COUNSELLING WEST BOLDON
Selecting The Most Appropriate Counsellor West Boldon
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.
It's easy to feel exposed or intimidated, when starting out, until a rapport is established with your counsellor. A strong counselling relationship can significantly change your outlook and perspective on key areas of life - it's important to get it right.
Finding The Right Counsellor
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.
- Unconditional Acceptance - If we don't first believe, that what we feel is ok, or acceptable, then it can be difficult moving on from there, toward feeling better. 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 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 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. Be assured that the counsellor is guiding you towards a resolution on even the most emotional of issues. When you've been able to overcome a few small issues after starting out with your counsellor, confidence can grow.
- Interested & Attentful - Professional therapists learn extensively on the art and benefits of listening closely during counselling sessions. 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. Sometimes it's difficult to focus during sessions when feelings are raw and vulnerable. Even at these times, listen to how your counsellor is guiding you toward a better understanding of events, and meanings that are easier to cope with. Rather than giving your rote-learned responses to your therapists questions, try to do your own active listening, instead. 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.
- 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.
- Enthusiasm - Unfortunately, a lack of energy and optimism are often what's brought us to counselling in the first place. Many of us try to change everything on the outside first, before finally realising the problem is actually inside, not outside. How fast you see results from counselling varies from one individual to another - but it's not a sudden series of overnight wins - more like a gradual campaign of change. Take comfort and faith from the smallest of breakthroughs made during a session - and allow it to build your hope of even better breakthroughs, in future sessions. Being hopeful about the future is important, no matter how negative our current circumstances may seem. What experience does your counsellor have with your issue specifically? How have they helped others, like you, in the past? Use these questions to decide if this counsellor's experience matches your expectations.
- 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. Counselling usually involves revealing extremely personal feelings that we feel vulnerable about. We can often feel more able to fully open up to a third party professional, someone who is not attached to our family or circumstances. 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. However, if the counsellor always agreed with you, they would be a very well paid friend...correct? Their job is different. Expect your beliefs, values, and opinions, to be shaken up, and looked at closely - this is where much of the healing potential lies. Instinctively, having our beliefs and opinions challenged can feel uncomfortable - and we must be willing to trust that the counsellor has positive intentions, in leading us to a better meaning, and thus, better feelings, about it. 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. 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. Idenitfying such issues can make the difference between fast and effective therapy, as compared to long unproductive sessions, with no end in sight.
Depression Counselling West Boldon
Depression is an issue that presents us with a unique challenge - how does someone with depression, who feels unworthy of help, who may believe they cannot get better - seek help for depression? It can become a vicious circle all too easily.
Counselling can help identify and deal with the underlying issues and thinking patterns - your counsellor should help you recognise contributing issues and maintaining factors.
Your doctor can advise on other depression treatment options beyond counselling, such as other mental health approaches like CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) or changes to exercise and nutrition. All options should be considered.
Our main page for depression has more information.
To get the counselling options in West Boldon, contact us direct, by calling 0191 580 3700, or completing the form opposite.
Anxiety Counselling West Boldon
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.
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.
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.
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.
The therapist can utilise a variety of techniques to tackle anxiety, including deconditioning, work on associated past events, or desensitisation, depending on specifics.
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.
More info about counselling for anxiety is available on our main page here.
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. 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.
Romantic relationships will always involve disagreements, over everything from the mundane routine of daily life, to one-off incidents, like infidelity.
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.
It often takes an impartial counsellor to help both parties in the relationship see the world from the other's perspective.
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.
Finding your way around these issues can be tricky without experienced help.
Counselling for your relationship or marriage is available.
To enquire about costs or availability for relationship counselling, ring direct on 0191 580 3700.
Bereavement Counselling West Boldon
We usually associate bereavement with the passing of a loved one, or a pet. The extent of our grieving can differ though, from one individual to another. A sense of deep grief or loss can result from being unable to continue a favourite hobby, losing a pet project you've been working on for a while, or enforced retirement.
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. 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.
Find out more about bereavement counselling.
For bereavement counselling costs and availability, call us on 0191 580 3700.
Anger can be both emotionally and physically destructive, resulting in emotional volatility but also physical expressions, when the emotions are too overwhelming.
Too many internal emotional restrictions, often self-imposed, limit our viewpont as to what is acceptable in life, and exacerbate 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.
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.
See our main page on anger counselling.
Counselling for anger is available. To book sessions, call direct on 0191 580 3700.
Trauma/PTSD Counselling West Boldon
A one-off, acute traumatic experience can last only seconds, but the emotional impact can last for years or decades, unless help is sought.
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.
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.
Trauma counselling can help with both short term, one-off, obvious traumatic experiences, as well as longer term issues accrued over time.
While attending counselling for the first time can be intimidating, your counsellor has done this many times before. Generally, there is nothing you can say that would surprise them or they have not heard before. The counselling room is the one place it's safe to open up and feel heard.
Our main page on trauma counselling has more info.
To ask about pricing and availability for trauma counselling, ring us direct at a convenient time, on 0191 580 3700.
Addiction Counselling West Boldon
While coping with the busy-ness of every day life, it's easy to develop a dependence on a substance or, behaviour, without noticing.
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.
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 gain understanding on the underlying causal issues behind a pattern of behaviour in life. Addiction counselling can also provide short term coping mechanisms and signposting toward support channels until long term gains are made.
Visit our main addiction counselling page, here or, to ask about addiction counselling, ring us direct on 0191 580 3700, or request a callback, here.
Your First Counselling Session
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
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
Normally when beginning counselling, you and your therapist will agree on the goals and outcome you want to achieve, and set a timeline for treatment, and how many sessions you'll complete together. 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.
What To Ask A Counsellor West Boldon
Getting answers to well chosen queries up front will help you make the right decision about what counsellor to choose.
What if I don't get results?
- Frequent discussions with your therapist will help keep things on track. Doing this regularly means everyone understands each other and there are no risks of suddenly ending a diet of counselling sessions unexpectedly, and without support.
How many sessions should this issue take, in your experience?
- 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:
- Other, emotionally related, problems, that get in the way of treating the main issue, and therefore must be treated first.
- 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. 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.
Remember, part of the counsellor's job Is to help you open up painful memories or feelings and re-process them, 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 specific expertise in any one area?
- Some counsellors have historical experience or specialist qualifications in particular areas of therapy, such as trauma or PTSD, anxiety, depression, etc. It's always good to understand the background of your potential therapist, and how that matches your experience, before beginning counselling.
Can I start right away?
- Counsellors often work across multiple clinics and locations on different days of the week - check if your diaries sync up at the right times.
Therapy Help West Boldon
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.
Arranging Counselling West Boldon
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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