Selecting The Best Counsellor Longbenton
Counselling can be an intimidating experience, for those experiencing it for the first time.
Your counsellor will understand you, in a unique way, that few (if any) others, do.
Professionals are used to dealing with life's personal details, but you may not be so used to opening up in this way. The wrong counsellor can mean wasted money and lack of results, as well as reduced motivation.
Finding The Right Therapist/Talk Therapist
The following elements should be present, between you and your counsellor, for best results:
- Safety - First and foremost, we need to feel safe to open up about our concerns, in order to receive the help to overcome them.
- Permission - The therapy room should be a safe space where you have permission to express your feelings in a safe and protected environment. An experienced talk therapist can "hold the therapeutic space" no matter what trauma or issue arises, and help you navigate it, without feeling judgement or blame.
- 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 mutually supportive, collaborative environment can help you get the change you want quickly, with the minimum of discomfort.
- Mutual respect - You & your counsellor require a sense of two-way understanding between you, and a respect for each other, in every element of the counselling relationship. e.g. If your therapist works too slow - the lack of results can mean motivation reduces. But if they work too fast, it can feel awkward, or distressing. Understand that, even through the difficult sessions, the counsellor has a clear path ahead for you, and knows what they are doing. Small wins can be the catalyst encouraging longer term gains, as the counselling relationship continues.
- Active Listener - Thorough counsellors are accomplished at active listening. 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. Likewise, as the client, you need to willing to listen to the context or perspective the therapist is attempting to help you see, even if emotions are high, and focus is difficult. We all have our stock responses for certain questions, that have become our usual responses, over the years. However, concentrating on the questions asked, and providing answers that are unfiltered, and represent your true thoughts and feelings, will help you achieve results noticeably better, than simply responding with what you think you should respond with.
- Sympathetic - Before beginning to change any one thought pattern, or conclusion we've arrived at, as human beings we need to know that the meaning we arrived at, for certain events, is ok, and acceptable. An empathetic therapist hears and understands your issues, but also has the insight to guide you toward an even more helpful perspective.
- Hopeful - Most of us begin the counselling journey at a place where we do desperately need hope. We usually need therapy help, because we've tried to overcome the issues ourselves, but without success. 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. Sometimes getting wins from counselling is a combination of small wins initially, plus a lot of faith of greater future gains. Being hopeful about the future is important, no matter how negative our current circumstances may seem. Try to find a counsellor who helps you feel hopeful about the process, and the journey, from the outset.
- Trust - We have to first feel trust, that the counsellor can handle our emotional baggage, before we have confidence to release it. In counselling, most of us reveal aspects of ourselves and our feelings, we don't reveal to anyone else, even family or loved ones. The impartiality of a third party therapist, can help us open up to heal previous hurts more fully than working with someone we know. 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. However, if the counsellor always agreed with you, they would be a very well paid friend...correct? Their job is different. Part of their role is to help you question the meanings you have assigned to certain events - in order to help you feel better about them. Our instinct, when we feel attacked in this way, is to retaliate - but be assured that these challenges are well intentioned, and are there for the purpose of helping you heal. A professional with more specialism in your particular area of concern may help here.
- Perspective - A key reason people attend therapy is they feel - stuck - with a particular circumstance or set of feelings. A counsellor can help you identify practical actions that may help - but more importantly - highlight new perspectives that help you feel better, too. Having the insight to see what meanings need to be changed, to feel better, is something best left to the professionals. The difference is priceless, in the emotional peace a client experiences, over time.
Depression Counselling In Longbenton
Ironically, depression itself can stop us getting help for depression - making it one of the most debilitating mental health challenges we face.
Counselling can help with both short term and chronic depression, helping you identify and correct the day to day thinking patterns as well as understand the root cause.
Some also look at other options for depression, such as herbal remedies e.g. St John's Wort, or supplements such as 5 Hydroxy-Tryptophan. Always seek the advice of your medical professional, for these items.
Our main page for depression has more information.
Or, to enquire about counselling for depression in Longbenton, contact us direct using the link below.
Although not always the case, the main driver of anxiety, can be conditioning, rather than beliefs. This means, an association we've developed attached to a certain set of circumstances or events, that we've developed unconsciously.
A counsellor can help you identify how the past contributes to a current day pattern of anxiety in your life, and how to work on it, so that it produces less of an overt reaction in day-to-day life.
Sometimes anxiety only occurs in very specific situations. These can be associated with just one event in the past (if traumatic) enough, where we've learned to fear a certain set of circumstances or events.
Working on the associations of the past in this way, can often ease the anxiety experienced in present day life.
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.
Long term relief from anxiety can only be gained once your therapist has the information they need. They may ask about how the fear state happens over time, how it manifests specifically, and your current coping mechanisms.
Find out more about counselling for anxiety, here.
Relationship Counselling Longbenton
All relationships go through turbulence, no matter who we are. In fact, relationships with those closest to us, like family, are often the most difficult. The differing interests, beliefs, values, and even generational differences, can unwittingly create tension that is difficult to explain or comprehend fully, without assistance.
Romantic relationships will always involve disagreements, over everything from the mundane routine of daily life, to one-off incidents, like infidelity.
Both people in a relationship can benefit, either from acute help for an urgent relationship difficulty, or ongoing work on relationship communication and interaction.
