Nurture your Wellbeing

Hello…

…and welcome back to my blog.

Wellbeing – this word is everywhere at the moment. Safe to say it’s inciting a trend, and my hope is that it is one to stay, but what does it mean?

While the Oxford Dictionary defines wellbeing as “the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy”, there appears to be a wider and ongoing debate of an exact definition of wellbeing.

I think we can all agree that wellbeing is something we are all striving for.

I see wellbeing as more than simply striving for moment-to-moment happiness, but that which allows us to flourish and prosper. I also feel that it is subjective. While there may be core elements that will help us all to thrive, there will be subtle differences between each and every one of us with regards to how we promote our own wellbeing.

Every aspect of our lives not only influences our wellbeing but our wellbeing influences every aspect of our lives, including our:

  • physical health
  • emotional/mental health
  • intimate relationships
  • support networks
  • sense of belonging
  • sense of purpose/meaning
  • work
  • financial status

The above can be summed up under 8 major types of wellbeing:

Physical – be well and in good health, nourish the body with healthy habits.

Emotional – be resilient, aware of own thoughts and feelings, be comfortable with self.

Social – to be able to establish and maintain healthy and meaningful relationships by relating, interacting and communicating.

Spiritual – sense of life’s meaning and purpose, possibly including faith and/or religion.

Environmental/Societal – to be a member of the wider community, by living safely, comfortably and consciously.

Intellectual – use of our minds to learn and grow, problem solve or be creative by persuing interests.

Occupational – to be content in work which interests and provides us with purpose.

Financial – to live within our means, being able to manage finances both in the short and long term.

Sometimes however, when we aren’t feeling ourselves or experiencing low mood, anxiety, overwhelming thoughts or we feel that one or more of the above is not in sync, trying to improve our wellbeing can be difficult. We may not know what to do or how to do it, let alone have the motivation to do something about it, perhaps even something you used to enjoy and do easily feels daunting.

If you are feeling this way at the moment, why not start small, and try and give one, some or all of the below a try:

  • Connect – with friends and family, send a text, invite someone out for a cup of coffee.
  • Give – a gift, hug or smile to either yourself, a loved one or a stranger.
  • Learn – a new skill from a new language, to knitting or perhaps all the lyrics to a new song you like.
  • Move – take a short walk, ride your bike, or simply dance in your kitchen.
  • Reflect – find a quiet bench in a peaceful setting and simply be in the moment.

You could also use my Nurture Your Wellbeing Worksheet to help consider ways to improve your life under the 8 major areas. To receive a copy of this please use my Contact Enquiry Form (https://kgrcounselling.com/contact/) and include WELLBEING in the comment section.

(Note: completing the contact enquiry form will not include you on an email distribution list).

So, in summary I see wellbeing as our experience of life satisfaction including a sense of purpose, feeling happy and healthy as well as being socially connected.

Why not start improving your wellbeing today!

Please like, comment, share and follow, and until next time:

be kind | embrace growth | nurture relationships

Kassandra

Reasons why people come to counselling: Recap

Hello…

…and welcome back to my blog.

Before signing off on my series of reasons why people come to counselling I wanted to do a brief recap of everything that’s been covered, just in case you missed anything.

Feelings of Isolation and Loneliness

We are social beings – this means we all need social interaction and relationships in order to live healthy and fulfilling lives.

Feelings of isolation and loneliness can occur when we believe there is a gap between our desired social contact/intimacy and what we actually have, or to the perceived quality of our relationship(s).

This can result in feeling like an outcast, and thus finding it difficult to build and maintain meaningful relationships, as well as impacting our overall wellbeing.

For further information visit: https://kgrcounselling.com/2019/02/05/reasons-people-come-to-counselling-feelings-of-isolation-and-loneliness/

Stress

We can all experience stress in our daily lives, it is normal and to be expected. Sometimes it can motivate us to be learn and grow, but sometimes it can be distressing and overwhelming.

Stress is defined as any uncomfortable emotional experience, in which ultimately we feel threatened. When this becomes prolonged it can impact us physically, psychologically and behaviorally.

For further information visit: https://kgrcounselling.com/2019/02/12/reasons-people-come-to-counselling-stress/

Relationships

Our need to connect, and therefore to make relationships in order to bond, is innate. Relationships represent what it means to be human, however they cannot survive on their own, they need the nurturing of two people.

