Picking The Right Counsellor Springwell
It's easy to feel vulnerable or raw when starting out on counselling sessions.
You will likely be sharing details of your life, that you wouldn't normally share with anyone else.
Although the counsellor may be impartial and ambivalent, opening up during a counselling session can feel vulnerable. A good choice of counsellor can help you see a new perspective on life, and money well spent.
Finding The Right Therapist/Talk Therapist
Finding the right counsellor means developing a therapeutic association which is based on:
- Secure - A counselling room should be somewhere secure - a refuge from the outside world and its concerns, if we are to feel comfortable revealing very personal aspects of ourselves.
- 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. 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.
- Synergy - Good input from both you and your therapist, co-ordinated properly, is important. New ways to look at old events, often come from the therapist to the client. Likewise, the client needs to be fully willing to answer questions and speak their truth, to enable results to be achieved. A two-way understanding is needed, to enable the change you want, to actually happen.
- Consideration - Let understanding and appreciation flow equally between you and your counsellor, to help achieve a stronger counselling relationship. e.g. If the speed of work is causing too much upset, or discomfort, speak to your therapist about slowing down so that you match each other's pace, and expectations. Likewise, as the client, a healthy respect should be maintained for the counsellor to guide you towards an appropriate resolution for each issue, no matter how painful that may be, in the short term. Take motivation from the small wins during initial sessions, as these can fuel you for later working through deeper issues.
- Active Listener - Thorough counsellors are accomplished at active listening. 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. Ensure you are willing to listen to the counsellor when they do talk - as they could be attempting to help you give a more forgiving meaning, to a troublesome event, and thus ease your pain. We often respond to questions with our usual answers, that we routinely give in our normal environment. Interesting results can be achieved by listening intently to the therapist's question, as though it's the first time you'd heard it.
- Compassion - We all have an intuitive need to connect with others, and have our experiences and interpretations acknowledged as being real, and acceptable. 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.
- Confidence - We don't usually start therapy in a confident place. 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. We need to trust that a positive outcome will happen, and a counsellor needs to be adept at illustrating how good things can be in the future, and help you see how that's possible, even though it won't happen overnight. 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. In counselling, most of us reveal aspects of ourselves and our feelings, we don't reveal to anyone else, even family or loved ones. 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. A professional with more specialism in your particular area of concern may help here.
- 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. Having the insight to see what meanings need to be changed, to feel better, is something best left to the professionals. Your long term mental health can make great gains, where these fine distinctions are clearly recognised.
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.
Depression can also respond well to other modalities and approaches, and your Doctor or medical professional may advise on exercise, dietary, and other changes that may help.
Get more info about counselling for depression.
Ring us direct on 0191 580 3700 to check on availability and pricing of counselling in Springwell.
Anxiety Counselling Springwell
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.
In counselling you should be able to identify the roots of where the anxiety has started, and get help to overcome the day to day impact anxiety has in your life.
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.
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.
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.
Relationship Counselling Springwell
Every relationship goes through ups and downs, as part of the human experience. We all experience relationship difficulties, because, quite simply, we are all individuals, with unique backgrounds, history, upbringing, and values.
Romantic relationships will always involve disagreements, over everything from the mundane routine of daily life, to one-off incidents, like infidelity.
Refreshing your ability to relate to each other, in a healthy way, where understanding is clear and meaning is retained, can make real differences for both individuals.
Relationship counselling can assist you both to see where the communication difficulties lie, and how to navigate them.
Sometimes a therapist can assist this understanding by helping you see how current patterns, relate to the past, and the previous episodes in life that each partner brings to the relationship.
Paying for counselling means getting focussed and attentive help targeting the most personal and life-changing issues humans go through.
Get more info on our main page for relationship and marriage counselling, here.
To enquire about costs or availability for relationship counselling, ring direct on 0191 580 3700.
Bereavement Counselling Springwell
We usually think of a friend or loved one dying, when we think of bereavement and grief. 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.
It's easy for some to feel confused, or detached, from grieving initially, until the reality of the loss begins to surface in their life. Others are stuck in a longer term pattern of grief which can be harmful in it's own way.
