a close physical and emotional relationship? Do you have flexibility, can you change arrangements if the need arises without argument? Can you express yourself without fear of criticism, blame or needing justification? Is there respect given to each other in the relationship? Can you be open and honest, and be yourself around your partner, accepting who you are? Are you able to be assertive, and say no sometimes without feelings of guilt when your partner becomes upset? Thinking about your communication in the relationship, and seeing if it is open, honest and without pressure of feeling that you have to do or say something. These aspects are important for a long term healthy relationship for both you and your partner. Whenever you feel constantly bad about yourself, when in recurring patterns of behaviour with your partner, is a clue to thinking this relationship may be experiencing problems. Couple or individual counselling can really help with communication, and finding ways to connect with each other again. By looking at what helped at the beginning of your relationship, and looking at what does not help, and looking at new ways can lead to healthy changes in your relationship. Sometimes counselling can be working with you as a couple, and involve having sessions with each of you having your own sessions, and then bringing together for later sessions working with you as a couple. By working together to find what is important to you, and what you would like to achieve, we can then find ways in counselling that will be a way forward by talking this through. By looking at our strengths, weaknesses, fears, negative views and possibly destructive tendencies can really help with coming to establish patterns in your relationship, and possibly self-fulfilling prophecies, which can lead to someone in a relationship pulling away rather than coming together.
  • Depression and Anxiety –___read more

    Anxiety and Depression Anxiety Feeling overwhelmed a lot of the time, being uncertain about the future, not knowing what direction to take. Comparing yourself to others, feeling that you should be at a certain stage in your life by now. Not knowing how to make sense of your world and those around you. Feeling lost, isolated, and lonely. Not knowing who you are, and how you fit into society. From losing loved ones in your life can feel like the floor has fallen from under your feet. Knowing how to manage these types of situations can provide some relief from a stressful and fast pace of life. Being prepared for certain situations and triggers to your anxiety are important in being able to manage, increase tolerance by facing, challenging, changing behaviour and thoughts. Social anxiety can be seen as a cycle, and knowing how to break this can be a way forward. By knowing what your triggers are which results in certain beliefs and assumptions leading to situations to be seen as ‘socially dangerous’ can feel threatening. Counselling can provide the space to explore what is happening to you, and provide a place where you can feel accepted in you as a person, without judgement, to be able to understand, to find ways, and tools to be able to cope with life, and to start to enjoy life again. Depression Feeling low, lasting for a long time, having an empty, numb, feeling really tired, isolating yourself from others, which is affecting your everyday life. Seeing that you should be on your own, possessing beliefs that others would be better off without you. Seeing that there appears no meaning or purpose to each day, and in your life, being less able to cope, and can become a self- destructive experience. Motivation can be difficult, when life seems less worthwhile. This can lead to the more severe feeling of suicidal thoughts or not having the will to live. Having someone to support you, allowing someone into your life can make a real difference to you. Therapy can be an important first step to feeling better about yourself and being able to value others in your life. By being able to understand where you are in your life, and how you got to this stage can be helpful in finding ways to manage and navigate a way ahead where you can go on to lead a more fulfilling life. By being able to create emotional bonds to those close to you, can then lead to a more meaningful and enlightened life. Feeling that your current state of being is due to circumstances, which have felt out of control, and then seeing that you are powerless and demotivated in being able to make the right changes for you. Counselling can give you increased awareness of your situation, and a knowledge and resilience. This can help build a way out of a perceived dark hole.

Fees

 

  • 1 therapeutic hour (50 minutes) session for individuals   £45
  • 1 therapeutic hour (50 minutes) session for couples        £55
  • Concessions for student on a counselling course              £30
  • Concessions for under 18 or in receipt of benefits            £35
  • Supervision for 90 minutes for individuals                         £50

 

Type of session

  • Online counselling:             Yes
  • Telephone counselling:      Yes
  • Face to face counselling:    Yes

 

Availability

 

Monday to Friday, including evenings

Saturday's until 14:30

 

Types of client

 

• Adults

• Young people

• Children

CONTACT ME

CONTACT INFO

NUMBER : +44 (0)7555 507683

wright-counselling.co.uk

 

