People see counsellors for many different issues. Some small, some large and seemingly insurmountable. Some see different counsellors over the years, tackling different angles of the same problem. And some couldn’t think of anything worse than opening up their inner world to a stranger. But, I reckon that if you are reading this, you’re probably considering giving it a do.
So in a bid to help normalise the process for you, here are some of the things people often see a counsellor for.
Why might I see a counsellor?
Perhaps you are experiencing relationship issues with your family, partner, or someone in your workplace. Or maybe you’re experiencing a lack of relationships, and a desire for more. We are relational creatures and when are relationships aren’t working well or there aren’t enough of them we tend to struggle. In therapy, we can look at what is being triggered in you by the other party and what you can do to change your situation.
Everything is co-created; in counselling you get help you take responsibility for your part of a relationship. This generally leads to a more live and let live approach in clients, which naturally helps all their relationships. For more information on couples counselling click here.
People also come into counselling if a person they are close to is unwell, or struggling in some way. Counselling can help build self-protective and self-supportive strategies to maintain the client’s mental health, as well as the health of the relationship.
It’s a real cliché; the old lying on the couch and talking about your childhood type of therapy. But the reality is that all of us are impacted in some way or another by our childhood experiences. Sometimes as an adult we find ourselves still acting and reacting from a place of childhood pain. Counselling can really help to acknowledge and heal that pain and experiment with new ways of acting and reacting that serve you more effectively.
Whatever the experience, it’s never too big or too small to work on in therapy. Sometimes in the case of traumatic childhood events, the client has the wisdom to protect themselves and not share the details of what happened, more to concentrate on the impact in the here and now and work on that. This is totally possible and sometimes necessary to help the client feel safe.
We all need more support when we are firing on less than four cylinders. This relates to both physical and mental health issues. Chronic pain sets off the same processes in the body as mental stress and needs a holistic approach. Therefore, illnesses can induce health-related anxieties in people. Counselling can help with managing this response.
Getting married? Having a baby? Changing jobs? Moving countries? Change and transition are hard for us humans. Even change we have desired and created ourselves causes us significant turmoil that a therapist can support us through. When you are experiencing change in your life, it is a good idea to see a counsellor to ensure that you’re managing the change effectively.
Anxiety symptoms and panic attacks
Many clients come into therapy to help reduce the symptoms and learn to manage their experience of anxiety. Anxiety can manifest in all sorts of ways. We can end up working on managing anger and frustrations, working to relieve the pressure of compulsive behaviour, or building up the confidence to grow a social support network. Anxiety is a pretty normal part of being a human, but it can also be debilitating.
Whether its drug, alcohol, work, behaviours, sex or something else. We become addicted to avoid how we feel. Counselling can help in various stages of the addictive cycle. It can help minimise harm, support abstinence or simply be there through what can be a recurring cycle. When the time is right, getting to know the feelings being covered up and learning new ways to regulate emotions can be achieved through counselling.
Whether it’s the loss of a loved one, a job, an imagined future, or a general loss of hope. Grief is a personal and unique process which can often feel like a very lonely journey. Counselling can help in sharing that experience and having a gentle space to be with your grief, witnessed and acknowledged by a caring and respectful other, for as long as it needs to be.
Recovering from trauma
Trauma relates to any experience where you have felt threatened. As a result, the recovery from a traumatic event or series of events can be a journey in itself. Counselling can help to find a place where that pain can sit and the other parts of yourself can look after it. It involves gaining awareness of your stress responses and how to manage triggers and look after yourself in a way that works for you. This is often delicate work and the right counsellor can be a very useful member of your team.
There are many more experiences that counselling can help with. Some huge life events and others less so.
Counselling is a place to feel safe and supported. To explore and share your inner world, to gain new insights and options, and to shift old pains that can be resulting in repeated unwanted behaviours. Counsellors aren’t magicians and do not have a magic wand to make it all better. Counselling requires commitment from the client to work; it’s about finding your own answers with the support from another, not about being told what to do.
So, in conclusion, if you think you might benefit from counselling or even if someone you respect thinks you might, then you should give it a go. You can find more information about my services and book your first appointment here. I look forward to hearing from you.