Life can sometimes be challenging and this can make you feel that you are unable to cope or that you can’t make sense of what is happening to you or around you. Periods of doubt or stress can be difficult to understand and leave you feeling inadequate, depressed, anxious or isolated.
The reasons for seeking support are many, varied and personal to you and there is no wrong reason for deciding to undertake therapy. If it’s important to you, then it is.
Present Day Situations
You may have experienced a trauma; you may have a dilemma or challenge which you need to explore or you may be facing a change in your life which feels frightening for you. Even something that others deem to be positive can feel overwhelming and challenging such as getting married, moving home, pregnancy or retirement.
It’s not only things that are happening today that can cause problems. In the past, you may have experienced a life event which felt overpowering and you may naturally have ‘buried’ the difficult emotions and feelings at the time with the hope that they went away, only to find that they have resurfaced unexpectedly at a later date, unhelpfully influencing a present day situation.
This can be said of external factors such as negative childhood experiences and trauma where you can find yourself in a situation out of your control. Thankfully, when our body perceives a threat, we have an inbuilt mechanism to help us survive and this is where we can start to implement mechanisms to help us cope, such as becoming compliant with those who are causing distress (e.g. if I’m good, he won’t get angry with me), distraction (e.g. I’ll keep myself busy so that I don’t have to deal with feelings that hurt), addiction (e.g. I’ll develop an external behaviour so that I don’t feel the pain) or disconnection (e.g. I’ll switch off from my body and won’t feel anything).
These coping mechanisms are completely understandable and serve a purpose in the short term, otherwise we wouldn’t have implemented them in the first place. Unfortunately any helpful coping skills can easily become habit and can continue long after the threat has dispersed. This is when they become dysfunctional, no longer serving a positive purpose and indeed becoming detrimental to our wellbeing and every day life. Therefore, to explore what no longer helps us and to find new, more healthy ways of coping becomes beneficial.
Messages from others
We can form an opinion of who we are from messages received from others. If we are told often enough that we are a certain way or a specific type of person, we start to believe it. If these messages are negative and repetitive, it will affect the way we view ourselves, often limiting our growth and hindering our ability to move towards meeting our full potential.
You may be questioning who you are or what you believe. You may be feeling that life could be different and more fulfilling. There may not be a specific event or situation which has caused you to question things and you may not know what you want to change but somehow you simply know you would like things to be different.
These are only a few reasons why you may be considering counselling. Just as deciding to have counselling is a very personal decision, so too is choosing a counsellor.
The Next Step…
Taking the first step may seem rather daunting. Finding the right therapist to help you on your journey is crucial. It’s important that you find someone that you feel you can trust and are comfortable with.
The thought of opening up about your innermost feelings and fears may seem challenging or even frightening. However, I will never push you to speak about anything you don’t want to talk about and will work at a pace that suits you. I am guided by your priorities and aim to support you throughout the counselling process.
I can work in a time limited way where we agree a set number of sessions and focus on one particular issue or on an open ended, long term basis which allows for deeper exploration and growth. Both are suitable, depending on your needs, and we can discuss this in our first session together. To make an appointment, please either phone me or use the contact page.