When relationships fail they can cause us significant pain and distress. This not only affects how individuals view themselves, but can effect their existing relationships with others as well as their ability to create new relationships.

For further information visit: https://kgrcounselling.com/2019/02/19/reasons-why-people-come-to-counselling-relationships/

Depression

Depression is more than just being unhappy, it’s about feeling persistently sad and in a low mood for an extended period, which effects functioning in daily life including work, relationships and interests.

It will affect individuals behaviourally, psychologically as well as physically, with some being aware of what has triggered their depression, while others may not.

For further information visit: https://kgrcounselling.com/2019/02/26/reasons-people-come-to-counselling-depression/

Anxiety

Feeling anxious is a normal part of daily life as it alerts us to dangers as well as helping us to be more productive.

Sometimes however, anxiety can become constant, overwhelming and out of proportion, which effects the sufferers daily life, potentially to a debilitating degree. Anxiety may have been triggered by a traumatic event, past experiences or sometimes there is no known reason.

For further information visit: https://kgrcounselling.com/2019/03/05/reasons-people-come-to-counselling-anxiety/

Difficult Emotions

Emotions, both the pleasant and the unpleasant, are part and parcel of everyday life. They demonstrate how we feel about experiences, people, situations as well as ourselves.

At times we will experience difficult emotions which will be distressing, painful and overwhelming. Society however tells us that feeling such emotions is not desirable, and individuals may feel the need to be happy all the time, which can cause further distress when they feel that this is simply not possible.

For further information visit:https://kgrcounselling.com/2019/03/12/reasons-people-come-to-counselling-difficult-emotions/

Difficult Life Events

Life has a habit of forcing us to experience, expected or unexpected, life events. When these life events are difficult they can cause pain and distress. They may even disrupt our lives in unforeseen ways, causing further worry and anguish, where individuals feel unable to cope and can become isolated from loved ones.

For further information visit:https://kgrcounselling.com/2019/03/19/reasons-people-come-to-counselling-difficult-life-events/

Difficult Health Conditions

At some point in our lives we will all experience a difficult health condition, whether it be chicken pox or the flu to something more chronic or possibly even terminal.

Suffering from a difficult health condition, or caring for someone with a difficult health condition, can significantly impact a persons daily life as a result of restrictions from enforced inactivity to confinement to house or even the bed. Whether the condition be physical or emotional such restrictions can result in further emotional vulnerability.

For further information visit:https://kgrcounselling.com/2019/03/26/reasons-people-come-to-counselling-difficult-health-conditions/

The above is by no means an extensive list of reasons why you or anyone may wish to come to counselling. It is also simply a recap of my recent series of ‘Reasons why people come to counselling’, so if anything has stood out, or if you want more information please click the link below the relevant topic which will take you to the individual blog.

My hope was to capture a variety of experiences, feelings and/or situations which may prompt someone to seek help. None of these reasons are by any means a sign of weakness, in fact they are all a sign of being human, it’s just sometimes we may not quite have the resources to sort it out ourselves.

Please like, comment, share and follow, and until next time:

be kind | embrace growth | nurture relationships

Kassandra

Reasons people come to counselling – Difficult Health Conditions

Hello…

…and welcome back to my blog.

Last but by no means least on this series of reasons why people come to counselling is difficult health conditions.

At some point in our lives we will all be affected by a difficult health condition, whether it be an acute condition, which is sudden and short like the flu, to something more chronic, which is longer term and may require ongoing medical intervention, to a condition which is terminal, where there is no cure and death is likely.

Whether a condition is acute or terminal, lived with since birth or arisen suddenly, there can be significant impact to not only our physical and emotional health, but our basic standard of living.

I myself am suffering from an ankle injury at the moment, which is restricting my normal lifestyle, which is frustrating and demoralising.