Grief counselling can help you make key distinctions between a grieving process that is appropriate and healthy, as opposed to one that has become a problem.
More information about grief and bereavement counselling is here.
Or, to speak with a counsellor to set sessions up - ring us direct on 0191 580 3700.
Anger Counselling Springwell
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.
Periodic angry episodes happen to us all, but more frequent or uncontrollable anger is more likely to require intervention and therapeutic help.
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.
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.
Get the full info on counselling options for anger, here.
Private anger therapy is now available to book. To arrange, ring us direct on 0191 580 3700.
Trauma/PTSD Counselling Springwell
One-off experiences can seem harmless at the time, but depending on how we process them, can results in mental ill-health later.
A traumatic experience can be anything which sufficiently breaks one's "model of the world" - the beliefs, values, and perceptions we have about how the world works, differences between right and wrong, etc.
Trauma often manifests as a sense of isolation or detachment from life, as if we are looking in at life, but not experiencing it personally.
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.
However trauma can also be much smaller, repeated episodes of emotional distress which, while no individual episode could be considered hugely traumatic, cumulatively add up over time, to aggregated emotional distress and difficulty.
We work with those suffering from all forms of trauma, including acute one-off episodes, through to PTSD or other more chronic manifestations of emotional trauma.
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.
While coping with the busy-ness of every day life, it's easy to develop a dependence on a substance or, behaviour, without noticing.
e.g. We can develop a pattern of over-eating, in response to a period of high stress. It's natural for us to reach for some way to reduce the emotional discomfort we feel, in situations like this.
But, if we continue using this means to cope, it can become a habit, and the only way we know how to cope with the problem.
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.
Counselling can assist also in cases of non-substance related addiction, such as obsessive cleaning, or collecting things.
Counselling for addiction can help recognise the patterns in the addictive behaviour. Addiction therapy normally includes work on both longer term patterns of addiction as well as trigger situations in the present moment of day to day life.
For advice on addiction counselling options, ring us direct on 0191 580 3700.
Beginning The Counselling Journey
Meeting Your Counsellor
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.
Private counselling costs can vary wildly, so do check beforehand about specifics. It's common for initial sessions to be a reduced rate, or sometimes, free. It's worth enquiring in advance as to the exact costs of the initial session, as many therapists treat it differently, depending on their individual circumstances.
Even before therapy begins, you should make it clear what you want to achieve from counselling, how many sessions you expect, and what exactly constitutes a good result, for you personally. If this is done at the start of the counselling relationship, it leaves the rest of the sessions to deal only with the actual counselling work, and not the practicalities.
Questions For Your Prospective Counsellor Springwell
Asking specific questions before beginning work with a counsellor can help avoid wasted time and money.
What if I don't get results?
- Frequent discussions with your therapist will help keep things on track. 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:
- Interrupting elements of mental health that present during treatment, and impede progress on the main issue we're attempting to tackle during therapy.
- 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
- Two individuals can be attempting to overcome the same event. One takes much longer/shorter time than the other to achieve insights, and feel better. This is the human experience. We all heal at different rates - this is normal.
It is for all the above reasons, that no therapist, can provide a concrete answer to this question - only what their intuition tells them.
In terms of timescales, you both need to allow enough time to open up, access, and feel better about painful long term memories. If the counsellor is under the impression that your sessions are a regular, long-term event, they may help you open up more painful memories or events, with the intention of greater healing possibilities. As you might expect, the more events are opened up, the more they have to be closed down, when treatment completes. It's important to communicate clearly throughout counselling sessions, to make sure misunderstandings don't occur.
Do you have research interests, or a specialism in one particular type of counselling?
- Perhaps your therapist has worked extensively with a focus on one type of complaint. It's always good to understand the background of your potential therapist, and how that matches your experience, before beginning counselling.
What is your availability?
- 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.
Counselling Sessions Springwell
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.
How To Book Counselling Sessions
To get started with counselling, or just for an initial chat, we're available on 0191 580 3700.
Our counsellors adhere to the BACP code of ethics and practice.
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