Why people come to counselling
There are many reasons why people come to counselling. It might follow a traumatic event such as loss or bereavement, or perhaps after a relationship has ended. Others might look for therapy to help with long-standing issues like anxiety or depression, or to be free of addictive behaviour. Some people are struggling with an event or experience from their past, or low self-esteem. At its heart, counselling sets aside the time and creates the space to talk about these issues and problems, and whether we refer to it as ‘therapy’ or ‘counselling’, people come to work on those issues and make a positive change in their life.
What are there signs I need counselling?
You might have already experienced some of the above, but how do you know if therapy could help? Referring to guidance published by the American Psychological Society, an article published on goodtherapy.org suggests the following might help you decide:
- Your quality of life has suffered because of an issue or concern.
- You have developed or changed behaviour to try and cope with it.
- Thinking about a problem, or trying to cope with one, is occupying your mind for upwards of one hour each day.
- You think the issue is embarrassing, or you have started avoiding other people as a way of dealing with it.
- The problem has had an impact on your relationships or affects your work life or education.
Of course, because we all experience and manage issues differently, the above is only a guide. If you need further guidance, look for a counsellor who is a member a professional organisation such as BABCP or BACP (you can find me on the BACP Register). Registered therapists should work within their organisation’s ethical framework, and will be able to advise whether counselling is right for you. There is unlikely to be a charge for that first contact, and opening a conversation via phone, email or video will give you a good idea about what a particular therapist can help with. It will also give you a better idea about how they work, the types of therapy offered, and whether they are likely to suit your individual character. Taking that first step isn’t always easy but it begins that journey towards positive change.
What can therapy help with?
Please see my Therapy and Me page for the issues I can help with. These include anxiety, depression, stress, and bereavement. In addition I work with problems arising from family and personal relationships, as well as addiction and unwanted behaviour. I also work with people struggling with stress, low-mood, and feeling sad. Although my therapy services do not cover all issues, I will be clear where I can and cannot help and will be happy to advise you further.
How much work do I need to put in?
Therapy sessions are 50 minutes long, usually once per week, but this can be less frequent if you prefer. Changes brought about by COVID-19 and the increase in video and phone counselling mean that sessions are more flexible than ever before. Therapy can be demanding because it involves talking about issues that are causing you difficulty. This might mean you feel sad, vulnerable, or even angry, but thinking about and understanding these difficult feelings is an important part of the process. Within the safe space of counselling, processing your feelings in a new way gives you an opportunity to change their effect on your life.
What are the outcomes of counselling?
This will differ from one person to another, but you are likely to learn more about yourself, your behaviour, and your relationships with others. You might also realise that triggers make you act in a certain way, for example how an unexpected invitation to an event might trigger social anxiety, resulting in you missing something important. Therapy allows you to really work on your concerns and problems, and even if you can’t change the circumstances that led to them, you might at least find new ways of dealing with these issues. You might also see benefits in your overall mental health.
If you are asking the question, ‘do I need counselling’, and would like to know more, why not get in touch? You can call me on 07824 385338 or use the form on the Contact me page. I will get back to you as soon as possible, and we will discuss whether therapy might benefit you. There is no obligation to book a session, and I will advise you honestly and ethically.