While the list of difficult health conditions is extensive, here are a select few:

  • Injury/disability
  • Shingles
  • Pneumonia
  • Fertility issues
  • Chronic pain
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Dementia/Alzheimer
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • AIDS
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Cancer

As I’m finding out for myself suffering from a condition, whether it be acute, chronic or terminal, impacts our daily life from school and work attendance, to having a social life, enjoying exercise and/or simply completing day-to-day activities. Individuals may be confined to the house or even their bed, and have enforced inactivity. Experiencing such restrictions, along with living with the difficult health condition itself can greatly affect our mental health. Individuals may experience feeling some if not all of the following:

  • Sad
  • Anxious
  • Depressed
  • Withdrawn
  • Unmotivated
  • Vulnerable
  • Angry
  • Stressed
  • Bored
  • Isolated
  • Lonely
  • Helpless
  • Hopeless

This list of course is not extensive, and as I’m sure you are aware of, if we are experiencing low mood or feeling emotionally vulnerable this may also negatively impact us physically, either by resulting in physical symptoms or hindering our recovery of an existing condition.

Difficult health conditions not only affect those living with the condition itself, but those who live with, are related to or care for the individual. Being a carer for a loved one is a stressful job, both physically and emotionally. Carer’s can feel resentment and guilt as well as being isolated and exhausted.

Counselling therefore allows individuals, whether they be the sufferer or the carer, the space to discuss and explore their condition/diagnosis to try and come to terms with their situation as well as to provide emotional support.

So, there you have it folks, my very first series of blog posts on a specific topic is complete. Within this series I focused on why people come to counselling, covering:

  • Feelings of Isolation and Loneliness
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Difficult Emotions
  • Difficult Life Events
  • Difficult Health Conditions

This is by no means an extensive list of reasons, but I hope it has captured some of the types of circumstances and/or feelings that people may be experiencing which may prompt them to seek help. My hope is that at least one person can relate to something I have written, and realise they aren’t alone and that there is help out there.

Please like, comment, share and follow, and until next time:

be kind | embrace growth | nurture relationships

Kassandra

Reasons people come to counselling – Difficult Life Events

Hello…

…and welcome back to my blog.

I am almost coming to the end of this series on reasons why people come to counselling, and today’s post is all about difficult life events.

Whether we like it or not, life has a habit of forcing us to experience and deal with life events, both of the expected and the unexpected kind. Sometimes these life events are happy and exciting and we are able to draw pleasure from them, but sometimes life events are difficult and distressing causing us pain and discomfort.

Examples of difficult life events include:

  • Death
  • Trauma
  • Redundancy/job loss/retirement/unemployment
  • Relationship breakdown/divorce
  • Imprisonment
  • Getting married
  • New job
  • Financial difficulties
  • Injury/health issues
  • Homelessness

These types of events can end up shaping us into the people we become, from our beliefs to our personality as well as our coping mechanisms. They can disrupt normal life and make individuals not only question their understanding of the world, but of themselves.

Individuals may feel unable to handle the consequences of such life events so try to:

  • forget
  • avoid
  • ignore
  • supress
  • deflect

They may also experience physical symptoms, including:

  • headaches
  • aches and pains
  • diarrhoea
  • palpitations
  • low energy
  • insonmia

and they may become:

  • withdrawn
  • anxious
  • angry
  • aggressive
  • irritable
  • stressed
  • fearful
  • panicked

If an individual is already struggling to deal with the consequences of one or more difficult life events, they may find any further issues, incidents or events, whether big or small even more overwhelming, and can become stuck in a cycle of despair. They may struggle to find their own solutions, or be so overwhelmed it affects their daily functioning as well as their wellbeing, or become isolated struggling to speak with loved ones which negatively affects their relationships. It is in these times that counselling may help. Counselling offers a safe space for individuals to open up and explore not only what happened to them, but how it makes them feel as well as consider how if affects their thought and behavioral patterns.

Please like, comment, share and follow, and until next time:

be kind | embrace growth | nurture relationships

Kassandra

Reasons people come to counselling – Difficult Emotions

Hello…

…and welcome back to my blog.

Continuing with reasons why people come to counselling today I will be exploring difficult emotions.

Emotions are normal and part of daily life, whether they be good or bad, they motivate us to take action, survive or simply make changes. Emotions therefore can be very informative and help us to work out what we are feeling.