PRIVACY POLICY

CONTACT FORM

  • Why do I need support for bereavement? What can a bereavement counsellor help with? Bereavement can be a painful time for us when losing a loved one, who is now no longer in our life, which can be by death or loss, such as separation from a loved one. We can be affected in many ways and all of us will react in our own way. We can go through many feelings including shock, numbness, anger and sadness, which are all part of how we react to grieving. It may feel that everyone has moved on, and why does it still feel so difficult and sometimes you feel guilty if allowing yourself to try and move on. I may feel guilty if I am happy, but aware that it is really causing me problems in my life and in relationships by holding on to this sadness. Relationships may become stressful, and feel unmanageable when partners grieve in different ways. One partner may want to talk, while the other wants to try and continue with life, and appear to be trying to be ‘normal’ again. This can cause a distancing in the relationship, and lack of empathy and understanding of how the other person is acting. When our feelings are unable to be expressed due to not allowing yourself for various reasons, then these feelings become ‘stuck’, and while remaining within ourselves, without being processed, can lead to long term problems. I recognise that we are all individuals going through the grief process in our own ways, some of us having more support than others, some more able to express their thoughts and feelings, some more unwilling to do so, and needing to try and get back to life’s responsibilities, such as work. We may go through many stages before we are able to feel that life can be for us to be able to live again, and to be able to recount memories as happy ones. There will always be times that we find difficult, such as family occasions, and birthdays of our loved one. Healing from a loss can take time. Having someone alongside you at times, which can feel very lonely to be able to explore your loss, and the effects this has had on your life. To find a way to help you to be able to start adjusting to your changed future. Sometimes by talking about your loss can help you come to a place you may then be able to look at memories with fondness and happiness, which may seem like a long way ahead at the moment. I am experienced with working with bereavement for over 3 years as a counsellor at Cruse Bereavement Care, and I currently work there as a supervisor in a voluntary capacity. I am able to offer a sensitive, supportive space for you, and I have the knowledge of the grieving process, and how this may affect us, to help you to navigate a way through this unknown, territory, which can appear frightening. Having someone to work together by identifying an approach which will help you, which will reflect your personality, values, culture, beliefs and those influences in your life from family, close friends, which make up you as an individual. It may seem you have no meaning or purpose to your life, and having an empty feeling can mean wanting to make changes in your life, as part of adapting to a new life without your loved one. By being able to move forward can be so difficult. Remembering your loved one as still being there for you in some form, whether that be by thinking of what they may be saying to you in those times you most want to reach out to that person, can bring real comfort. When recalling memories and thought relating to that person can initially bring pain and suffering, but finding ways to help these be meaningful and positive ones can be a real step forward in the bereavement process. Counselling can help you in coming to this place. If when trying to cope with bereavement, you are more likely to experience anxiety and stress related illnesses, such as sleep and stress related work disorders. This can happen, and understanding this can help, and be a part of how we can work together to help you with your experience of bereavement, and find your own coping strategies, and support you on your journey on either a short or longer term basis. Some Issues involving grief/loss counselling Death of a loved one Divorce or separation from a loved one Loss of a baby Life limiting illness Personal injury Redundancy/ loss of a career Moving home Children moving away from home
  • Addiction is a dependency upon a particular substance or activity. Due to this being a habit or pattern overwhelming other areas in life this can cause problems by neglecting relationships and yourself. You may now realise that this drug did something for you, which was different from the way it affected others. A party or going to the pub was useless without a drug such as alcohol. Despite trying to control this compulsion nothing may work, and if the addiction is severe, this can be a disease, and receiving the right help is paramount. Do you find that you never experience the same pleasurable experience as your first drink or drug? You may be searching for this, but the experience becomes less and less pleasurable, and actually involves negative and harmful consequences. Mental health problems can arise such as depression and anxiety, when feelings and emotions have not been expressed or dealt with, which may have been due to a bereavement, a traumatic or abusive situation/relationship preventing this from happening. It may have felt unsafe or wrong to have these feelings at this time, or you were unable to understand what was happening, and want now to have this time to have this understanding to help manage and cope with your feelings and emotions. Alcohol and drug addiction is often referred as the artificial connection to a substance rather than to an actual real life connection to a human. In counselling having this human connection can be the start to help replace an artificial connection to a drug, which can be the beginning of your journey to a new healthy lifestyle showing the benefits to having human support. This can be built upon to help other relationships in your life, whether that be with your partner, husband, wife, daughter, son or other important person. The 12 Steps programme used by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) can be incorporated within counselling to work side by side. Support groups provide meetings locally, and are a constant emotional fellowship, facilitating you being able to take each day as it comes, which is very much the approach I would use. The first step is the awareness that you have a problem, and this is how counselling works also by helping to step back from life, and have a safe place to see the extent to your dependency, and by doing so I can help work with you to find a way forward, which is right for you. You may have tried cutting back and seen this as not working for you, so this may not be an option. If you have not then we can work towards this to see if this may be possible. To help you see the extent of your dependency it is helpful to see how you are dealing with relationships in your life. Do you find that you are often blaming others when things go wrong? Things would be ok only if … Counselling helps you to be able to change the things that are in your control, and seeing a blaming attitude as not being helpful in your life, as other people are not within your control. We can look at what you can do to help you take more control over your life, and with this to be able to take responsibility over your actions, and this will help you to feel better about yourself, and allow you to see what is important in your life, and what you want to do to help keep this continuing. There are other dependencies and addictions regarding eating, gambling, gaming, social media, sex and love and smoking, which can be helped with by working with you to help you gain awareness, the extent, and ways to manage, by finding other coping mechanisms, to help with expressing your feelings, and discovering your basic beliefs, which can be self-destructive. You may find you are behaving in vicious cycles, which perpetuate these addictions from your unhelpful thoughts about yourself and others Counselling can help by involving other family members within the process, as change will involve them too. The focus is on you, and we would agree prior to arranging this what you feel would help, and the session can support with you being able to implement these changes within your life. Often there is guilt and shame surrounding dependency and addiction, and by involving others in your life this can help deal with these feelings, which are often deep rooted, and can be hard to change, but are often the triggers to addiction and dependency. These can come from our upbringing or from circumstances later in life, which we have felt ‘bad’ about, and have not been able to move on from. These feelings can result in problems with our growth as fulfilling human beings, which prevent us from being the person we want to be. When we act in ways we want to see ourselves, rather than using an artificial coping mechanism to hide behind, we can truly enjoy and find meaningful relationships and activities to be involved with. Counselling can help you on this journey, and towards one of looking forward to having the life you want. I work in an integrative manner adopting the main theoretical approaches that of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as practised within the NHS, Transactional Analysis (TA), Existential, Interpersonal therapy and the 12 Steps Programme, to adapt to what will suit you. By looking at patterns of thinking, behaviour and to find helpful coping strategies can be a way forward to breaking the cycle of addiction and dependency. I can arrange a programme with you that is right for you. I offer the availability of reduced session rates when a programme of sessions are booked in advance, rather than the individual session rate to help make the cost more affordable.
