Choosing The Right Counsellor Whickham
It's easy to feel vulnerable or raw when starting out on counselling sessions.
Your counsellor is privy to aspects of your life, that no-one else is, not even family.
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 Counsellor
The following elements should be present, between you and your counsellor, for best results:
- Safety - If we don't have an underlying sense of safety in therapy, from the outset, it's unlikely progress will be made.
- 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. 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. 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.
- Reciprocal Respect - Strong therapeutic relationships are built on a firm sense of respect and co-operation. 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. Take motivation from the small wins during initial sessions, as these can fuel you for later working through deeper issues.
- Interested & Attentful - Professional therapists learn extensively on the art and benefits of listening closely during counselling sessions. A wise counsellor is aware, that much more can often be gained by staying silent, and listening closely, not only to what is said, but *how* it is said, in order to better understand a client's position, and be better placed to facilitate greater context (and more comfortable change. 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. It's easy to develop a habitual way of responding to certain questions, as we have done so, so many times, over years. Interesting results can be achieved by listening intently to the therapist's question, as though it's the first time you'd heard it.
- 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. 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. We usually need therapy help, because we've tried to overcome the issues ourselves, but without success. Therapy work takes time, and is not a quick fix, nor a one size fits all solution. Sometimes getting wins from counselling is a combination of small wins initially, plus a lot of faith of greater future gains. 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 - We have to first feel trust, that the counsellor can handle our emotional baggage, before we have confidence to release it. 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. 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. 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. 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. Having the insight to see what meanings need to be changed, to feel better, is something best left to the professionals. Idenitfying such issues can make the difference between fast and effective therapy, as compared to long unproductive sessions, with no end in sight.
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.
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.
See more about counselling for depression, here.
Or, to enquire about counselling for depression in Whickham, contact us direct using the link below.
Anxiety Counselling In Whickham
The root of anxiety is often based in our learned associations - a repeated experience of negative reinforcement with something specific, can become a more generalised problem later in life, without realising.
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.
Getting the help of a therapist can assist you in recognising where a previous association to fear may lie, and how to see it differently. This may help with anxiety experienced current day.
Progress can be made on anxiety when we realise the fear is attributable not to the original stimulus itself - but what we thought it meant. Once we learn to make the distinction between the two, fear is usually lessened.
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.
Counselling help for anxiety is available. Call us direct on 0191 580 3700 to arrange.
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. Contrasting viewpoints can arise as a result of upbringing, religion, schooling, or even simple generational differences. All of these can cause seemingly insurmountable issues, without help.
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.
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.
Whilst we would all like to be able to improve our relationships without help, a private counsellor has the training and skills necessary to help you make noticeable improvements in daily life.
Counselling for your relationship or marriage is available.
To enquire about costs or availability for relationship counselling, ring direct on 0191 580 3700.
The passing of a family member, friend, or pet usually explains an episode of sudden grief or loss. However, loss can be more subtle, yet just as profound, when it manifests differently. 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.
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. Sometimes grieving can take over, and dominate the rest of life, in a prolonged state of emotional loss called complicated grieving disorder.
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 is often the result of one of our most basic beliefs or values being contradicted.
Anger can also be caused by too many "shoulds" in life, making it easy for self or others to break self-set rules, thus resulting in anger.
Anger management teaches practical tools and techniques to manage anger or rage episodes in day-to-day life.
Anger counselling aims to help understand the root cause of the anger better, in order to overcome the pattern of angry behaviour and feelings in your life.
Both are appropriate for different individuals, at different times, depending on needs and circumstances.
Find out more about anger counselling 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.
Trauma/PTSD Counselling Whickham
In reality, most of us are unaware, at a conscious level, of how an event can affect us, emotionally.
Some traumatic events can keep us in a state of fight/flight until we're able to process them in a more gentle way.
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.
Trauma is usually thought of as one-off, traumatic events, which we typically associate with war veterans, victims of crime, or domestic abuse, for example.
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.
Trauma counselling can help with both short term, one-off, obvious traumatic experiences, as well as longer term issues accrued over time.
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.
Our main page on trauma counselling has more info.
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 to a substance or behaviour, usually happens incrementally, over time, and outside our conscious awareness.
If we go through a period of very high stress, it's natural for us to look for ways to ease the pain.
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.
With too much substance or behaviour abuse comes rationalisation - the belief that the level of stress we're dealing with is now normal - when in fact it is not.
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. 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.
Beginning The Counselling Journey
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
Pricing varies, especially for private counselling. Most therapists offer a complimentary phone chat, to see if you two might work well. The initial session could be considered a regular session for cost purposes too. Check in advance.
Agreeing On Progress Goals
Have an open and frank discussion with your counsellor at the beginning, so that you see eye to eye on what will happen next. Dealing with these issues up front makes it easier to get on with the job at hand, later.
Questions For Your Prospective Counsellor Whickham
Getting answers to well chosen queries up front will help you make the right decision about what counsellor to choose.
How likely is it that I don't feel better after counselling?
- Make sure you stay connected with your therapist, and share the same expectations about the practical elements, throughout. 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?
- 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:
- What comes up during therapy, that needs to be dealt with, that wasn't anticipated beforehand.
- Inability to predict how many aspects of a given event will require resolution, in what order, and how many times, before feeling emotionally better.
- Each individual processes emotions and changes of meaning, at a different rate, that is unique to them. There is no one fixed "speed" of emotional healing, and to expect this would be unreasonable.
For all these reasons, don't expect a concrete answer to this question - even a very experienced therapist will be giving you their best estimate, before therapy begins - there is no more accurate information available.
Remember, part of the counsellor's job Is to help you open up painful memories or feelings and re-process them, 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. 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 any specialities?
- Some counsellors can work a lifetime in only one problem area - making them very specialist - and sometimes more sought after. 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?
- Therapists are usually busy people, with little spare time between sessions. Getting logistics sorted out now, will help later.
Therapy Help Whickham
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 check on availability, costs of counselling in Whickham, ring us direct on 0191 580 3700.
Our counsellors adhere to the BACP code of ethics and practice.
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