Could Therapy Help Me?

... if you are  struggling and suffering with life or are feeling a bit lost, then yes

Counselling and psychotherapy is widely recognised to improve emotional wellbeing by alleviating a wide variety of mental health issues and problems in living - see here for some evidence that backs this up.  In order to benefit you don't need a diagnosis or to be in crisis or even to understand what the problem is.  Seeking out therapy is an individual choice and people come to therapy for a variety of reasons.  Sometimes this may be to help with a long standing psychological difficulty, or it may be a particular issue like anxiety, depression, or a challenging relationship.  Other times it’s in response to significant life events or unexpected changes, such as the death of a loved one, the breakdown of a relationship or the loss of a job.  Alternatively, many people seek help because they feel that something is wrong but they don't know what it is or because experiences in their past or way of being in the world is impacting how they relate to others and respond to the challenges they face.  Some come for their own personal development as they pursue personal exploration and growth.

Whether the problem is your life circumstances, relationships, your past, or it feels like it’s something about you, if you’re suffering and struggling, feel like you’ve lived too much in the recent past on ‘automatic pilot,’ or if it’s becoming increasingly difficult to live how you wish and like it's time to unwind what's going on, or you want to develop greater self knowledge and understanding, or need support getting out of your own way or navigating a difficult life transition, therapy could help you.

Deciding to come to therapy can be a difficult decision, especially if you have never experienced it before. The thought of sharing your feelings with a stranger can feel very daunting.  You may think that your issues are not significant enough or that you might be seen to be “making a fuss about nothing”. Alternatively, you may worry that your problems are so huge that they may overwhelm anybody you choose to share them with.  No matter what the reason for contacting me, you will be met with compassion, curiosity and professionalism. Therapy is right for anyone interested in getting more out of life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change.

Friends and family members can be of great support but sometimes they are too close to help; you may be worried about the effect that sharing your worries would have on them or they may form part of the problem.  Perhaps everything you've tried so far to improve things hasn't helped in the way you'd hoped, and you’ve run out of ideas. Perhaps you haven’t had the safe and accepting environment to work through your problems, or the people you turned to haven’t quite given you what you needed.  This is where working with a therapist can help.  The therapeutic relationship is like no other. At its best it is intimate, supportive, and challenging all at the same time.  A warm and secure relationship yet with clearly defined boundaries where you can feel heard, seen and acknowledged for who you are can provide the much-needed space for you to say how you really feel - and tell the situation as it really is.  You can read more about what therapy is like with me and my approach by following the links.
 

Therapy is about having a space to be, and a supportive place to express and process your emotions and to reflect on yourself and your life to help you to better understand yourself: how you relate to yourself internally and how you relate to others around you.  Together, we can work at a pace that suits you to help you explore what is important to you.   The relationship with your therapist is a key factor in helping to understand patterns and behaviours which can be unhelpful or destructive.    Often this will provide a fresh perspective on difficult problems, provide a new blueprint for relating to other people,  unearth potential and free you up to live more fully and more creatively and so get more out life.   Working with a therapist may also assist you in opening up previously unknown or unacknowledged aspects of yourself which will enable you to become more who you are in order that it becomes possible to face each moment openly and freshly without the protection of a pre-formed opinion, position, attitude, or expectation.  It is not about me telling you what to do, but more about supporting you to find your own solutions, giving you the choice to make meaningful and lasting changes in your life.  Whilst I won’t give advice or tell you what you should do, often working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all helping to manage all types of life challenges such as  interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life.

Some of the benefits can include:

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values

  • Developing skills for improving your relationships

  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy

  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety

  • Better management of powerful emotions such as anger, grief and depression

  • Improving communications and listening skills

  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones

  • Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage

  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

I am keen to work with you if you have experienced abuse, trauma, loss or bereavement of if you are experiencing Anxiety,  Depression, Relationship issues or are struggling with your identity, including sexuality and gender.  My practice also includes working with clients experiencing, difficult life transitions, feeling “stuck” or seeking a higher quality of life, social phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder and stress management.  

