What is Counselling?
The aim of counselling is to provide a safe, confidential environment where you can discuss your problems and concerns and be listened to in a non-judgemental manner. Counselling can help you to identify the challenges or stresses in your life. Counselling can help you to make these changes through exploration, encouragement, acceptance and empathy, while respecting your values and circumstances. You may need someone to talk to and either do not wish to burden family or friends or want to talk to someone independent of them.
Counselling may give you back a feeling of being in control, of being able to make your own decisions, of being unique. It is equally important to take care of your mental and emotional well-being and not just your physical well-being and Counselling can help you to do that.
Counselling is a learning process which is based on movement and change; change of how you look at life, change of behaviour, change of the way you cope with things. In the case of a bereavement change consists of adapting to life without the person you have lost.
Counselling involves talking with someone who is trained in the art of listening so that you can express how you feel in order to begin to find your own solutions to your problems. Counselling can help you cope with challenges more easily. Counselling provides an opportunity for you to talk safely about your fears or goals. You can explore alternatives and weigh them up. Counselling can help you to develop a greater understanding of your feelings, thoughts and behaviours.
Myths about Counselling
There is a myth that attending counselling is a sign of weakness, that strong people maintain a "stiff upper lip" and have no need for counselling. Exploring one's feelings and emotions with a view to leading a more positive way of life is a sign of courage rather than of weakness. Problems and difficulties that are not dealt with do not simply go away, they can mount up and in time cause a major crisis.
Another myth is that counselling is only for people who have mental health problems, and that you have to be completely unable to cope to consider counselling. This is untrue - many people find counselling enables them to cope with specific problems such as relationship breakdown or bereavement. Some people think that counsellors are there to give them advice and tell them what they should do in a particular situation. Most counsellors do not work in this way, but aim to help people to explore their situations and possible solutions and work out which is the right way forward for them.
My approach to Counselling
Counsellors usually apply particular theories of counselling. These theories can provide new perspectives on people's problems and suggest different ways for counsellors to help. In practice, most counsellors use ideas from several different theories according to how they assess a person's needs at the time.
As an experiened counsellor I draw on several different approaches such as Adlerian, Solution Focused Brief Therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). My style is flexible and I always work according to the needs of my clients, adapting my approach as necessary to suit the individual.
Issues I work with
The following are just some of the issues I have helped my clients with:
- Alcohol issues with partners
- Anxiety disorders
- Career issues
- Health related issues
- Loss of meaning in life
- Low motivation
- Low self-esteem
- Panic attacks
- Personal development
- Poor sleep patterns
- Post Traumatic Stress
- Relationship difficulties - with partners, parents and children
- Relaxation training using breathing techniques, guided imagery and visualisation
- Sexual abuse
- Stress - both personal and work-related
Please feel free to telephone me, with no obligation, to see how I can help you with your specific issue.
For some, telephone counselling offers a helpful alternative to face-to-face counselling. This involves talking to me over the phone instead of in person. This form of counselling can be particularly useful for those too busy to attend face-to-face sessions and can be carried out in the comfort of your own home and provides the flexibility to have your session in your car, home or outdoors.
Some people prefer to speak to me remotely, using video calling technology. Video calling removes the barrier of distance, allowing you to work with me regardless of your location and speak to me from a safe space, with all international online guideline being observed. Online counselling is an increasingly popular option.