How Therapy Works
Therapy envolves helping you, the client, talk through how you feel about the situations and people that make up your life. How do you make sense of the way you interact with people? Why is it that you react in certain ways with certain types (such as imposing or demanding bosses, or needy loved ones)? Most of the answers to life’s questions are within you; the aim of therapy is to help you to bring them to conscious awareness in order to bring about change.
In the first session we will agree goals and a time line; some clients prefer to have an open-ended agreement while others prefer to work to a limited number of sessions.
Here are some issues I can help you with:
This can take many forms from obsessive buying or gambling, to over-indulgence in food, alcohol, sex or drugs. If you are becoming aware that something of this nature is affecting you and you would like help to achieve awareness as to why this is happening and would like to work on dealing with your addiction I can help by teasing out the underlying difficulties that may have triggered the addiction and building strategies together with you to help you start to loosen the shackles.
Anger issues / anger management
Do you find your anger is getting out of control at times? Do you find it is affecting your personal and work relationships?
I can help you identify the underlying causes of your anger and help you not only to come to greater awareness as to what is happening but also to deal with the current issues by giving you coping strategies to reduce the occurrence and the intensity of the angry outbursts.
If you feel anxious about something specific or tend to worry unnecessarily about a range of different things, we can analyse the issues together to work out the causes. Anxiety (basically fear of the future, or what might happen) is a natural emotion, which evolved in humans as one of the most important survival mechanisms as it generally induces action. However in modern times it is harder to see real physical danger (such as a lion coming to attack you) and anxiety can arise in situations in which a different response would do as well if not better. I can help you unpick what is a suitable response for you and give you tips to achieve a calmer, more balanced attitude to life.
Bereavement / loss
If someone close has died and you are finding it hard to carry on, it often helps to talk about the person you have lost and I can help you by offering you a regular space in which to talk to someone who is not going to judge you for the way you are feeling. There is no “normal” response to bereavement and I would help you deal with your loss in your own way.
Similar feelings may arise if you lose a long-term job or a much-loved pet or if a relationship breaks down. In any situation of loss you may find yourself becoming irritable, angry or sad and you may suffer from loss of sleep, appetite or even concentration. Talking with a counsellor may help and I can sometimes offer some advice/strategies for combatting some of the above problems too.
When you lack confidence this may have a knock on effect in various areas of your life – it may affect your relationships as well as your work and your ability to face different situations. We can develop greater awareness of what is behind your confidence problems and help you devise strategies for overcoming your difficulties.
Couples / Relationship issues
If you are going through a difficult time with your partner, it can often be helpful to try couple counselling. This provides an arena in which both parties can have a calm space in which to air their grievances and my goal in this process would be to ensure that both have an equal say and each be assisted to listen to the other. I would also be keen to help you see the positives in the relationship and help both sides understand where the other is coming from in terms of family background as well as other environmental influences from their pasts and presents.
Depression / depressive disorders
If you are suffering from low mood, lack of sleep, poor concentration and irritability these can all be signs of an underlying problem that may be related to depression. It has been shown that counselling is at least as effective as anti-depressants for mild to moderate depression and I can help you work out what is behind it as well as developing successful ways to combat it.
Sometimes we are afflicted with problems which seem “crazy” and we feel that no-one else could possible feel the same way or think the same thoughts. In these situations it is often the case that on opening up and talking with someone you realize that you are not alone and that it is really ok to have certain “intrusive thoughts”. If you are not sure if you need counselling or whether you have a problem at all, please give me a call and we can set up a consultation to talk through your issues.
Self esteem issues
If you are constantly putting yourself down or find it hard to accept compliments from others you are probably suffering from low self-esteem. I can help you by working with you to find out why your self esteem has lowered and using this new awareness assist you to regain that confidence in yourself which we all possess at birth and which it is possible to recreate at times particularly in specific situations.
There can be a lot of pressure on men to perform in intimate situations and this can lead to premature ejaculation (PE) or loss of erection (erectile dysfunction). There are other issues within a relationship, particularly on starting a family, which can be unexpected and leave us feeling isolated and angry.
If you feel that there are issues in your relationship, which you would like to address, we can attempt together to uncover the likely causes and find ways to tackle the problem.
Panic attacks arise from an excess of adrenalin in the body and may give rise to heightened anxiety – even when we least expect them. I can help you understand why this is happening to you and help you find ways both of dealing with the here and now symptoms when they occur, and of reducing the levels of adrenalin and other hormones in your body by working with you to examine and combat the underlying causes.
Self harm / suicidal thoughts
If you have self-harmed you may feel confused and upset; why did it happen and will you do it again? Talking through your feelings at the time of the event can help as can talking about what is happening in your life to cause you to behave in this way. I can help by working with you to examine the issues in your life and by helping you become more aware of the underlying difficulties you may be facing.
The same is true for suicidal ideation and situations in which you may think life is not worth living. I can help you by looking together with you at what is working and when and how to increase those moments in which life feels worthwhile.
If you are having difficulties with managers or staff, I can help you work out strategies for dealing with those people you find challenging.
We can accomplish much by looking at how you normally react towards difficult people and agree on new ways of coping with these people which you feel able to adopt.