  • Relationships can be times of joy, happiness and also of conflict, disagreements and unsettled feelings. We may find it difficult to navigate through some of these periods in a relationship. You may have thoughts of having loved too much, not loved enough, or feelings of guilt about distancing from the relationship of not wanting to hurt the other, but not knowing how to do this and to look after yourself too. Managing expectations can be important by knowing what we are able to change, and not thinking that we can change the other person’s behaviour. Taking responsibility for our own actions and knowing what we are willing to accept in a relationship can make a real difference. By being aware of what is happening is often the first step in feeling able to be prepared for things, which may be occurring in repeating cycles. Counselling is all about helping you to be aware of patterns which may be prevalent in your relationships. By being aware and being able to manage these, can give you the confidence and self-esteem to be able to think of alternatives which may be more helpful to you, and ultimately to you being able to form a close and meaningful relationship. In counselling it may be helpful to look at how you communicate with those close in your life, which may reveal you or others playing games, which nearly always seem to end the same unhelpful way. You may feel that it seems to be your fault, feeling guilty for your actions, and taking on not only your responsibility but also that of your partner. You can consequently feel that you are the ‘bad’ person in the relationship or the ‘victim’, and no amount of trying to change your partner helps you to feel better about yourself or helps your situation. In counselling there are different theoretical approaches that can help you in how you communicate in a helpful assertive way, which respects yourself and those close around you. This can be done by setting boundaries of acceptable behaviour to avoid this game playing, and increase your resilience and confidence to feel better about yourself and to help yourself to form heathy relationships. Transactional Analysis (TA) is a theory which analyses how we communicate to others, and to help identify game playing. For example, this could be when someone is appearing to be caring but is manipulating situations which results in domination and sometimes abuse. By looking at our personality traits we can identify our most apparent characteristics when we communicate with those around us. Sometimes we may want to try other ways to avoid similar situations from repeating. TA identifies ourselves consisting of three ego states. The Parent ego state describes our behaviour, thoughts, and feelings copied from parents or parental figures, such as teachers. The Adult ego state includes behaviour, thoughts and feelings which are direct responses to the present time, which is our rational sense of being. The Child ego state represents our behaviour, thoughts and feelings replayed from our childhood. This may be some action we took as a child which made sense to us then, such as keeping silent, when there were arguments for fear of making these worse, or due to being frightened or overwhelmed. These actions may not be helpful to us when we reach adulthood by preventing you to face an argument, when your automatic reaction may be to withdraw. This may not be helpful in your life as an adult preventing you from being able to resolve arguments. The storing of unresolved disputes can then lead to frustration, worry or anger being triggered into an ‘eruption’ of feelings giving rise to unhelpful and even destructive consequences. Counselling can help you become aware of this, and establish ways to change and/or manage situations by developing strategies to cope. How to Survive a Break Up The number one rule is to ensure you take care of yourself, as there may be a time that you do get back together but this will be difficult if you have fallen apart and not in a position to do this. With a break up this may not be your decision, but that of your partner, so can be especially hard to accept. In a relationship there are two people, and if one decides that for whatever reason the relationship is not working for them, then without being able to change that person, this can lead to a very upsetting, frustrating and even angry experience. Remembering that the relationship is made up of two people, who take responsibility for their own actions and decisions can be something we don’t want to think about, and may want to do anything to try to make the relationship work. Sometimes there may not be anything else we can do if the other person has made this huge heart breaking decision to end. If you are able to manage the care of yourself, respecting yourself and your needs you are valuing your life as important. You may have others in your life that rely upon you, such as children, and this may help you to give you a purpose in the most distressing times. Thinking of what helps is a big first step in helping you to manage this time, such as eating healthily, regular exercise, meeting friends, and keeping to a routine. It is also not a time to try to push yourself too hard, as being kind to yourself when you are grieving the loss of your relationship may take time. You may feel more forgetful, unable to concentrate and more tearful than you normally are. However, you can be in control of your thoughts and actions, and these can help you. The counselling process can help you on your journey to feeling better. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can help you work out strategies to do this. Using mindfulness techniques by being in the present, can help you feel more grounded, and tasks such as appreciating the moment, and being with nature, can provide you peace and tranquillity, being a welcome break away from any obsessive negative thoughts. This can help during what can be an unsettling time of overwhelming feelings of change from being in a relationship to not. Think now about what you would like, and take time out for you as you are important, and treat yourself to whatever this may be, which could be as simple as a walk, meet with a friend or just to spend time listening to yourself, and then act on this, and think that doing something different may be ok. What is a Healthy Versus an Unhealthy Relationship? Ask yourself these questions and be honest with yourself, and you will know the answer. Do you have a close physical and emotional relationship? Do you have flexibility, can you change arrangements if the need arises without argument? Can you express yourself without fear of criticism, blame or needing justification? Is there respect given to each other in the relationship? Can you be open and honest, and be yourself around your partner, accepting who you are? Are you able to be assertive, and say no sometimes without feelings of guilt when your partner becomes upset? Thinking about your communication in the relationship, and seeing if it is open, honest and without pressure of feeling that you have to do or say something. These aspects are important for a long term healthy relationship for both you and your partner. Whenever you feel constantly bad about yourself, when in recurring patterns of behaviour with your partner, is a clue to thinking this relationship may be experiencing problems. Couple or individual counselling can really help with communication, and finding ways to connect with each other again. By looking at what helped at the beginning of your relationship, and looking at what does not help, and looking at new ways can lead to healthy changes in your relationship. Sometimes counselling can be working with you as a couple, and involve having sessions with each of you having your own sessions, and then bringing together for later sessions working with you as a couple. By working together to find what is important to you, and what you would like to achieve, we can then find ways in counselling that will be a way forward by talking this through. By looking at our strengths, weaknesses, fears, negative views and possibly destructive tendencies can really help with coming to establish patterns in your relationship, and possibly self-fulfilling prophecies, which can lead to someone in a relationship pulling away rather than coming together.
