Why seek help?
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Addiction can get a grip on our lives in a number of different ways. These can include a number of different addictions including substances like alcohol or narcotics. Addiction can also cover behavioural issues like gambling, sex or computers. Our experienced team can take you through a process of recovery and include both practical cognitive behavioural techniques and a focus on exploring what underlying issues might lie at the root of an addiction.
Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse/ Sexual violence
One in Four of us experience some form of Sexual Abuse in our childhood. One of the problems victims have is in recognizing the enormity of what has happened to them. This prevents or holds people back from seeking help, fearing their experience may be dismissed as ‘nothing much’. If you have experienced ANY sexual activity as a child or any non consensual sexual activity as an adult in particular where the other person involved was older or in a position of power over you, this constitutes Sexual abuse. You may have been left feeling devastated and confused by it. We at Counselling Connections have a special interest in this area and have carried out research into this field. You do not need to recount the details of your experience to be able to work through it and help you to achieve peace and healing with yourself and your body. Childhood sexual abuse can cause major mental health problems in adulthood.
There are an increased number of people seeking to trace their birth parents following adoption. There is lots of support and information now available to provide support through this process. Counselling has proved useful as preparation for this and to deal with what we may discover about our origin and family history. There are also many who have no wish to meet birth parents but who may wish to explore how the fact of their adoption may have affected their lives. We have experienced therapists who can help you with these processes and with questions around your identity which you may wish to explore.
Anger is a normal emotion and expressed in a healthy way is not problematic. However, anger can escalate into rage where a person behaves aggressively and in an out of control manner. It has been called a ‘leaky’ emotion in that it is often expressed in the wrong place. This can negatively impact on our lives and relationships. At Counselling Connections we can help you to uncover the reasons why you may feel this way and the triggers to your anger. We will work with you to help you understand and manage your anger outbursts.
Antenatal and Postnatal Depression
We see lots of women who have Antenatal depression, that is, depression while pregnant. This is compounded by society’s expectation that a woman be happy during this period. There are many reasons for feeling low in pregnancy and we can help you work through these.
Postnatal depression develops after a woman has had her baby. Lots of personal issues can arise for women at this time. Old losses can be triggered and past traumatic events revisited. The transition into motherhood is often one for which the woman is unprepared. There are many losses including body image, loss of free time, loss of relationship exclusivity and privacy to name a few. These combined with hormonal changes can impact heavily on women at this vulnerable time. Talking to a therapist can help you to recover a sense of yourself and help lift your mood.
Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Our bodies are designed to become anxious in dangerous situations (e.g. being chased by a tiger might rightly cause heart palpitations). For some people however anxiety becomes a problem when it exists in the absence of present danger. It can lead to physical symptoms like sweating, palpitations, rapid shallow breathing and social problems like fear of going out in public. There is often a negative thought cycle maintaining the anxiety. At Counselling Connections we can help you uncover the causes of your anxiety and help you to manage it so that it no longer is problematic.
At Counselling Connections we specialise in the treatment of birth trauma or postnatal post traumatic stress disorder (PN PTSD). This condition is different to but can overlap with some of the symptoms of postnatal depression. The birth of your baby can be a time for celebration and joy for you but this is not true of all births. Women (and men) can be left traumatised after negative birth experiences affecting their everyday life following the birth of their baby. Women describe a powerful set of intense emotions including anxiety, anger, irritability and a feeling of everything being out of control. These feelings are so strong they seem to take interrupt and take over everyday life. Many women feel they are going crazy with persistent nightmares and flashbacks to the event. This is in part due to the emphasis being only on physical birth outcomes rather than a holistic view incorporating emotional outcomes. It can be ‘normal’ for women suffering from this condition to feel like they hate their babies because of the trauma the birth (hence baby) has caused. The guilt associated with this is huge which further lowers self-esteem.
Depression is a debilitating illness and will affect one in six of us at some stage of our lives. It is characterized by a generalised low mood and a loss of interest in things previously enjoyed in life. Other symptoms may (but not necessarily) include poor concentration, irritability, crying, feeling hopeless and/ or helpless, under or over eating, under or over sleeping and possibly suicidal thoughts. If you have been feeling this way for more than two weeks it is important to seek help so that you are not left struggling alone. At Counselling Connections we will support you in developing coping strategies to help manage difficult days. We will work with you towards recovery and prevention of relapse.
Having an eating disorder can consume your life. Symptoms can include fasting, calorie counting, excessive dieting and/or exercising, using laxatives and inducing vomiting. Often there is a psychological cause underlying this behaviour which psychotherapy can help uncover. At Counselling Connections we will explore how your thoughts, feelings and behaviours help maintain the negative cycle. Together we will work towards changing your eating habits and enhancing your image of YourSelf
While death and loss are an integral part of life, we usually struggle when we lose someone or something close to us. We are left feeling bereaved and need to go through a mourning process. At times this process can be overwhelming and we need help to enable us to integrate this loss into our lives, that is to say learn to continue living with the loss. At Counselling Connections, we can facilitate your journey through grieving so that you may learn to live again.
Mindfulness meditation is the practice of paying attention to the sensations and feelings we experience in our bodies and to the here and now….bringing us in touch with our innate capacity to learn, grow and heal as human beings. Mindfulness can transform our often ingrained patterns of reacting and increases resilience for the challenges that life brings. At Counselling Connections we offer a 4 week course in mindfulness, on a one to one or in groups.
We were designed to live in relation with one another. Often these very relationships can cause a great deal of emotional pain when there is conflict. These difficulties are not limited to husbands, wives and partners but may extend to parents, children, extended family, in-laws, friends or colleagues. Often our greatest challenge is the relationship we have with ourselves. At Counselling Connections we will help you to explore your past relationship patterns which will shed light on the difficulties you have in your current problematic relationship.
Separation and Divorce are difficult for all concerned. Whether you are the one who ‘did the leaving’ or the ‘one who was left’ you can experience feelings of loss similar to death. Although there can also be relief for some, it can still be difficult to continue with the everyday tasks of work and family while trying to come to terms with your relationship break-up and how this affects children and extended family. At Counselling Connections we will accompany you on this emotional rollercoaster, enabling you to get on with your life.
We all experience stress to some degree in our lives. When stress reaches an intolerable level or goes on for prolonged periods, it can be harmful to our physical and mental health. Awareness and management of our stress levels is a valuable life skill. At Counselling Connections we will help you identify the causes and triggers of your stress, whilst developing coping strategies to improve your quality of life.
At Counselling Connections we offer a 6 week stress management course for clients on an individual basis. If life events past and present are stressing you out why not sign up for our short course which can help you get on top of stressors in your life leaving you more content and relaxed in your everyday life.