Obviously, most people wish to experience positive emotions, such as happiness and excitement, rather than negative emotions as they are unpleasant and painful. Examples of difficult emotions include:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Loneliness
  • Guilt
  • Shame
  • Sadness
  • Worry
  • Jealously
  • Powerlessness
  • Fear
  • Rejection

There may be various reasons why we may be experiencing such difficult or distressing emotions, below are simply a select few:

  • Bereavement
  • Trauma
  • Unemployment
  • Relationship breakdown
  • Discrimination
  • Monetary difficulties
  • Domestic Abuse

Despite experiencing distressing events, such as the ones noted above, society tells us negative emotions are bad and undesirable while positive ones are preferred and desired. However, the belief that we must feel positive and happy all the time is simply impractical, it’s not real life, and can end up pushing our feelings down making us repress our emotions.

Sometimes individuals struggle to even name their emotions because they are either unaware, lack a lexicon of feeling words, find it difficult to talk about them, bottle them up, don’t want to be seen as weak or vulnerable and/or use distraction to either control or fight them – all of which are unhealthy.

Instead we should aim to achieve and maintain balanced emotions, where they aren’t seen as either positive or negative, but which are all validated and understood. To understand, it is equally okay to feel happy as it is to feel sad. Counselling is therefore a place where an individual can start to learn to do this. It can help individuals learn about themselves by recognising and acknowledging their emotions in a safe and non-judgemental space, as well as exploring root causes and patterns of behaviour.

Please like, comment, share and follow, and until next time:

be kind | embrace growth | nurture relationships

Kassandra

Reasons people come to counselling – Anxiety

Hello…

…and welcome back to my blog.

Today’s post on reasons why people come to counselling is focusing on Anxiety.

Anxiety, refers to feelings of worry, concern and fear. It is normal to experience anxiety as it alerts us to dangers, makes us more productive, or perhaps demonstrates our passions, so whether that be climbing a ladder, completing coursework or preparing for the opening night of a play.

I know I work better, for example, when up against a deadline.

Anxiety therefore plays a part in our everyday lives.

When anxiety becomes constant, overwhelming and out of proportion making sufferers believe that elements in their lives are significantly worse than they really are and affecting their daily lives, this is when it becomes distressing and potentially debilitating.

It presents differently for different people, but symptoms will include both behavioural and physical.

Behavioural symptoms that may present include:

  • Feeling uneasy
  • Feeling worried
  • Feeling fearful
  • Feeling on edge
  • Feelings of a lack of control
  • A sense of dread
  • Difficulties concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Avoidance

Physical symptoms may also include:

  • Feeling sick
  • Hot flushes
  • Increased perspiration
  • Dry mouth
  • Palpitations
  • Hyperventilating
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness

There are different forms of anxiety, which include:

  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Phobias
  • Social Anxiety
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

I will cover these later in another series of blogs dedicated to anxiety. Each of these will not only present differently, but all experiences of anxiety, may have a variety of different triggers, from traumatic incidents, to childhood fears and/or difficult life events, or perhaps there is no known cause.

As stated, living with anxiety can be debilitating, where doing everyday tasks such as looking after yourself, forming and maintaining relationships, holding down a job or enjoying leisure time are not only difficult but cause distress. For those suffering with anxiety counselling can help to understand their condition better, identify triggers, provide support including strategies to cope as well as considering the possible cause.

Please like, comment, share and follow, and until next time:

be kind | embrace growth | nurture relationships

Kassandra

Reasons people come to counselling – Depression

Hello…

…and welcome back to my blog.

Next in the series of reasons why people come to counselling is considering depression.

Depression is a very real and genuine health condition. It is a common illness which can happen to anyone at any age but that effects everyone differently. It is more than just feeling unhappy, sad, feeling down or being fed up for a few days.

Depression is about feeling persistently sad and in a low mood for an extended period, such as weeks if not months or years, which effects your functioning in daily life including work, relationships and interests.

Behavioural symptoms that may present include:

  • Being unable to get out of bed
  • Loss of interest
  • No pleasure
  • Feelings of sadness
  • Tearful
  • Difficulties in concentrating
  • Loss of confidence
  • Feelings of helplessness/hopelessness
  • Avoidance of others
  • Self-harm
  • Suicidal thoughts

Physical symptoms may also include:

  • Tired/fatigue
  • Poor sleep/sleeping too much
  • No appetite
  • Aches and pains
  • Loss of sex drive

What causes depression?