  • Anxiety and Depression Anxiety Feeling overwhelmed a lot of the time, being uncertain about the future, not knowing what direction to take. Comparing yourself to others, feeling that you should be at a certain stage in your life by now. Not knowing how to make sense of your world and those around you. Feeling lost, isolated, and lonely. Not knowing who you are, and how you fit into society. From losing loved ones in your life can feel like the floor has fallen from under your feet. Knowing how to manage these types of situations can provide some relief from a stressful and fast pace of life. Being prepared for certain situations and triggers to your anxiety are important in being able to manage, increase tolerance by facing, challenging, changing behaviour and thoughts. Social anxiety can be seen as a cycle, and knowing how to break this can be a way forward. By knowing what your triggers are which results in certain beliefs and assumptions leading to situations to be seen as ‘socially dangerous’ can feel threatening. Counselling can provide the space to explore what is happening to you, and provide a place where you can feel accepted in you as a person, without judgement, to be able to understand, to find ways, and tools to be able to cope with life, and to start to enjoy life again. Depression Feeling low, lasting for a long time, having an empty, numb, feeling really tired, isolating yourself from others, which is affecting your everyday life. Seeing that you should be on your own, possessing beliefs that others would be better off without you. Seeing that there appears no meaning or purpose to each day, and in your life, being less able to cope, and can become a self- destructive experience. Motivation can be difficult, when life seems less worthwhile. This can lead to the more severe feeling of suicidal thoughts or not having the will to live. Having someone to support you, allowing someone into your life can make a real difference to you. Therapy can be an important first step to feeling better about yourself and being able to value others in your life. By being able to understand where you are in your life, and how you got to this stage can be helpful in finding ways to manage and navigate a way ahead where you can go on to lead a more fulfilling life. By being able to create emotional bonds to those close to you, can then lead to a more meaningful and enlightened life. Feeling that your current state of being is due to circumstances, which have felt out of control, and then seeing that you are powerless and demotivated in being able to make the right changes for you. Counselling can give you increased awareness of your situation, and a knowledge and resilience. This can help build a way out of a perceived dark hole.
  • Why do I need support for bereavement? What can a bereavement counsellor help with? Bereavement can be a painful time for us when losing a loved one, who is now no longer in our life, which can be by death or loss, such as separation from a loved one. We can be affected in many ways and all of us will react in our own way. We can go through many feelings including shock, numbness, anger and sadness, which are all part of how we react to grieving. It may feel that everyone has moved on, and why does it still feel so difficult and sometimes you feel guilty if allowing yourself to try and move on. I may feel guilty if I am happy, but aware that it is really causing me problems in my life and in relationships by holding on to this sadness. Relationships may become stressful, and feel unmanageable when partners grieve in different ways. One partner may want to talk, while the other wants to try and continue with life, and appear to be trying to be ‘normal’ again. This can cause a distancing in the relationship, and lack of empathy and understanding of how the other person is acting. When our feelings are unable to be expressed due to not allowing yourself for various reasons, then these feelings become ‘stuck’, and while remaining within ourselves, without being processed, can lead to long term problems. I recognise that we are all individuals going through the grief process in our own ways, some of us having more support than others, some more able to express their thoughts and feelings, some more unwilling to do so, and needing to try and get back to life’s responsibilities, such as work. We may go through many stages before we are able to feel that life can be for us to be able to live again, and to be able to recount memories as happy ones. There will always be times that we find difficult, such as family occasions, and birthdays of our loved one. Healing from a loss can take time. Having someone alongside you at times, which can feel very lonely to be able to explore your loss, and the effects this has had on your life. To find a way to help you to be able to start adjusting to your changed future. Sometimes by talking about your loss can help you come to a place you may then be able to look at memories with fondness and happiness, which may seem like a long way ahead at the moment. I am experienced with working with bereavement for over 3 years as a counsellor at Cruse Bereavement Care, and I currently work there as a supervisor in a voluntary capacity. I am able to offer a sensitive, supportive space for you, and I have the knowledge of the grieving process, and how this may affect us, to help you to navigate a way through this unknown, territory, which can appear frightening. Having someone to work together by identifying an approach which will help you, which will reflect your personality, values, culture, beliefs and those influences in your life from family, close friends, which make up you as an individual. It may seem you have no meaning or purpose to your life, and having an empty feeling can mean wanting to make changes in your life, as part of adapting to a new life without your loved one. By being able to move forward can be so difficult. Remembering your loved one as still being there for you in some form, whether that be by thinking of what they may be saying to you in those times you most want to reach out to that person, can bring real comfort. When recalling memories and thought relating to that person can initially bring pain and suffering, but finding ways to help these be meaningful and positive ones can be a real step forward in the bereavement process. Counselling can help you in coming to this place. If when trying to cope with bereavement, you are more likely to experience anxiety and stress related illnesses, such as sleep and stress related work disorders. This can happen, and understanding this can help, and be a part of how we can work together to help you with your experience of bereavement, and find your own coping strategies, and support you on your journey on either a short or longer term basis. Some Issues involving grief/loss counselling Death of a loved one Divorce or separation from a loved one Loss of a baby Life limiting illness Personal injury Redundancy/ loss of a career Moving home Children moving away from home
  • Addiction is a dependency upon a particular substance or activity. Due to this being a habit or pattern overwhelming other areas in life this can cause problems by neglecting relationships and yourself. You may now realise that this drug did something for you, which was different from the way it affected others. A party or going to the pub was useless without a drug such as alcohol. Despite trying to control this compulsion nothing may work, and if the addiction is severe, this can be a disease, and receiving the right help is paramount. Do you find that you never experience the same pleasurable experience as your first drink or drug? You may be searching for this, but the experience becomes less and less pleasurable, and actually involves negative and harmful consequences. Mental health problems can arise such as depression and anxiety, when feelings and emotions have not been expressed or dealt with, which may have been due to a bereavement, a traumatic or abusive situation/relationship preventing this from happening. It may have felt unsafe or wrong to have these feelings at this time, or you were unable to understand what was happening, and want now to have this time to have this understanding to help manage and cope with your feelings and emotions. Alcohol and drug addiction is often referred as the artificial connection to a substance rather than to an actual real life connection to a human. In counselling having this human connection can be the start to help replace an artificial connection to a drug, which can be the beginning of your journey to a new healthy lifestyle showing the benefits to having human support. This can be built upon to help