COUNSELLING SOUTH SHIELDS
Selecting The Right Therapist South Shields
Counselling can be an intimidating experience, for those experiencing it for the first time.
Your counsellor is privy to aspects of your life, that no-one else is, not even family.
Although the counsellor may be impartial and ambivalent, opening up during a counselling session can feel vulnerable. Making sure you've picked the right counsellor can mean the difference between a few short sessions with an unsuccessful outcome; and lasting positive change in your life.
Finding The Right Counsellor
A functional counselling relationship, depends upon several key factors:
- Safety - First and foremost, we need to feel safe to open up about our concerns, in order to receive the help to overcome them.
- Approval - A competent therapist should help you feel unconditionally accepted, no matter your feelings you have about a particular event. You'll know you may have found the best therapist when they allow you to fully express what's going on, without feeling restricted.
- Collaboration - A strong therapeutic relationship is very much a team-oriented endeavour. As a client you depend on the therapist to lend insight and perspective on the issue you face. However, if you are not 100% open and honest with the therapist, results achieved may be lacking. A two-way understanding is needed, to enable the change you want, to actually happen.
- 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. Be assured that the counsellor is guiding you towards a resolution on even the most emotional of issues. Small wins can be the catalyst encouraging longer term gains, as the counselling relationship continues.
- Listening - One of the main counselling tasks is to be a good listener. Attention should be paid by the counsellor, to what the client says, but more importantly, what is also not said - as context, and non-verbal cues can often speak more about the meaning a client is giving to a word or phrase - than the words themselves. 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. Rather than giving your rote-learned responses to your therapists questions, try to do your own active listening, instead. 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.
- Hopeful - Most of us begin the counselling journey at a place where we do desperately need hope. A lot of folks find themselves at counselling sessions as a lst resort - they've tried everything they can think of, already. 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. But rather than holding out all hope for fantastic gains of huge magnitude, take faith and joy in the small steps during your counselling journey too, because they point you to other realisations you wouldn't otherwise have made.
- Trust - The inner child, in all of us, seeks to protect us above all else. If the environment is not supportive of vulnerable issues surfacing, they will not be allowed to do so. 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. The impartiality of a third party therapist, can help us open up to heal previous hurts more fully than working with someone we know. Trust is required that (I) the counsellor can guide the entire counselling journey with you and (ii) they have the skills and competence required to help you resolve each individual hurt, too. Expect a counsellor to challenge you - that's their job. Expect your beliefs, values, and opinions, to be shaken up, and looked at closely - this is where much of the healing potential lies. 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. Looking for a counsellor with more long term experience can help.
- Insightful - An external counsellor can be detached from your day to day life - a counsellor is not your friend, and has no investment in pacifying you with total and unequivocal acceptance - (s)he has the impartiality and detachment needed to help you confront your biggest issues head-on, in a way that friends would let slip by, for the sake of not causing a fuss. 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. Your long term mental health can make great gains, where these fine distinctions are clearly recognised.
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.
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.
There's more info on depression, here.
Ring us direct on 0191 580 3700 to check on availability and pricing of counselling in South Shields.
Anxiety Counselling South Shields
Long term generalised anxiety often comes from a learned association - a conditioning experience we've had repeatedly over time, but never really realised the conclusions we were making about it, unconsciously.
Techniques used by counsellors may help reduce the serverity of the anxiety reaction you're used to, as well as help you understand how the pattern of anxiety has developed.
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.
A counsellor can help you unearth where such an association may lie, and to view it from a different perspective, to help ease current day to day life.
Multiple techniques are available when working with anxiety, such as desensitisation, exposure therapy, or purely work on past events in the therapy room.
Your counsellor is best placed to guide you through the best options for you, that will provides the greatest relief over time.
Get the full info on counselling for anxiety here.
From time to time we all have difficulties in relationships, whether this is a romantic relationship or not. We all experience relationship difficulties, because, quite simply, we are all individuals, with unique backgrounds, history, upbringing, and values.
Marriages or civil partnerships can come under strain from issues like contrasting interests, differing priorities, and disagreements about what's important in life.
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.
A counsellor has the training and insight required to assist both parties to see the history and real reasons behind each individual's behaviour, and thus allow clearer communication to flow.
Finding your way around these issues can be tricky without experienced help.
Counselling for your relationship or marriage is available.
To get started with relationship counselling, ring Truth Counselling Newcastle direct on 0191 580 3700.