There are many reasons why people may experience depression. Possible reasons include:

  • Childhood experiences
  • Physical illness
  • Bereavement
  • Life-changing events – expected or unexpected
  • Having a baby
  • Relationship breakdown
  • Family predisposition
  • Redundancy
  • Money concerns
  • Doubts, fears and worries

Some people may be aware of what has triggered their depression, however others may not.

Living with depression is hard, not only for the individual but for those living around them. They may not understand and tell them to ‘snap out of it’ and ‘pull yourself together’, or perhaps, whilst with all good intentions, tell them that ‘everything will be okay’ – however, none of these statements are helpful. Counselling however allows an individual the space to talk through everyday issues honestly and without judgement, to perhaps help develop strategies to resolve their issues and help in making changes to improve their daily lives as well as consider and understand the reasons for the onset of their depression.

Please like, comment, share and follow, and until next time:

be kind | embrace growth | nurture relationships

Kassandra

Reasons why people come to counselling – Relationships

Hello…

…and welcome back to my blog.

In continuation of this series of reasons why people come to counselling today we’ll be looking at relationships.

The definition of a relationship is the way in which two or more people are connected.

Our need for connection is innate, we are born with it. Therefore, relationships are extremely important – in which the bond created is more than the sum of its parts.

Simply, they represent what it means to be human.

Whilst the need is innate, the ability to create successful, healthy and loving relationships is learnt – from the moment we are placed into our mothers arms.

When talking about relationships most people concentrate on romantic, but it is important to be aware that we have relationships with all the people in our lives from family and friends, to work colleagues, neighbours and acquaintances. We can experience breakdown of any of these relationships – therefore it is key to nurture them all.  Relationships cannot survive on their own, they need the care and nurturing of two people to create and sustain a connection.

What happens when relationships fail?

It can be a great source of pain, hurt, discomfort, distress, anxiety and sorrow to name but a few. This can make individuals feel:

  • Isolated and alone
  • Distrustful of others
  • Unworthy
  • Unlovable
  • Loss of self
  • Sad
  • Anxious
  • Depressed

Why do relationships fail? It could be for a number of reasons including but not limited to:

  • Insecurities and low self-esteem
  • Lack of trust
  • Communication issues
  • Compatibility concerns
  • Different expectations
  • Unmet needs
  • Fear of vulnerability
  • Health issues/concerns
  • Money issues
  • Infidelity
  • Narcissism
  • Domestic Abuse

We all have old patterns of relating, arising from our past relationships, which may even stem as far back as childhood, that can get repeated and impact our life, as well as our present or future relationships. These patterns may even result in some individuals finding it difficult to form relationships in the first instance.

As social beings we thrive in relationships. Therefore, we can experience great anguish when they fail, especially if we may not understand the deep underlying reasons why. Counselling can help to bring these reasons into awareness, explore old patterns of relating, learn how to make a new relationship, whilst being able to talk honestly about issues without fear of judgment

Please like, comment, share and follow, and until next time:

be kind | embrace growth | nurture relationships

Kassandra

 

Reasons people come to counselling – Stress

Hello…

…and welcome back to my blog.

Next in the series of reasons why people come to counselling is looking at stress.

We can all experience stress in our daily lives and actually small amounts can help to motivate and inspire us. Think about those nervous butterflies you may have experienced before handing in a piece of coursework, preparing for a first date or riding a really big roller coaster.

Ironically I’ve felt stressed today simply writing about stress!

Those feelings are normal and whilst hard to believe, necessary to push us out of our comfort zones and help us to experience, learn and grow.

However, it is when stress is prolonged it can be damaging both to our physical and mental health.

So, what is stress?

Stress is defined as any uncomfortable emotional experience accompanied by predictable biochemical, physiological and behavioural changes.

It is a psychological perception of pressure on the one hand, and the body’s response to it on the other. This therefore results in a biological reaction to threatening situations which can lead to ‘fight, flight or freeze’.