other relationships in your life, whether that be with your partner, husband, wife, daughter, son or other important person. The 12 Steps programme used by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) can be incorporated within counselling to work side by side. Support groups provide meetings locally, and are a constant emotional fellowship, facilitating you being able to take each day as it comes, which is very much the approach I would use. The first step is the awareness that you have a problem, and this is how counselling works also by helping to step back from life, and have a safe place to see the extent to your dependency, and by doing so I can help work with you to find a way forward, which is right for you. You may have tried cutting back and seen this as not working for you, so this may not be an option. If you have not then we can work towards this to see if this may be possible. To help you see the extent of your dependency it is helpful to see how you are dealing with relationships in your life. Do you find that you are often blaming others when things go wrong? Things would be ok only if … Counselling helps you to be able to change the things that are in your control, and seeing a blaming attitude as not being helpful in your life, as other people are not within your control. We can look at what you can do to help you take more control over your life, and with this to be able to take responsibility over your actions, and this will help you to feel better about yourself, and allow you to see what is important in your life, and what you want to do to help keep this continuing. There are other dependencies and addictions regarding eating, gambling, gaming, social media, sex and love and smoking, which can be helped with by working with you to help you gain awareness, the extent, and ways to manage, by finding other coping mechanisms, to help with expressing your feelings, and discovering your basic beliefs, which can be self-destructive. You may find you are behaving in vicious cycles, which perpetuate these addictions from your unhelpful thoughts about yourself and others Counselling can help by involving other family members within the process, as change will involve them too. The focus is on you, and we would agree prior to arranging this what you feel would help, and the session can support with you being able to implement these changes within your life. Often there is guilt and shame surrounding dependency and addiction, and by involving others in your life this can help deal with these feelings, which are often deep rooted, and can be hard to change, but are often the triggers to addiction and dependency. These can come from our upbringing or from circumstances later in life, which we have felt ‘bad’ about, and have not been able to move on from. These feelings can result in problems with our growth as fulfilling human beings, which prevent us from being the person we want to be. When we act in ways we want to see ourselves, rather than using an artificial coping mechanism to hide behind, we can truly enjoy and find meaningful relationships and activities to be involved with. Counselling can help you on this journey, and towards one of looking forward to having the life you want. I work in an integrative manner adopting the main theoretical approaches that of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as practised within the NHS, Transactional Analysis (TA), Existential, Interpersonal therapy and the 12 Steps Programme, to adapt to what will suit you. By looking at patterns of thinking, behaviour and to find helpful coping strategies can be a way forward to breaking the cycle of addiction and dependency. I can arrange a programme with you that is right for you. I offer the availability of reduced session rates when a programme of sessions are booked in advance, rather than the individual session rate to help make the cost more affordable.
  • Relationships can be times of joy, happiness and also of conflict, disagreements and unsettled feelings. We may find it difficult to navigate through some of these periods in a relationship. You may have thoughts of having loved too much, not loved enough, or feelings of guilt about distancing from the relationship of not wanting to hurt the other, but not knowing how to do this and to look after yourself too. Managing expectations can be important by knowing what we are able to change, and not thinking that we can change the other person’s behaviour. Taking responsibility for our own actions and knowing what we are willing to accept in a relationship can make a real difference. By being aware of what is happening is often the first step in feeling able to be prepared for things, which may be occurring in repeating cycles. Counselling is all about helping you to be aware of patterns which may be prevalent in your relationships. By being aware and being able to manage these, can give you the confidence and self-esteem to be able to think of alternatives which may be more helpful to you, and ultimately to you being able to form a close and meaningful relationship. In counselling it may be helpful to look at how you communicate with those close in your life, which may reveal you or others playing games, which nearly always seem to end the same unhelpful way. You may feel that it seems to be your fault, feeling guilty for your actions, and taking on not only your responsibility but also that of your partner. You can consequently feel that you are the ‘bad’ person in the relationship or the ‘victim’, and no amount of trying to change your partner helps you to feel better about yourself or helps your situation. In counselling there are different theoretical approaches that can help you in how you communicate in a helpful assertive way, which respects yourself and those close around you. This can be done by setting boundaries of acceptable behaviour to avoid this game playing, and increase your resilience and confidence to feel better about yourself and to help yourself to form heathy relationships. Transactional Analysis (TA) is a theory which analyses how we communicate to others, and to help identify game playing. For example, this could be when someone is appearing to be caring but is manipulating situations which results in domination and sometimes abuse. By looking at our personality traits we can identify our most apparent characteristics when we communicate with those around us. Sometimes we may want to try other ways to avoid similar situations from repeating. TA identifies ourselves consisting of three ego states. The Parent ego state describes our behaviour, thoughts, and feelings copied from parents or parental figures, such as teachers. The Adult ego state includes behaviour, thoughts and feelings which are direct responses to the present time, which is our rational sense of being. The Child ego state represents our behaviour, thoughts and feelings replayed from our childhood. This may be some action we took as a child which made sense to us then, such as keeping silent, when there were arguments for fear of making these worse, or due to being frightened or overwhelmed. These actions may not be helpful to us when we reach adulthood by preventing you to face an argument, when your automatic reaction may be to withdraw. This may not be helpful in your life as an adult preventing you from being able to resolve arguments. The storing of unresolved disputes can then lead to frustration, worry or anger being triggered into an ‘eruption’ of feelings giving rise to unhelpful and even destructive consequences. Counselling can help you become aware of this, and establish ways to change and/or manage situations by developing strategies to cope. How to Survive a Break Up The number one rule is to ensure you take care of yourself, as there may be a time that you do get back together but this will be difficult if you have fallen apart and not in a position to do this. With a break up this may not be your decision, but that of your partner, so can be especially hard to accept. In a relationship there are two people, and if one decides that for whatever reason the relationship is not working for them, then without being able to change that person, this can lead to a very upsetting, frustrating and even angry experience. Remembering that the relationship is made up of two people, who take responsibility for their own actions and decisions can be something we don’t want to think about, and may want to do anything to try to make the relationship work. Sometimes there may not be anything else we can do if the other person has made this huge heart breaking decision to end. If you are able to manage the care of yourself, respecting yourself and your needs you are valuing your life as important. You may have others in your life that rely upon you, such as children, and this may help you to give you a purpose in the most distressing times. Thinking of what helps is a big first step in helping you to manage this time, such as eating healthily, regular exercise, meeting friends, and keeping to a routine. It is also not a time to try to push yourself too hard, as being kind to yourself when you are grieving the loss of your relationship may take time. You may feel more forgetful, unable to concentrate and more tearful than you normally are. However, you can be in control of your thoughts and actions, and these can help you. The counselling process can help you on your journey to feeling better. