COUNSELLING HOUGHTON LE SPRING
Selecting The Most Appropriate Therapist Houghton le Spring
Counselling is a personal experience.
You will likely be sharing details of your life, that you wouldn't normally share with anyone else.
It's easy to feel exposed or intimidated, when starting out, until a rapport is established with your counsellor. The wrong counsellor can mean wasted money and lack of results, as well as reduced motivation.
Finding The Right Counsellor
The following elements should be present, between you and your counsellor, for best results:
- Secure - Feeling safe is a pre-requisite, before we can open up and reveal personal aspects of our worries, to anyone.
- Acceptance - Without the confidence that whatever we say, whatever interpretation we've given of a certain event, will be accepted, it can be hard to reveal much of our feelings, in order to get over them. The right counsellor will help pace the feelings and experiences you're describing, while allowing you to express all the associated feelings, untethered.
- Teamwork - Find someone who you can work together with easily, for best outcomes. Clients need the counsellor to lead the session, set a safe space, and assist with new perspectives needed. Equally, the counsellor depends on you to be as honest and open as possible, or they have nothing to work with, and little progress can be made. A two-way understanding is needed, to enable the change you want, to actually happen.
- Reciprocal Respect - Strong therapeutic relationships are built on a firm sense of respect and co-operation. e.g. Achieving results too quickly can actually be a bad thing!...if it causes too much discomfort. Be willing to change pace to match your counsellor, within reason. Be assured that the counsellor is guiding you towards a resolution on even the most emotional of issues. Once you have developed a few positive experiences with a counsellor, of revealing a small issue, and successfully working through it, trust can grow, mutual respect can widen, and motivation can increase, making further progress easier.
- Paying Attention - Is your counsellor alert and absorbing your feedback and input during sessions? A counsellor's silence can often be mistaken by the client as boredom or lack of interest. However, an experienced therapist is often ascertaining more from silence, or how the client fills in that silence - than the spoken word. Other times, the therapist may need you to listen - as they guide you towards seeing something from a different perspective. This can be challenging as we have invested a lot of time and energy in our pre-existing beliefs. It's easy to develop a habitual way of responding to certain questions, as we have done so, so many times, over years. Interesting results can be achieved by listening intently to the therapist's question, as though it's the first time you'd heard it.
- Empathy - Everyone, with no exceptions, needs validation in the human experience. Does your counsellor bring the human elements to therapy? Empathy, validation, and understanding are the only starting point that allow better interpretations of old events, to flourish.
- Enthusiasm - Unfortunately, a lack of energy and optimism are often what's brought us to counselling in the first place. Most commonly we've tried everything we can, on our own, to feel better, but were unable. Results from counselling take time - we are dealing often with long term or deep seated issues, that need solid detective work, before beginning the process of change. An experienced counsellor can use the minor gains made during initial sessions, to help build your confidence that bigger gains are likely, later in the process. Hope can carry us through even the darkest of times in life, and hope is important both in and out of the counselling room. To build hope from the start, ask your counsellor about their previous successes, in cases similar to yours. They won't disclose personal details, but the general picture they give you can help build confidence that this is a journey worth taking.
- Trust - Knowing that, when we do put forth our concerns, we can trust a counsellor to assist in the most appropriate way, no matter how deep our emotions or feelings, can allow even the deepest wounds to heal. Part of the reason we're often attending therapy at all, is that a part of us knows, that some meaning we have given an event, is not quite right, and is causing emotions and feelings to arise, too often. More personal hurts can be healed by working with a qualified counsellor, than by attempting to heal ourselves. An experienced therapist is equally skilled at navigating both the bigger picture of where the therapy is going, but also the smaller picture of where you're at now. The counsellor is not there to be your friend, however. If you're to get progress from therapy, you'll need new perspective on the meanings you've given to previous issues. The therapist will challenge your opinions, to help you arrive at better perspectives. The short term discomfort of having our model of the world challenged must be offset against the potential emotional gains to be made, and the skill of the therapist in guiding you there. Sometimes better results can be obtained by seeking out a counsellor you've already worked with in the past, or someone who understands your issues well, before you begin sessions.
- Insights - The professional status of a counsellor, and their detachment from your personal circumstances, means they gain nothing from telling you what you want to hear. Part of what you're paying a therapist for, is their ability to highlight big issues, and help you work through them. A trained counsellor can tell the difference between challenging you on an opinion or conclusion that may not be worthwhile, as opposed to helping you look differently at an event that can have a positive impact on your overall mental health. A therapist who recognises this quickly, can help you generate desired changes, quickly.
