Selecting The Most Appropriate Counsellor Sunderland
Counselling is a personal experience.
The relationship between you and your counsellor, is a private one.
It's easy to feel exposed or intimidated, when starting out, until a rapport is established with your counsellor. A good choice of counsellor can help you see a new perspective on life, and money well spent.
Finding The Right Therapist/Talk Therapist
A functional counselling relationship, depends upon several key factors:
- Safety - If we don't have an underlying sense of safety in therapy, from the outset, it's unlikely progress will be made.
- Approval - A competent therapist should help you feel unconditionally accepted, no matter your feelings you have about a particular event. The right counsellor will help pace the feelings and experiences you're describing, while allowing you to express all the associated feelings, untethered.
- 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. 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.
- Reciprocal Respect - Strong therapeutic relationships are built on a firm sense of respect and co-operation. 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. Also bear in mind, that no matter how emotionally painful something may feel in the short term, it's important to trust that the counsellor is leading you towards a comfortable resolution. 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.
- Listening - One of the main counselling tasks is to be a good listener. 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. We often respond to questions with our usual answers, that we routinely give in our normal environment. But being truly ready to listen to a counsellor's question, afresh, as if it's the first time you've heard it, can yield insights that were not possible in the past.
- Empathy - Everyone, with no exceptions, needs validation in the human experience. It's important to be able to feel that your counsellor is empathetic to your concerns and upsets, understands how and why you feel the way you do, and yet is also willing and able to help lead you to a better place about the issues you're bringing to therapy.
- Confidence - We don't usually start therapy in a confident 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. 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 is a trait we all need, whether we're undertaking counselling or not. Try to find a counsellor who helps you feel hopeful about the process, and the journey, from the outset.
- Trust - This is very close to safety, as above. Our unconscious mind will generally not reveal anything sensitive unless it feels entirely safe and supported in doing so. 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. Have confidence that your counsellor sees the bigger picture map of where you want to go, but is also adept enough to help you heal the small hurts along the way, too. However, the therapist will not always be accommodating, like a friend. Expect your beliefs, values, and opinions, to be shaken up, and looked at closely - this is where much of the healing potential lies. 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. There are two ways to make this easier - (I) do not tackle bigger issues in counselling until you've built confidence with your therapist by tackling small issues first; or (ii) look for a therapist who, from the outset, has longer experience, or more experience with your personal issues.
- 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. There is a difference between challenging productively, and challenging needlessly. A good counsellor knows when one particular belief is causing problems in other areas, and needs to be challenged, and when another belief is secondary, and can be left alone. Your long term mental health can make great gains, where these fine distinctions are clearly recognised.
Depression Counselling Sunderland
There are not many ailments which themselves, make it difficult for us to get professional help to remedy them - but depression is one of them.
Counselling can help identify and deal with the underlying issues and thinking patterns - your counsellor should help you recognise contributing issues and maintaining factors.
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.
There's more info on depression, here.
Ring us direct on 0191 580 3700 to check on availability and pricing of counselling in Sunderland.
Anxiety Counselling In Sunderland
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.
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.
Counselling can also help with more specific fears, phobias, or episodes of panic, attached to just one episode in the past.
Deconditioning work can be undertaken with a therapist's help, to help untangle the meanings attached to an original event, and thus feel better about it - and less anxious.
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.
Find out more about counselling for anxiety, here.
From time to time we all have difficulties in relationships, whether this is a romantic relationship or not. Differing backgrounds, values, and even age, can all bring conflicting interests into the open, creating situations that are extremely difficult to navigate, without professional assistance.
Relationships with your significant other can be particularly challenging as their upbringing will consistently conflict with your own, in most cases.
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.
Paying for counselling means getting focussed and attentive help targeting the most personal and life-changing issues humans go through.
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.
Loss in life is usually related to a loved one or friend passing away. However, loss can be more subtle, yet just as profound, when it manifests differently. 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.
Many find it difficult to even begin grieving, and feel stuck in a state of dissociation. Sometimes grieving can take over, and dominate the rest of life, in a prolonged state of emotional loss called complicated grieving disorder.
Whether for long or short term grief issues, grief counselling can provide essential support that is often unavailable from other sources.
Find out more about bereavement counselling.
Or, to speak with a counsellor to set sessions up - ring us direct on 0191 580 3700.
Anger Counselling Sunderland
Anger results from a sense of values being broken, or boundaries being impeded upon.
Excessive anger often results from an excess of internal "rules" or beliefs, making it easy for them to be broken, and it therefore becomes easy to trigger a state of anger.
Anger management teaches practical tools and techniques to manage anger or rage episodes in day-to-day life.
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.
It may be that for one individual, both counselling and anger management are suitable for different stages of the individual's journey. They are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
More info on anger counselling options is available here.
If you're struggling with anger, counselling may help. To ask a question or check on availability, you can reach us on 0191 580 3700.
Often we are unaware of the impact an emotional trauma has, until much later.
When an event happens in the outside world which goes against our understanding of life, it results in trauma, that is unprocessed.
Where trauma is unresolved, an individual will often experience lack of interest in life, detachment, nightmares, and lack of social interaction.
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.
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.
Trauma counselling can help with both short term, one-off, obvious traumatic experiences, as well as longer term issues accrued over time.
By its very nature, trauma work needs an attentive and sympathetic counsellor.
Our main page on trauma counselling has more info.
To get your trauma counselling questions answered, ring us direct, on 0191 580 3700.
It's easy to become addicted to something in the course of day-to-day life, without noticing it happening consciously.
If we go through a period of very high stress, it's natural for us to look for ways to ease the pain.
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.
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. While long term progress takes time, a counsellor can assist you in short term gains by helping you access the right support at times you feel triggered.
For advice on addiction counselling options, ring us direct on 0191 580 3700.
Getting Started With Counselling
Meeting Your Counsellor
The first session is usually used to get to know your counsellor, and they you, and set appropriate expectations for your counselling sessions, for example, frequency, how many, charges, etc.
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. The initial session could be considered a regular session for cost purposes too. Check in advance.
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. 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.
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. As well as keeping things moving, this helps the therapist look after you best.
When working with folks with (your issue), how many sessions of therapy does it typically take, to feel better?
- Bear in mind here that this is a very difficult question to answer, with no one solution, as it has so many (very personal) variables and dependencies built in - that are dependent on, for example:
- 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. The only "not normal" approach would be expecting everyone to feel better at the same rate.
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. A brief time frame for treatment may make a therapist more reluctant to explore very deep issues, since there may not be enough time to complete them satisfactorily, without leaving the client in a vulnerable place. 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.
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?
- 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 Help Sunderland
Truth Counselling therapists work independently, and take care of their own diaries. Since they travel independently too, our therapists can often arrange local sessions in Sunderland, by arrangement.
How To Enquire About Counselling
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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