Life affects us all. Often it affects us in ways we would rather it didn’t. Our responses to whatever life throws at us can leave us confused, angry, afraid, alone, hopeless. This can lead to us feeling very isolated, as if no one else could feel this way or even understand why we feel it (much of the time we don’t understand that ourselves). We doubt ourselves and our decisions, we get stuck in a repeating loop, asking the same questions of ourselves over and over and getting the same unhelpful or painful answers, or indeed no answer at all.
Many of us find ourselves repeating the same unhelpful pattern again and again. This may relate to issues with work, an inability to compete things you’ve started, problems in relationships, leading to repeated periods of depression or struggles with anxiety, or any other negative behavior or issue that seems to keep recurring in your life, no matter what you do.
Lack of self esteem, low self confidence or self belief, can make us feel we don’t deserve to feel any better than we do; that whatever is happening with us just isn’t important enough to merit help. Perhaps you look around you and you think, “I have everything I need, there’s nothing seriously wrong”, but still you feel bad, unhappy, dissatisfied.
Talking through our feelings with a trained therapist can help us to realise that we aren’t alone, and to understand where our thoughts and feelings in response to life’s events come from. Having a safe and nurturing space to explore these thoughts and feelings, without judgement, without pressure, with the company of a caring guide, can bring a sense of real relief and understanding, over time leading to a sense of self acceptance. Talking through these feelings and situations with a trained therapist can give you the space you need to get to honestly examine where negative feelings are coming from. It can help you reconnect with yourself and your hopes, dreams, desires.
Counselling can help you feel as though you have more control over your life and thus help with confidence issues.
Therapy can help you understand what is behind difficult behavior patterns. It can help you unpick the historical roots of what is happening inside you and help you to gain a new, clearer perspective and see how to develop more helpful ways of being.
We all change, we all learn and develop and grow depending on our circumstances. This change never stops. We are made redundant, a near one dies, we suffer an illness; or positive changes happen: we have children, move house, change job. Change of any kind can put strain on us and our relationships; if we don’t work through these strains with the people who are affected we can find ourselves wondering who we are and why we are here, with this person.
Counselling can give you the space to open up about what is bothering you, look at what change has happened and how it has affected you. It can help you decide how to move forward together or apart, in a way that is most. Couples counselling allows you to do this with your partner, giving you both the space and attention to share safely, and work through areas of conflict that would otherwise be too difficult.
You may find that trauma, either current or in your past, including historical sexual abuse or rape, is adversely affecting your ability to live the life you feel you want. It’s possible that you are suffering from post traumatic stress and are experiencing associated symptoms, such as flashbacks, night terrors, panic attacks and anxiety, and depression. Often trauma can be associated with alcohol or drug misuse, sexual problems, and boundary issues.
Therapy can help you to process the traumatic events and find healthy coping strategies. In therapy, you have the freedom to share your story in a non-judgemental, trusting and safe environment, helping you to counterbalance your feelings of powerlessness and isolation.
Grieving is an incredibly painful process. We all know that life inevitably leads to death, but the actual death of someone close, or significant in some way, can be truly traumatic. This is especially so if the death is sudden and unexpected, or affects a young person, or perhaps you have had a troubled relationship with the deceased person, or the circumstances of the death are difficult. Sometimes you can get stuck in the grieving process, unable to unravel the feelings of loss, guilt, anger, resentment that fill your heart.
Talking to a counsellor can help you process your feelings and reaction safely and in a way that makes sense. It can help you come to terms with the loss, and help make the pain more bearable.
Many of us find it difficult to make friends easily and talk to people in social situations, this can lead to isolation and loneliness. In therapy you will have the freedom to safely explore what may be getting in the way of you interacting more freely with people.
Working with your therapist you may be able to create new ways of seeing things and thus help make these situations much easier.