Depression Counselling Houghton le Spring
Depression is debilitating in that it is one of the few issues in life where the issue itself can prevent us from getting help for the issue - depression can stop us getting the help we need.
Depression can be the result of both unuseful thinking patterns and an ongoing state of helplessness or hopelessness. Counselling can help with both.
Other mental health options beyond counselling such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy have also proven effective for depression and are widely used in the NHS.
Get more info about counselling for depression.
To get the counselling options in Houghton le Spring, contact us direct, by calling 0191 580 3700, or completing the form opposite.
Anxiety Counselling In Houghton le Spring
The root of anxiety is often based in our learned associations - a repeated experience of negative reinforcement with something specific, can become a more generalised problem later in life, without realising.
Getting help to recognise where the anxiety may be coming from, in the past, can help you break the old association, from current events, and recognise the two are different.
More specific anxiety such as acute episodes of panic or panic attacks, also have their roots often in the past, perhaps with a one-off specific experience, or association to an event, that we don't consciously realise.
Getting the help of a therapist can assist you in recognising where a previous association to fear may lie, and how to see it differently. This may help with anxiety experienced current day.
Anxiety can be tackled with a variety of approaches in the counselling room, including EMDR, working on the original trauma, or deconditioning the associated experience.
Overcoming fear usually means giving your therapist the background information and allowing them to help guide you toward the best solution.
More info about counselling for anxiety is available on our main page here.
Every relationship goes through ups and downs, as part of the human experience. The differing interests, beliefs, values, and even generational differences, can unwittingly create tension that is difficult to explain or comprehend fully, without assistance.
Relationships with your significant other can be particularly challenging as their upbringing will consistently conflict with your own, in most cases.
Tackling relationship issues in counselling is often the first time couples have seriously spoken to each other about what they truly want from life, and what they expect from each other.
When you live everyday with your partner, it often takes another third party to step in and help you see the wood for the trees, inside the relationship.
In relationships, we are often seeking out a partner (unconsciously) to satisfy unmet needs of the past, or to resolve an issue we've had from a previous relationship. We don't realise this on a conscious level, of course.
Whilst we would all like to be able to improve our relationships without help, a private counsellor has the training and skills necessary to help you make noticeable improvements in daily life.
To find out more about relationship counselling, see our main page here.
Or, to arrange relationship counselling now, ring us direct on 0191 580 3700, or ask for a callback, on the form opposite. We'll ring you back at a convenient time.
Bereavement Counselling Houghton le Spring
The passing of a family member, friend, or pet usually explains an episode of sudden grief or loss. The extent of our grieving can differ though, from one individual to another. A sudden change of routine (as many experienced recently with covid), a friend moving away, or a fall-out between family members, can all result in significant grief, that many would dismiss as irrelevant or meaningless.
Simply starting the grieving process can be a challenge itself, as many worry they don't know how to grieve, or feel they should be grieving more, or less, than they are. Others become caught in a prolonged state of grieving, unable to continue functional life without feeling the deep emotions of loss acutely during everyday life.
Grief counselling is available to help you begin to process long or short term grief, in a supportive, structured, and safe space.
More information about grief and bereavement counselling is here.
To get started with grief counselling, call us direct, on 0191 580 3700.
Anger results from a sense of values being broken, or boundaries being impeded upon.
Anger can also be caused by too many "shoulds" in life, making it easy for self or others to break self-set rules, thus resulting in anger.
Irregular bouts of anger can crop up during particularly stressful times or life events, and can be managed temporarily by attempting to alleviate stress in general.
Therapy for anger is quite different - and focuses instead on detective work around past events in life, family life, relationship issues, etc, as a means to get to the root of the anger habit.
While practical tools and in-the-moment techniques are enough for many, it may benefit those looking for a longer term solution to focus on counselling instead of anger management.
Find out more about anger counselling here.
Our therapists can normally help with counselling for anger issues. To check on costs and ask questions, call us direct on 0191 580 3700.
In reality, most of us are unaware, at a conscious level, of how an event can affect us, emotionally.
Some traumatic events can keep us in a state of fight/flight until we're able to process them in a more gentle way.
Breaking these norms of experience can result in trauma - and feelings of isolation, loss of appetite, lack of socialising, dissociation and lack of interest in life.