This can result in people feeling:

  • Agitated
  • Overwhelmed
  • Teary
  • Anxious
  • Poor sleep
  • Digestive problems

There are many reasons why people feel stressed, and this is by no means a comprehensive list:

  • Work/unemployment
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Financial problems
  • Moving house
  • Having a baby
  • Bereavement
  • Health concerns

And looking at the above list, it is no wonder we experience stress, the pressures and values of modern day life mean it’s a complex, busy and changing world. However, it is when it is overwhelming and seems to dominate everyday life that counselling may help to consider stress management, potential triggers as well as reconnecting back to yourself and others.

Please like, comment, share and follow, and until next time:

be kind | embrace growth | nurture relationships

Kassandra

Reasons people come to counselling – Feelings of Isolation and Loneliness

Hello…

…and welcome back to my blog.

Following on from my last post, this is the first in my series of reasons people come to counselling – and I’m starting off with feelings of isolation and loneliness.

We are social beings – this means we all need social interaction and relationships. To lead a healthy and fulfilling life we crave close interpersonal relationships. Literally from the moment of birth our very survival is dependent on others for care, developing bonds and relationships.

And while we need to develop these bonds and relationships, people will have different social needs – do you prefer a small number of close friends, or do you need a large group of people in your life to feel satisfied?

What happens when you aren’t satisfied with your social relationships?

This is where loneliness and isolation can play a part.

What is the difference between loneliness and isolation?

Loneliness can be categorised as feeling sadness and distress of being by yourself, being disconnected from the world, while experiencing feelings of emptiness, helplessness and hopelessness.

Isolation is where individuals are separated from others.

Being alone however doesn’t necessarily mean you are lonely, while you can be surrounded by others yet still feel lonely – perhaps you don’t feel close, understood or cared for by those around you?

Feelings of isolation and loneliness therefore relate to the gap between our desired social contact/intimacy and what we actually have, or to the perceived quality of our relationship.

These feelings can arise from a multitude of reasons:

  • Being away from home
  • Relationship issues with friends and family
  • Relationship break-downs
  • Being bullied
  • Unemployment
  • Retirement

This can result in feeling like an outcast, and thus finding it difficult to build meaningful relationships.

Such feelings of loneliness and/or isolation can be stressful and impact our wellbeing, resulting in:

  • Feeling unmotivated
  • Alienation
  • Loss of confidence
  • Poor sleep and/or eating
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Substance dependency

It is in these times that counselling may help to lessen those feelings of isolation and/or loneliness. To perhaps work through the root causes, to establish a meaningful therapeutic relationship, in order to help repair existing or develop new meaningful relationships.

Please like, comment, share and follow, and until next time:

be kind | embrace growth | nurture relationships

Kassandra

Why do people come to counselling?

Hello…

… and welcome back to my blog.

One of the questions I seem to get is ‘why do people come to counselling?’, and the simple answer is, for many reasons!

Sometimes people know exactly what’s bothering them:

  • Isolation and/or loneliness
  • Stress
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bereavement
  • Expected or unexpected life changes
  • Self-harm
  • Suicidal thoughts

But sometimes people aren’t sure what’s ‘wrong’ but just know that something isn’t quite ‘right’:

  • Loss of control
  • Feeling overwhelmed with life
  • Feeling ‘stuck’ but unsure why
  • Sleep difficulties

They may try and speak with family, friends or loved ones but find there help just isn’t enough, or they feel too embarrassed or ashamed to speak with them at all. This is when counselling can help.

My first experience resulted from an intervention from a friend which led me to the doctors and finally to some counselling. I was one of those people who didn’t know what was wrong, but acknowledged I needed some help outside of friends and family, they were just too close. It was only during my counselling sessions that I realised I had social anxiety, and together, we were able to help me move past that chapter of my life.

Coming to counselling doesn’t have to be seen as a ‘negative’, there are those individuals who simply just want to:

  • Understand themselves better
  • Find better ways of relating/communicating
  • Get the most out of their life

Have you ever considered going to counselling but been concerned that your ‘issue’ isn’t big or worthy enough to talk to someone about?

Well I’m here to say, there is no reason to think or feel like that!

There is great strength in asking for help and that first step can make a huge difference in helping you find resolution.

My hope is that soon there won’t be this stigma surrounding mental health issues – after-all do we judge people for focusing on their physical health?

Seeking help for you mental health shows your emotional intelligence –  that you are aware of your own needs and that should not be regarded as a weakness by any means.