We usually think of a friend or loved one dying, when we think of bereavement and grief. But, loss can also occur in many other forms, too. Losing a job due to unemployment, a partner due to divorce, or contact with a family member can result in loss, and the associated emotional issues to overcome.
Some are just beginning the grieving process and don't feel able to grieve, or feel fully. Others are stuck in a longer term pattern of grief which can be harmful in it's own way.
Grief counselling is available to help you begin to process long or short term grief, in a supportive, structured, and safe space.
Get more info on our main grief counselling page, here.
To arrange sessions of grief counselling, ring us direct on 0191 580 3700 and we'll get things moving.
Anger can manifest emotional, or in some cases, physical outbursts of rage, fuelled by feelings of injustice, boundaries being breached, or a personal hurt.
Too many internal emotional restrictions, often self-imposed, limit our viewpont as to what is acceptable in life, and exacerbate 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.
Rather than manage symptoms alone, counselling for anger issues is more likely to help by analysing how previous events in life have led to a pattern of angry behaviour, over time.
Both are appropriate for different individuals, at different times, depending on needs and circumstances.
Get the full info on counselling options for anger, here.
Counselling for anger is available. To book sessions, call direct on 0191 580 3700.
Trauma/PTSD Counselling South Shields
In reality, most of us are unaware, at a conscious level, of how an event can affect us, emotionally.
Any event in life that is outside the range of our norms in life - what we believe, what we value, etc, can result in trauma.
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 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.
By its very nature, trauma work needs an attentive and sympathetic counsellor.
To read more about trauma counselling, visit our main trauma page.
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.
Addiction Counselling South Shields
It's easy to become addicted to something in the course of day-to-day life, without noticing it happening consciously.
It's easy to establish a dependence on some means to cope, in the face of unusually high stressors, or an event we weren't expecting.
Repeatedly turning to this one way to feel better, can result in addiction.
Eventually we can end up believing that not only is the repeated use of the substance or behaviour ok, but that there is no unusual stress anymore - the stress of the original event has become normal.
We normally associate addiction with substances like alcohol or drugs, but process or behavioural addictions are now very common, like shoplifting, sex, or food addiction.
Counselling for addiction can help recognise the patterns in the addictive behaviour. 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 It Works
Initially it's a good idea to agree upon the practical elements early on, like how often you'll meet, where, costs involved, and how long you both expect sessions to continue.
Charges & Payment
Costs of the first session can be anything from free, to £100 or more in busy areas. Check the specifics with your counsellor. Check if your first meeting carries standard charges or not.
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
Asking specific questions before beginning work with a counsellor can help avoid wasted time and money.
What happens if I don't feel better?
- Have regular conversations with your therapist to make sure you stay on track toward your goals. Good two-way discussions about the practical sides of counselling ensure there is no risk of ending sessions suddenly and being in a vulnerable place, emotionally.
How long should therapy for (your issue) last?
- As you can imagine, there is no one size fits all solution in therapy - what's too long for you, may be too short for someone else, depending on their issues. The actual number of counselling sessions required will vary as a function of:
- Elements from the past, that surface during treatment, that require treatment before the primary complaint can be attended to.
- A behavioural pattern you seek to dissolve or resolve, has many more contributing events from the past, than originally expected, and all need to be resolved to dissolve the behavioural pattern
- 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.
The therapist's job is to guide the exploration of painful feelings and move you towards a point of resolution on them. A short time period in which to work together, can mean there is only enough time to open up milder issues. Whereas, a diet of long term therapy gives greater scope to make progress on deeper issues. Looking at these more difficult events can take a longer time period. Where possible, try to avoid stopping counselling sessions unexpectedly, as doing so can raise the risk of attempting to deal with open or raw emotions without appropriate support.
Do you have specific expertise in any one area?
- Perhaps your therapist has worked extensively with a focus on one type of complaint. Being prudent with pre-purchase questions like these, will help you ascertain which therapist it's worth taking the counselling journey with.
When will sessions start?
- Therapists are usually busy people, with little spare time between sessions. Getting logistics sorted out now, will help later.
Therapy Help South Shields
Truth Counselling's counsellors 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.
How To Enquire About Counselling
Get your counselling queries answered, and find out if we might work well together, by ringing direct on 0191 580 3700.
Our counsellors adhere to the BACP code of ethics and practice.
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