It often takes an impartial counsellor to help both parties in the relationship see the world from the other's perspective.
Many times we don't understand our partner as we don't understand their past. The therapist can assist in helping each individual discover the whys behind the day to day behaviours they see, and how to navigate them.
Finding your way around these issues can be tricky without experienced help.
Get more info on our main page for relationship and marriage counselling, here.
If you want to get started with counselling for your relationship, get in touch by calling 0191 580 3700, or drop us an email at info ((at)) truthcounsellingnewcastle.co.uk.
We usually associate bereavement with the passing of a loved one, or a pet. However, loss can be more subtle, yet just as profound, when it manifests differently. Substantial emotional symptoms can result from (e.g.) loss of function due to retirement, loss of purpose when children move out, or loss of contact with children, when separating due to divorce.
Some are just beginning the grieving process and don't feel able to grieve, or feel fully. It's also possible to become stuck in a never-starting, or never-ending cycle of grief, which carries its own complications.
Whether you've been suffering over a long term period with chronic grief issues, or lost something or someone only recently, bereavement counselling can help you identify the difference between appropriate grieving and unhealthy levels of grief, as well as practical coping mechanism and supports to use.
Get more info on our main grief counselling page, here.
Or, to speak with a counsellor to set sessions up - ring us direct on 0191 580 3700.
Anger Counselling Longbenton
Anger is often the result of one of our most basic beliefs or values being contradicted.
If internal beliefs, or model of the world, is too restrictive, it can become all to easy to shatter internal ideas about how the world should be, thus resulting in an angry outburst.
Periodic angry episodes happen to us all, but more frequent or uncontrollable anger is more likely to require intervention and therapeutic help.
Managing anger practically like this, can help for the short term, but for long term resolution, therapeutic intervention is usually needed to understand the past, and how it has led to current day feelings of anger, as a habit.
If you cannot attend therapy for practical reasons or don't have enough time, perhaps anger management would be enough. However the time invested in therapeutic work is usually well rewarded.
More info on anger counselling options is available here.
Counselling for anger is available. To book sessions, call direct on 0191 580 3700.
Trauma/PTSD Counselling Longbenton
A one-off, acute traumatic experience can last only seconds, but the emotional impact can last for years or decades, unless help is sought.
When an event happens in the outside world which goes against our understanding of life, it results in trauma, that is unprocessed.
Symptoms like desire to be alone, depression, helplessness or hopelessness, and social isolation can all be signs of unresolved trauma that may need professional help to resolve.
We often have a fixed idea about what trauma is, with a vision of a helpless person suffering a huge incident.
There is however also a lesser known version of trauma, the small t trauma - often a series of repeating minor episodes, nevertheless still resulting in longer term unresolved emotional distress.
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.
Taking the step the get counselling can feel scary at first. But your counsellor has seen and heard emotional complaints of every size and type over their experience.
We have more info on trauma counselling options on our main page here.
To arrange counselling for trauma, or find out if we might work well together, ring us direct on 0191 580 3700, or request a callback, here.
It's easy to become addicted to something in the course of day-to-day life, without noticing it happening consciously.
Sometimes, when going through exceptional stress, we adopt a certain way to cope, as a one-off means to feel better.
But, continuing to abuse this mechanism we've found, over time, can lead to an unhealthy dependence.
This can be a dangerous time - as too much overuse of one coping mechanism can convince us that the level of stress we're under - is ok.
Counselling can assist also in cases of non-substance related addiction, such as obsessive cleaning, or collecting things.
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.
Questions re addiction counselling? Get answers direct on 0191 580 3700.
Beginning The Counselling Journey
How often do you expect counselling sessions? What progress do you expect to make? Define fast and slow progress? These expectations can cary widely, so make sure you and your therapist agree on the details, from the outset.
Some counsellors offer the first session free, to see if you are a good fit together. Sometimes the first session is allocated a standard rate.
Have an open and frank discussion with your counsellor at the beginning, so that you see eye to eye on what will happen next. It's important to do this from the outset so that you understand each others' expectations, and the following sessions can focus on the counselling itself and not the practical elements.
Top Questions To Ask
Getting answers to well chosen queries up front will help you make the right decision about what counsellor to choose.
What action do we take if I don't get any benefit from counselling?
- It's important, throughout the sessions you have, to check in with your therapist about the progress you're making, and your expectations of results and timeline going forward. This also helps the therapist navigate your sessions together to be the most comfortable experience possible.
How many sessions should this issue take, in your experience?
- 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.
- Differing rates at which different individuals are able to make sense of, and re-process, events. There is no one fixed "speed" of emotional healing, and to expect this would be unreasonable.
Therefore, please do not expect a definitive answer to this question.
In terms of timescales, you both need to allow enough time to open up, access, and feel better about painful long term memories. 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. Naturally, deeper work requires more time. 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.
Do you have research interests, or a specialism in one particular type of counselling?
- Certain types of therapy carry with them, specific types of training or qualifications. 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?
- Tracking down a specialist with expertise in your issue is one thing - but are they free to work with you? Don't forget to check.
Therapy In Longbenton
Our therapists work independently. Although most of our counsellors are located in the Newcastle area, different counsellors offer therapy at different locations throughout Tyne & Wear, by arrangement.
Getting Started With Counselling In Longbenton
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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