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can help you work out strategies to do this. Using mindfulness techniques by being in the present, can help you feel more grounded, and tasks such as appreciating the moment, and being with nature, can provide you peace and tranquillity, being a welcome break away from any obsessive negative thoughts. This can help during what can be an unsettling time of overwhelming feelings of change from being in a relationship to not. Think now about what you would like, and take time out for you as you are important, and treat yourself to whatever this may be, which could be as simple as a walk, meet with a friend or just to spend time listening to yourself, and then act on this, and think that doing something different may be ok. What is a Healthy Versus an Unhealthy Relationship? Ask yourself these questions and be honest with yourself, and you will know the answer. Do you have a close physical and emotional relationship? Do you have flexibility, can you change arrangements if the need arises without argument? Can you express yourself without fear of criticism, blame or needing justification? Is there respect given to each other in the relationship? Can you be open and honest, and be yourself around your partner, accepting who you are? Are you able to be assertive, and say no sometimes without feelings of guilt when your partner becomes upset? Thinking about your communication in the relationship, and seeing if it is open, honest and without pressure of feeling that you have to do or say something. These aspects are important for a long term healthy relationship for both you and your partner. Whenever you feel constantly bad about yourself, when in recurring patterns of behaviour with your partner, is a clue to thinking this relationship may be experiencing problems. Couple or individual counselling can really help with communication, and finding ways to connect with each other again. By looking at what helped at the beginning of your relationship, and looking at what does not help, and looking at new ways can lead to healthy changes in your relationship. Sometimes counselling can be working with you as a couple, and involve having sessions with each of you having your own sessions, and then bringing together for later sessions working with you as a couple. By working together to find what is important to you, and what you would like to achieve, we can then find ways in counselling that will be a way forward by talking this through. By looking at our strengths, weaknesses, fears, negative views and possibly destructive tendencies can really help with coming to establish patterns in your relationship, and possibly self-fulfilling prophecies, which can lead to someone in a relationship pulling away rather than coming together.
  • Anxiety and Depression Anxiety Feeling overwhelmed a lot of the time, being uncertain about the future, not knowing what direction to take. Comparing yourself to others, feeling that you should be at a certain stage in your life by now. Not knowing how to make sense of your world and those around you. Feeling lost, isolated, and lonely. Not knowing who you are, and how you fit into society. From losing loved ones in your life can feel like the floor has fallen from under your feet. Knowing how to manage these types of situations can provide some relief from a stressful and fast pace of life. Being prepared for certain situations and triggers to your anxiety are important in being able to manage, increase tolerance by facing, challenging, changing behaviour and thoughts. Social anxiety can be seen as a cycle, and knowing how to break this can be a way forward. By knowing what your triggers are which results in certain beliefs and assumptions leading to situations to be seen as ‘socially dangerous’ can feel threatening. Counselling can provide the space to explore what is happening to you, and provide a place where you can feel accepted in you as a person, without judgement, to be able to understand, to find ways, and tools to be able to cope with life, and to start to enjoy life again. Depression Feeling low, lasting for a long time, having an empty, numb, feeling really tired, isolating yourself from others, which is affecting your everyday life. Seeing that you should be on your own, possessing beliefs that others would be better off without you. Seeing that there appears no meaning or purpose to each day, and in your life, being less able to cope, and can become a self- destructive experience. Motivation can be difficult, when life seems less worthwhile. This can lead to the more severe feeling of suicidal thoughts or not having the will to live. Having someone to support you, allowing someone into your life can make a real difference to you. Therapy can be an important first step to feeling better about yourself and being able to value others in your life. By being able to understand where you are in your life, and how you got to this stage can be helpful in finding ways to manage and navigate a way ahead where you can go on to lead a more fulfilling life. By being able to create emotional bonds to those close to you, can then lead to a more meaningful and enlightened life. Feeling that your current state of being is due to circumstances, which have felt out of control, and then seeing that you are powerless and demotivated in being able to make the right changes for you. Counselling can give you increased awareness of your situation, and a knowledge and resilience. This can help build a way out of a perceived dark hole.
  • Why do I need support for bereavement? What can a bereavement counsellor help with? Bereavement can be a painful time for us when losing a loved one, who is now no longer in our life, which can be by death or loss, such as separation from a loved one. We can be affected in many ways and all of us will react in our own way. We can go through many feelings including shock, numbness, anger and sadness, which are all part of how we react to grieving. It may feel that everyone has moved on, and why does it still feel so difficult and sometimes you feel guilty if allowing yourself to try and move on. I may feel guilty if I am happy, but aware that it is really causing me problems in my life and in relationships by holding on to this sadness. Relationships may become stressful, and feel unmanageable when partners grieve in different ways. One partner may want to talk, while the other wants to try and continue with life, and appear to be trying to be ‘normal’ again. This can cause a distancing in the relationship, and lack of empathy and understanding of how the other person is acting. When our feelings are unable to be expressed due to not allowing yourself for various reasons, then these feelings become ‘stuck’, and while remaining within ourselves, without being processed, can lead to long term problems. I recognise that we are all individuals going through the grief process in our own ways, some of us having more support than others, some more able to express their thoughts and feelings, some more unwilling to do so, and needing to try and get back to life’s responsibilities, such as work. We may go through many stages before we are able to feel that life can be for us to be able to live again, and to be able to recount memories as happy ones. There will always be times that we find difficult, such as family occasions, and birthdays of our loved one. Healing from a loss can take time. Having someone alongside you at times, which can feel very lonely to be able to explore your loss, and the effects this has had on your life. To find a way to help you to be able to start adjusting to your changed future. Sometimes by talking about your loss can help you come to a place you may then be able to look at memories with fondness and happiness, which may seem like a long way ahead at the moment. I am experienced with working with bereavement for over 3 years as a counsellor at Cruse Bereavement Care, and I currently work there as a supervisor in a voluntary capacity. I am able to offer a sensitive, supportive space for you, and I have the knowledge of the grieving process, and how this may affect us, to help you to navigate a way through this unknown, territory, which can appear frightening. Having someone to work together by identifying an approach which will help you, which will reflect your personality, values, culture, beliefs and those influences in your life from family, close friends, which make up you as an individual. It may seem you have no meaning or purpose to your life, and having an empty feeling can mean wanting to make changes in your life, as part of adapting to a new life without your loved one. By being able to move forward can be so difficult. Remembering your loved one as still being there for you in some form, whether that be by thinking of what they may be saying to you in those times you most want to reach out to that person, can bring real comfort. When recalling memories and thought relating to that person can initially bring pain and suffering, but finding ways to help these be meaningful and positive ones can be a real step forward in the bereavement process. Counselling can help you in coming to this place. If when trying to cope with bereavement, you are more likely to experience anxiety and stress related illnesses, such as sleep and stress related work disorders. This can happen, and understanding this can help, and be a part of how we can work together to help you with your experience of bereavement, and find your own coping strategies, and support you on your journey on either a short or longer term basis. Some Issues involving grief/loss counselling Death of a loved one Divorce or separation from a loved one Loss of a baby Life limiting illness Personal injury Redundancy/ loss of a career Moving home Children moving away from home