I can also help with:

  • Addiction, substance misuse

  • Anger management

  • Anxiety

  • Career/employment issues

  • Chronic illness

  • Codependence

  • Complex PTSD

  • Cultural issues

  • Depression

  • Domestic violence

  • Eating disorders

  • Envy / jealousy

  • Gender-related issues

  • Guilt, shame

  • Identity issues

  • Lack of life purpose/meaning

  • Life transitions/change

  • Loneliness

  • Loss/bereavement

  • Low self-esteem

  • Low/unstable mood

  • Obsessions & compulsions

  • Panic

  • Parenting difficulties

  • Personal development

  • Phobic behaviours

  • Physical abuse

  • Prejudice, discrimination

  • Psychological and emotional abuse

  • Relationship problems

  • Self-harm

  • Sexual abuse

  • Sexuality

  • Social oppression

  • Spirituality

  • Stress

  • Suicidality

  • Traumatic experiences

Anxiety

Anxiety is a feeling of worry or fear that is a normal response to a range of different situations. It can be triggered by traumatic events, social and workplace situations, or simply manifest itself as a feeling of general unease and stress. It can often stem from difficult life transitions, such as divorce, bereavement, sudden changes or other cumulative factors. Experiencing a certain degree of anxiety is natural, but experiencing too much anxiety can affect your mental health. Living in a constant or near-constant state of anxiety you feel unable to control can be destabilising and rarely corrects by itself. Under stress, your body releases a hormone called cortisol to reduce the stressful feeling and over time cortisol can weaken your immune system. This is why treating anxiety generally improves your overall health as well as your mental wellbeing.  Therapy can help you explore the causes of the anxiety you are experiencing, which can be the first step in addressing it and finding new ways to manage it.

Depression

Depression is a very common condition that can be triggered by traumatic events or appear for seemingly no reason, often involving a combination of biological and socio-emotional factors.  It can affect your body, mood, behaviour and thoughts and create feelings like loneliness, fear, guilt, and worthlessness. Sadly, many people struggle with these feelings on their own for months, or even years, before getting professional help. If you suspect you may be experiencing depression do get in touch - depression can be effectively treated, but only you can take the first step.

Abuse & Trauma

Abuse is when the way others treat you becomes harmful to you. Trauma is when stressful events that you experience shatter your sense of security and make you feel unsafe, helpless or vulnerable in a dangerous world. Immediately after a traumatic event, shock and denial are typical. Longer term reactions include unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships and even physical symptoms like headaches or nausea. While these feelings are normal, some people have difficulty moving on with their lives. Therapy can provide a space that allows you to process trauma and abuse.  This will involve working with you to reflect on what has happened and how it might be affecting your life today. The focus is on compassion, listening and understanding your experience rather than making a diagnosis.  This can help you to process what has happened to lessen the impact that it may be having on your mind and body so that you can feel better about yourself.

Loss & Bereavement

Though death usually comes into our lives much later than in previous generations we will all have encounters with this ultimate truth at some point. Grief is a complex emotion and often taps into other powerful feelings and instincts, especially around how we attach to significant others in our lives. It's normal to experience a range of emotions, including anger, sadness, loneliness, guilt and anxiety during bereavement. This host of emotions, together with adjusting to living in a world that is very different without your loved one, can be overwhelming. Therapy can provide a safe and supportive space where feelings around a bereavement can be expressed, witnessed and processed.  Therapy can also help you to integrate the feelings of loss into your life and support you as you adapt to life without your loved one.

Relationships

Relationships are a key part of our lives. Whilst they can bring us a great deal of happiness and support, they can often be the source of psychological and emotional distress. Therapy can provide a supportive and non-judgemental environment to help you speak about and identify problems in relationships and find a way through those difficulties. It can also help you to better understand how past experiences may cause you, and loved ones, to relate in ways that are unhealthy or damaging. Therapy can also help you work through breakup or separations, help you to rebuild a relationship and help you to better understand how you relate to others.  Therapy also provides the opportunity to explore past and current experiences of being close to others, and what this really means for us, whilst working to strengthen our own sense of self, so that we no longer feel bewildered by the relationships we choose and patterns of behaviour we adopt throughout our lives. This can lead to a greater sense of ourselves in the world we live in, and a deeper understanding of our relationships.

Identity Issues

Developing a sense of self, or an identity, is an essential part of every individual becoming mature. Struggling with various parts of identity is natural and normal. Developing an identity or sense of self and those traits a person desires to have can take time and may be challenging. Not having a strong sense of self or struggling with identity issues may lead to anxiety and insecurity. Identity issues may also lead to depression, hopelessness, addiction and more. Therapy offers a safe and supportive space in where people can explore the issues related to their identity which can lessen feelings of anxiety, insecurity and depression. Through therapy, people can also find ways to cope with struggles associated with their identity, build a stronger identity, and ultimately find themselves and become themselves in the process. A strong core sense of self allows us to move through life sometimes adapting and constantly growing as we become more of ourselves within, with others and in the world.