Life's challenges are varied and complex
Add your unique perception of the world and they are infinite. You don't need to label, or put your experiences in a box to be able to call me. Just call me. But if this helps, here are are few we tend to struggle with:
- Depression can feel like being stuck in mud, or a fog, in an alternate reality.
- 'Think yourself positive' advice can add to Depression if it fails to understand the depths of our despair and dark thoughts, turbulent emotions, or numbness.
- Depression can be sparked for many different reasons.
- Not fighting it leaves it to feed on itself, and can lead to a downward spiral and feelings of guilt, hopelessness, and self-loathing.
- You may be feeling lethargy and exhaustion, or you may try to cover it up by misusing self-medication, or self-harm in some way.
- You may be suffering from Anxiety at the same time - not caring about anything, yet caring about everything too much-at the same time.
- You may have suicidal thoughts.
- The good news is that it can pass, and is rarely a permanent state, but there are no instant solutions.
- I can provide a safe place to help you to acknowledge your feelings rather than denying and burying them.
We can fight it together.
Human interaction is high up there with our basic needs, yet it seems to cause us the most pain sometimes, due to lack of communication or lack of care.
Things that can have a detrimental affect on relationships can include:
- Unrealistic expectations
- Previous unhealthy relationships
- Ruts and patterns
- Taking others for granted
- Failure to listen
- Low self-Esteem
- Physical health
- Other family members
...and so on
At worst, such relationships can lead to physical, psychological, sexual or financial abuse.
It's easy to feel trapped and scared in an abusive relationship, sometimes even after it has ended.
For you as a couple, or an individual, I can provide a safe, supportive, non-judgemental space for you to rediscover communication, solve problems with objective clarity, heal, or sometimes, support you in the decision to separate. I can help you release yourself from previous pain, so you can look forward to healthier future relationships.
For Couples Counseling, each partner is seen individually once.
Some Anxiety is normal, even necessary - it heightens our responses and reactions to help us deal with stressful situations.
Usually our Anxiety will subside afterwards.
Excessive Anxiety is when there is too much, or constant, worry, stress, adrenaline; we feel like we have lost control, like we are scared of everyday activities, like we imagine bad things happening, and think we won't be able to cope.
Physical symptoms can include:
- Panic attacks
- Churning Stomach
In extreme cases, usually following some trauma, Anxiety can manifest as PTSD, and can cause symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, hyper-arousal and catastrophising.
Anxiety can lead us to be too scared to partake in our usual activities. The sometimes constant state can be exhausting, and threatens our mental, physical and emotional well-being, our relationships and our careers.
In a trusting, nuturing, safe and non-judgemental setting, I can help you to take back your control, unpick why this is happening to you, normalise your reactions or symptoms, and learn ways to overcome your anxiety.
The death of a significant person can be a devastating loss.
However, and not to lessen the devastation that death causes, grief from loss can happen for many different reasons;
- Loss of a relationship
- Loss of career
- Loss of home
- Loss of physical health or life changing injury, for example.
Grieving is a very individual process. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, and we can get a bit better but then feel awful again. Working through grief is a test of patience.
Natural emotions can include:
- Depression and Despair
Grief can go on for years, with anniversaries of dates or holidays bringing it all right back.
At it's worst it can bring fear, shame, or suicidal thoughts. It can lead to unhealthy self-medication.
Together we can work through it; you will have my patient, trusted, safe and non-judgemental support. I can help you understand the process, and let you know that everything you are going through is pefectly natural.
It is a stressful world, and sometimes we leave too little time to relax or take care of ourselves, those around us, or our relationships.
Some stress is good-and used effectively it can work to our advantage. But if we allow our adrenaline levels to rise too high, it takes more than a quick fix to put right, and the likelihood of it impacting on our quality of life increases. Our work and personal lives suffer, our health suffers, our time management becomes out of whack .
Together, with a shared, fresh sense of objective clarity and perspective ,in a safe, trusting, non-judgemental space, we can examine the stressors, and learn new techniques to regain control over our reactions to our environment.
Similarly, if our Anger is disproportionate to the situation, we need to take a deeper look at the root causes. Anger is sometimes a symptom of another problem, and we will need to get to the bottom of it. Some Anger is natural, but when we lose our temper, lose control, when we hurt ourself and others with our inappropriate behaviour, it's time to take practical actions and learn some new, healthy coping strategies.
It's hard to admit the problem. It's not hard to get help.
Low Self-Esteem or lack of Confidence can be a belief, not a fact.
Or, it can be a feeling that originates from when you were young or over a period of time, whether or not anything bad happened to you. It can originate in a lack of trust in others.
Whatever the root cause, time will have only served to make things worse for you, and it may have got to the point where it's affecting your life, stopping you from doing what you want, from achieving your dreams or fulfilling your potential. It can certainly affect your relationships.
It doesn't stop there. It can lead to physical symptoms such as those of Anxiety, and our negative self-beliefs can even lead to darker thoughts of self-loathing and Depression, OCD, phobias and unhealthy or reckless coping behaviours that are much more severe than shyness.
It may take everything you've got to get here, but once you do, you will find warmth and kindness, compassion and positive regard, in a safe, supportive and non-judgemental atmosphere. Together we can work on building you back up. You can be your best you.
Sometimes, over time, we develop ways of coping with situations, events, feelings or emotions, past and present. They can be healthy, but often they are not. Sometimes they can become more dibilitating than the original problem.
As much as we should 'honour' them for keeping us alive, our lives are without doubt easier if we can face them, and try together to reduce them, or find healthier alternatives.
Such behaviours can include OCD, Addictions (to alcohol, prescription or illegal drugs, social media, sex, exercise, food etc.), phobias, self harm, bullying.
This is not just a problem in teenagers, although they are under much greater pressures these days.
My non-judgemental, empathic approach will put you at ease, and, if you are over 16, we can work together to get to the root causes, or the 'beginning', come to terms with how you are feeling, and how your behaviours serve you. We can then, together, put in place a series of small achievable steps towards your freedom from self-destruction.
If you are over 14, and are accompanied by one parent or guardian, we can work through it together in family therapy; this has proven in the past to have a good success rate.
"To pay attention, in a particular way, as best we can, on purpose, in the present moment, and non judgementally"
Jon Kabat Zinn
Mindfulness is non religious.
It is not a difficult concept, but it takes practice.
Using meditation-like techniques ( which do not require you to clear your mind), we can learn to use all our senses as a break or a distraction from our unnecessary or unwanted thoughts. Thoughts are not facts or threats, but they can feel that way. We cannot stop them from coming, but we can practice how we respond to them.
Mindfulness teaches us to use a gentle curiosity of the mind and body through all our senses, without an added 'story' to our thoughts, feelings and emotions, without associations, without reactions, without judgement of how we should be thinking or feeling.
As you practise more, you may find that your ability to use it in your everyday life gets easier, and your reactions to situations become measured responses instead. Expectations of the way things should be, or of how others should act become our own responsibility.
It's easier than it sounds!