  • Addiction is a dependency upon a particular substance or activity. Due to this being a habit or pattern overwhelming other areas in life this can cause problems by neglecting relationships and yourself. You may now realise that this drug did something for you, which was different from the way it affected others. A party or going to the pub was useless without a drug such as alcohol. Despite trying to control this compulsion nothing may work, and if the addiction is severe, this can be a disease, and receiving the right help is paramount. Do you find that you never experience the same pleasurable experience as your first drink or drug? You may be searching for this, but the experience becomes less and less pleasurable, and actually involves negative and harmful consequences. Mental health problems can arise such as depression and anxiety, when feelings and emotions have not been expressed or dealt with, which may have been due to a bereavement, a traumatic or abusive situation/relationship preventing this from happening. It may have felt unsafe or wrong to have these feelings at this time, or you were unable to understand what was happening, and want now to have this time to have this understanding to help manage and cope with your feelings and emotions. Alcohol and drug addiction is often referred as the artificial connection to a substance rather than to an actual real life connection to a human. In counselling having this human connection can be the start to help replace an artificial connection to a drug, which can be the beginning of your journey to a new healthy lifestyle showing the benefits to having human support. This can be built upon to help other relationships in your life, whether that be with your partner, husband, wife, daughter, son or other important person. The 12 Steps programme used by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) can be incorporated within counselling to work side by side. Support groups provide meetings locally, and are a constant emotional fellowship, facilitating you being able to take each day as it comes, which is very much the approach I would use. The first step is the awareness that you have a problem, and this is how counselling works also by helping to step back from life, and have a safe place to see the extent to your dependency, and by doing so I can help work with you to find a way forward, which is right for you. You may have tried cutting back and seen this as not working for you, so this may not be an option. If you have not then we can work towards this to see if this may be possible. To help you see the extent of your dependency it is helpful to see how you are dealing with relationships in your life. Do you find that you are often blaming others when things go wrong? Things would be ok only if … Counselling helps you to be able to change the things that are in your control, and seeing a blaming attitude as not being helpful in your life, as other people are not within your control. We can look at what you can do to help you take more control over your life, and with this to be able to take responsibility over your actions, and this will help you to feel better about yourself, and allow you to see what is important in your life, and what you want to do to help keep this continuing. There are other dependencies and addictions regarding eating, gambling, gaming, social media, sex and love and smoking, which can be helped with by working with you to help you gain awareness, the extent, and ways to manage, by finding other coping mechanisms, to help with expressing your feelings, and discovering your basic beliefs, which can be self-destructive. You may find you are behaving in vicious cycles, which perpetuate these addictions from your unhelpful thoughts about yourself and others Counselling can help by involving other family members within the process, as change will involve them too. The focus is on you, and we would agree prior to arranging this what you feel would help, and the session can support with you being able to implement these changes within your life. Often there is guilt and shame surrounding dependency and addiction, and by involving others in your life this can help deal with these feelings, which are often deep rooted, and can be hard to change, but are often the triggers to addiction and dependency. These can come from our upbringing or from circumstances later in life, which we have felt ‘bad’ about, and have not been able to move on from. These feelings can result in problems with our growth as fulfilling human beings, which prevent us from being the person we want to be. When we act in ways we want to see ourselves, rather than using an artificial coping mechanism to hide behind, we can truly enjoy and find meaningful relationships and activities to be involved with. Counselling can help you on this journey, and towards one of looking forward to having the life you want. I work in an integrative manner adopting the main theoretical approaches that of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as practised within the NHS, Transactional Analysis (TA), Existential, Interpersonal therapy and the 12 Steps Programme, to adapt to what will suit you. By looking at patterns of thinking, behaviour and to find helpful coping strategies can be a way forward to breaking the cycle of addiction and dependency. I can arrange a programme with you that is right for you. I offer the availability of reduced session rates when a programme of sessions are booked in advance, rather than the individual session rate to help make the cost more affordable.
  • Relationships can be times of joy, happiness and also of conflict, disagreements and unsettled feelings. We may find it difficult to navigate through some of these periods in a relationship. You may have thoughts of having loved too much, not loved enough, or feelings of guilt about distancing from the relationship of not wanting to hurt the other, but not knowing how to do this and to look after yourself too. Managing expectations can be important by knowing what we are able to change, and not thinking that we can change the other person’s behaviour. Taking responsibility for our own actions and knowing what we are willing to accept in a relationship can make a real difference. By being aware of what is happening is often the first step in feeling able to be prepared for things, which may be occurring in repeating cycles. Counselling is all about helping you to be aware of patterns which may be prevalent in your relationships. By being aware and being able to manage these, can give you the confidence and self-esteem to be able to think of alternatives which may be more helpful to you, and ultimately to you being able to form a close and meaningful relationship. In counselling it may be helpful to look at how you communicate with those close in your life, which may reveal you or others playing games, which nearly always seem to end the same unhelpful way. You may feel that it seems to be your fault, feeling guilty for your actions, and taking on not only your responsibility but also that of your partner. You can consequently feel that you are the ‘bad’ person in the relationship or the ‘victim’, and no amount of trying to change your partner helps you to feel better about yourself or helps your situation. In counselling there are different theoretical approaches that can help you in how you communicate in a helpful assertive way, which respects yourself and those close around you. This can be done by setting boundaries of acceptable behaviour to avoid this game playing, and increase your resilience and confidence to feel better about yourself and to help yourself to form