We usually think of trauma as being an isolated incident, with it's victims typically portrayed as soldiers in combat, families in a war zone, or victims of domestic violence at home.
Multiple smaller traumatic episodes can also result in accumulated emotional difficulties over time, and it can be more difficult to label these issues as in need of acute mental health care, when compared to more impactful, one-off traumas from widely recognised sources.
A trauma counsellor can help with both types of trauma. Some have additional qualifications to assist with specialist interventions such as EMDR, or NLP techniques that have been effective with trauma sufferers in the past.
By its very nature, trauma work needs an attentive and sympathetic counsellor.
Get full info on trauma counselling.
Questions about trauma counselling? Ring us direct on 0191 580 3700.
Addiction Counselling Houghton le Spring
Addiction can happen to us in a subtle way, in the background of our life, without us realising.
Sometimes, when going through exceptional stress, we adopt a certain way to cope, as a one-off means to feel better.
Repeatedly turning to this one way to feel better, can result in addiction.
With too much substance or behaviour abuse comes rationalisation - the belief that the level of stress we're dealing with is now normal - when in fact it is not.
While most present with an addiction to a substance like alcohol or drugs, an increasing number are developing behavioural addictions which could benefit from counselling, such as collecting or hoarding behaviour, viewing pornography obsessively, or compulsive shopping.
Counselling can help you overcome addiction by first understanding the benefit you get, from the substance or behaviour itself. It can also assist you in developing practical means to cope with the addiction in the short term, while longer term work on the underlying causes continues.
For advice on addiction counselling options, ring us direct on 0191 580 3700.
Arranging Counselling For The First Time
Getting To Know Each Other
It's important agree the parameters of your work together, from the outset.
Some counsellors offer the first session free, to see if you are a good fit together. Check if your first meeting carries standard charges or not.
Agreeing On Progress Goals
Have an open and frank discussion with your counsellor at the beginning, so that you see eye to eye on what will happen next. Dealing with these issues up front makes it easier to get on with the job at hand, later.
Get Answers For These Important Questions
Asking specific questions before beginning work with a counsellor can help avoid wasted time and money.
How likely is it that I don't feel better after counselling?
- Make sure you stay connected with your therapist, and share the same expectations about the practical elements, throughout. This also helps the therapist navigate your sessions together to be the most comfortable experience possible.
How long will this take?
- Understand that this is a question with no one fixed, correct, answer. You're looking here for more of how the counsellor reacts, rather than the content of the answer. In reality, duration will depend on multiple factors:
- What comes up during therapy, that needs to be dealt with, that wasn't anticipated beforehand.
- More past events than expected, may be contributing to the pattern of the problem you're experiencing in the here and now. These events take time to process, and feel better about, and can slow the progress of the main issue you went to counselling for. Nevertheless, they are usually necessary to overcome, for best results.
- Each individual processes emotions and changes of meaning, at a different rate, that is unique to them. Expecting anything different would not be appropriate.
For all these reasons, don't expect a concrete answer to this question - even a very experienced therapist will be giving you their best estimate, before therapy begins - there is no more accurate information available.
Also, bear in mind - a counsellor's job is to help you feel better and process events and meanings better, to result in better emotional feelings and mental health. A longer time frame commitment from you, gives the therapist greater confidence in opening up longer term issues for work, they otherwise wouldn't do, with only a shorter time frame available. Events with greater emotional intensity must be managed carefully. A good therapist will make sure there are no emotional loose ends left, at the end of treatment. If you are not open and honest throughout counselling sessions, it can present the possibility of sessions suddenly coming to an end, when emotions are high, and difficult to manage alone.
What is your background in counselling?
- Some counsellors can work a lifetime in only one problem area - making them very specialist - and sometimes more sought after. Being prudent with pre-purchase questions like these, will help you ascertain which therapist it's worth taking the counselling journey with.
Can I start right away?
- Therapists are usually busy people, with little spare time between sessions. Getting logistics sorted out now, will help later.
Counsellors Available In Houghton le Spring
Truth Counselling's counsellors work independently. Central Newcastle is home to most of our therapists, however we can usually arrange sessions in surrounding Tyne & Wear locations, like Houghton le Spring. Please ask if unsure.
How To Enquire About Counselling
Get an idea of costs, and availability, by ringing us direct on 0191 580 3700.
Our counsellors adhere to the BACP code of ethics and practice.
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