How counselling can help
Do any of the following sentences seem familiar?
“How is it that everyone else is managing so well but I feel like I’m struggling to cope? I should be able to manage life better.”
“People are always telling me how good I am at my job – they don’t know that I’m really terrified and just keeping ahead of the game. Sooner or later I’ll get found out.”
“I wish that voice inside that’s telling me I’m going to mess things up would shut up. I really need to pull myself together.”
“I just want a break. But I know if I handed some of this responsibility over to someone else it wouldn’t get done properly and I’d just have more work cleaning up the mess.”
“I know what I’d say to someone else if they told me they felt like this – why can’t I sort myself out?”
Thoughts like this are normal. Honestly. Sometimes there is a little child part of you inside, that gets prodded when you’re dealing with something it finds difficult. You can try shutting your ears to it but you feel uncomfortable…..or embarrassed… or unreasonably anxious… or you think “I’m just being silly”.
You keep up a brave face and always have a smile; you keep things under control; you keep on taking care of other people. You make sure that you do things just right because you can’t bear that feeling of shame if you make a mistake. You think “I just need to pull myself together – I should be able to cope.”
But, you know, sometimes that little child part of you just needs someone to listen – YOU to listen. And perhaps you could use a little bit of help to learn to listen to that part of you, especially if you find it scary, the idea of letting that voice out.
It’s important to me to acknowledge the impact that your past and present experiences have on you. Experience has shown me that people who receive diagnoses of ADHD and autism often feel relief to have it confirmed that they process things in a way that our neurotypical world doesn’t facilitate or support, and such a diagnosis may help them access resources to compensate for this. However, having the validation that a diagnosis may bring doesn’t wash away the hurt caused by years of having been treated as ‘wrong’, ‘difficult’ or ‘different’ by a culture that prioritises a neuro-normative way of thinking and behaving.
Labels of mental ‘disorders’, alternatively, can medicalise distress, and disempower people, implying that there is ‘something wrong with me’. Very often, what you’re experiencing in terms of thoughts, feelings or behaviours, is likely to be a normal response to the environment you grew up in, treatment that you’ve received, and the experience of trying to live in a world that puts emphasis on economic growth at the expense of the health of the overall population of people and the planet. What you think and feel may well make perfect sense as a survival response to threat.
“Instead of asking what’s wrong with you, ask what happened to you.”
Counselling and walk-and-talk
Talking can really help. It seems like magic, but there is scientific evidence for it. Areas in the brain can shrink from under-use, but they can also be built and strengthened, and talking therapy actively contributes to this. Changes in the brain are promoted by the experience of sharing thoughts and feelings within a safe, secure relationship. In the blog What happens in therapy? – PART 2 I explain more about how counselling actually promotes change.
Counselling and psychotherapy can provide a safe, non-judgmental space where you can open up and explore what’s going on for you. You might want to focus on something very specific – anxiety therapy, for example – or you might not be sure what it is that you need. Whatever the reason that you’ve found my website, counselling can probably help you feel better, help you understand your reactions, help you get in touch with your emotions. Often the changes you make may seem small, but can significantly improve your life.
Among other things, I can help you with:
- Grief or loss
- Learning to live with a long term condition
- Self-criticism or lack of self-belief
- Anger management
- Feeling stressed
- Life changes
- Difficulty with relationships
- Getting in touch with your inner child
- Lack of purpose or meaning
Inner relationship focusing
Where counselling is often about learning to voice what’s going on inside you to someone else, and to become more comfortable with that, inner relationship focusing is about learning to listen to yourself. Focusing can help you be alongside thoughts and feelings that you might usually try and ignore, because you’re afraid of being overwhelmed by them. I can facilitate your ability to build a relationship with those parts of you that don’t usually get heard. You might be surprised that when you turn towards those distressed inner parts of yourself, the intensity of the feelings will ease.
Focusing can be particularly helpful with anxious thoughts and feelings and your inner critic, and it can also be a way of accessing feelings if you’re someone who experiences feeling numb or not being sure what you feel – because in focusing, we can bring attention to other ways in which your body expresses itself – through physical sensations, imagery, or memories, for example.
You may find it difficult to believe, but you probably already have the answers within you. Those answers may well be buried deep, through years of conditioning. I offer you the opportunity to understand and like yourself better, and to learn to find and listen to that inner wisdom. Through therapy or inner relationship focusing, I can help you to find out what you really want in order to move forward. It may not be an easy journey, but it will be a rewarding one that offers more
You have nothing to lose by finding out more – I don’t charge for answering questions!
Book a session
I have sessions available from next week, so please get in touch to find out more.
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