heathy relationships. Transactional Analysis (TA) is a theory which analyses how we communicate to others, and to help identify game playing. For example, this could be when someone is appearing to be caring but is manipulating situations which results in domination and sometimes abuse. By looking at our personality traits we can identify our most apparent characteristics when we communicate with those around us. Sometimes we may want to try other ways to avoid similar situations from repeating. TA identifies ourselves consisting of three ego states. The Parent ego state describes our behaviour, thoughts, and feelings copied from parents or parental figures, such as teachers. The Adult ego state includes behaviour, thoughts and feelings which are direct responses to the present time, which is our rational sense of being. The Child ego state represents our behaviour, thoughts and feelings replayed from our childhood. This may be some action we took as a child which made sense to us then, such as keeping silent, when there were arguments for fear of making these worse, or due to being frightened or overwhelmed. These actions may not be helpful to us when we reach adulthood by preventing you to face an argument, when your automatic reaction may be to withdraw. This may not be helpful in your life as an adult preventing you from being able to resolve arguments. The storing of unresolved disputes can then lead to frustration, worry or anger being triggered into an ‘eruption’ of feelings giving rise to unhelpful and even destructive consequences. Counselling can help you become aware of this, and establish ways to change and/or manage situations by developing strategies to cope. How to Survive a Break Up The number one rule is to ensure you take care of yourself, as there may be a time that you do get back together but this will be difficult if you have fallen apart and not in a position to do this. With a break up this may not be your decision, but that of your partner, so can be especially hard to accept. In a relationship there are two people, and if one decides that for whatever reason the relationship is not working for them, then without being able to change that person, this can lead to a very upsetting, frustrating and even angry experience. Remembering that the relationship is made up of two people, who take responsibility for their own actions and decisions can be something we don’t want to think about, and may want to do anything to try to make the relationship work. Sometimes there may not be anything else we can do if the other person has made this huge heart breaking decision to end. If you are able to manage the care of yourself, respecting yourself and your needs you are valuing your life as important. You may have others in your life that rely upon you, such as children, and this may help you to give you a purpose in the most distressing times. Thinking of what helps is a big first step in helping you to manage this time, such as eating healthily, regular exercise, meeting friends, and keeping to a routine. It is also not a time to try to push yourself too hard, as being kind to yourself when you are grieving the loss of your relationship may take time. You may feel more forgetful, unable to concentrate and more tearful than you normally are. However, you can be in control of your thoughts and actions, and these can help you. The counselling process can help you on your journey to feeling better. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can help you work out strategies to do this. Using mindfulness techniques by being in the present, can help you feel more grounded, and tasks such as appreciating the moment, and being with nature, can provide you peace and tranquillity, being a welcome break away from any obsessive negative thoughts. This can help during what can be an unsettling time of overwhelming feelings of change from being in a relationship to not. Think now about what you would like, and take time out for you as you are important, and treat yourself to whatever this may be, which could be as simple as a walk, meet with a friend or just to spend time listening to yourself, and then act on this, and think that doing something different may be ok. What is a Healthy Versus an Unhealthy Relationship? Ask yourself these questions and be honest with yourself, and you will know the answer. Do you have a close physical and emotional relationship? Do you have flexibility, can you change arrangements if the need arises without argument? Can you express yourself without fear of criticism, blame or needing justification? Is there respect given to each other in the relationship? Can you be open and honest, and be yourself around your partner, accepting who you are? Are you able to be assertive, and say no sometimes without feelings of guilt when your partner becomes upset? Thinking about your communication in the relationship, and seeing if it is open, honest and without pressure of feeling that you have to do or say something. These aspects are important for a long term healthy relationship for both you and your partner. Whenever you feel constantly bad about yourself, when in recurring patterns of behaviour with your partner, is a clue to thinking this relationship may be experiencing problems. Couple or individual counselling can really help with communication, and finding ways to connect with each other again. By looking at what helped at the beginning of your relationship, and looking at what does not help, and looking at new ways can lead to healthy changes in your relationship. Sometimes counselling can be working with you as a couple, and involve having sessions with each of you having your own sessions, and then bringing together for later sessions working with you as a couple. By working together to find what is important to you, and what you would like to achieve, we can then find ways in counselling that will be a way forward by talking this through. By looking at our strengths, weaknesses, fears, negative views and possibly destructive tendencies can really help with coming to establish patterns in your relationship, and possibly self-fulfilling prophecies, which can lead to someone in a relationship pulling away rather than coming together.
  • Anxiety and Depression Anxiety Feeling overwhelmed a lot of the time, being uncertain about the future, not knowing what direction to take. Comparing yourself to others, feeling that you should be at a certain stage in your life by now. Not knowing how to make sense of your world and those around you. Feeling lost, isolated, and lonely. Not knowing who you are, and how you fit into society. From losing loved ones in your life can feel like the floor has fallen from under your feet. Knowing how to manage these types of situations can provide some relief from a stressful and fast pace of life. Being prepared for certain situations and triggers to your anxiety are important in being able to manage, increase tolerance by facing, challenging, changing behaviour and thoughts. Social anxiety can be seen as a cycle, and knowing how to break this can be a way forward. By knowing what your triggers are which results in certain beliefs and assumptions leading to situations to be seen as ‘socially dangerous’ can feel threatening. Counselling can provide the space to explore what is happening to you, and provide a place where you can feel accepted in you as a person, without judgement, to be able to understand, to find ways, and tools to be able to cope with life, and to start to enjoy life again. Depression Feeling low, lasting for a long time, having an empty, numb, feeling really tired, isolating yourself from others, which is affecting your everyday life. Seeing that you should be on your own, possessing beliefs that others would be better off without you. Seeing that there appears no meaning or purpose to each day, and in your life, being less able to cope, and can become a self- destructive experience. Motivation can be difficult, when life seems less worthwhile. This can lead to the more severe feeling of suicidal thoughts or not having the will to live. Having someone to support you, allowing someone into your life can make a real difference to you. Therapy can be an important first step to feeling better about yourself and being able to value others in your life. By being able to understand where you are in your life, and how you got to this stage can be helpful in finding ways to manage and navigate a way ahead where you can go on to lead a more fulfilling life. By being able to create emotional bonds to those close to you, can then lead to a more meaningful and enlightened life. Feeling that your current state of being is due to circumstances, which have felt out of control, and then seeing that you are powerless and demotivated in being able to make the right changes for you. Counselling can give you increased awareness of your situation, and a knowledge and resilience. This can help build a way out of a perceived dark hole.