The above is literally just a brief snap shot of possible reason’s people come to counselling, it is by no means an extensive list and I’ll be tackling some of these issues in further detail in my coming posts.

Please like, comment, share and follow, and until next time:

be kind | embrace growth | nurture relationships

Kassandra

Picking the right therapist

Hello…

…and welcome back to my blog.

So following on from my last post – and that the most important part to counselling is the therapeutic relationship – how do you go about picking the right therapist for you?

While simply thinking of going to counselling is a difficult but great first step, the idea of speaking to someone new can be intimidating. But not only that, where do you look for them and what criteria should you be looking out for?

It can be a minefield out there – I should know. It took time to find the right therapist for me, but I did. And, yes, I have been in therapy myself.

How can I expect my clients to come to therapy if I’ve never been to therapy and experienced working on myself?

Ask yourself – would you go see a therapist who has never been to therapy?

So first and foremost, it is essential to find a therapist that is right for you. It is the relationship that heals. So finding the right therapist is all about personal preference and what feels like a comfortable connection to you.

  1. Take your time

You may be experiencing difficult times during your search, and while picking the wrong therapist may not be a hindrance, it may also not be a help either.

So ‘trust the process’. The right therapist will come at the right time.

  1. Do your research

Do some research on some of the different forms of therapy out there. This way you can have a better idea of not only what you want but about what the counsellor is offering.

  1. Ask friends and family

Ask those friends and family who perhaps are in therapy, why do they like their therapist, this will help give you some pointers. You can also ask for a referral, however, just because your friend see’s Joe Bloggs counsellor, doesn’t mean they will also be right for you. Perhaps they could ask their counsellor to provide you with a referral list.

  1. Searching

There are numerous ways to search for a counsellor, from simply searching through google, to checking counselling directories or counselling accrediting bodies such as the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), to doctor’s referrals and word of mouth.

  1. What to take into account?

There are various things that you may wish to take into account and I won’t bore you with covering them all, but here’s a select few for you to consider:

Cost – this is dependent on the area you live in and can vary from counsellor to counsellor, ranging anywhere from £30 – £70 per session. Some may offer concessions. And even if you can’t see anything on their website, flyer etc… ask them, you won’t know for sure until you do.

Location – are they local to you? Consider timings and possible traffic issues.

Type of therapy  – now you have a better understanding of therapy, does what they offer match want you want?

Qualifications – do they stipulate what qualifications they hold? Do they mention taking part in continued professional development?

Accrediting bodies – are they a member of a recognized accrediting body, such as the BACP?

Experience – do they have any experience in the issue you are presenting with?

Consultation session – do they offer a free consultation?

  1. Speak to them

While you can gain lots of information from a website, or directory entry, you still may be unsure. So give them a call, ask them questions about practicalities such as:

  • availability
  • session length
  • appropriate insurance
  • cancellations
  • realistic time frame’s
  • how do you stop

Not only can this ease any concerns you may have, but it’s a great step in working out if you feel that you can work with this person.

  1. Don’t just go with the first person you see

Finally, go and meet 2 or 3 counsellors, if you can, in order to help you make your final decision.

I can’t say this enough, it’s all about finding the right therapist for you.

Please like, comment, share and follow, and until next time:

be kind | embrace growth | nurture relationships

Kassandra

What is counselling?

Hello…

..and welcome back to my blog.

So while considering all the topics I want to cover for you all, today I thought why not start with the basics – what is counselling? Whist I realise I have covered this throughout my website, I wanted to discuss it in more informal terms.

Counselling is defined as the provision of professional assistance and guidance in resolving personal or psychological problems.

But I still wonder, do people actually know what that means?

I have had many a discussion where people believe that counselling is about giving advice or telling people what to do – and it couldn’t be further from the truth.

So what does it mean, I hear you ask?

The answer is simple, it means different things to different people. And every relationship between client and counsellor will be different.

First and foremost it is regarded as a ‘talking therapy’ – were people can come to explore and share openly about their life, experiences and difficulties in a safe and non-judgemental environment.

Counselling can also take many different forms from individual to couples or group face-to-face, to telephone or online counselling.

So there is not a ‘one size fits all’ definition.

Counselling offers people the opportunity to simply off load, to try and understand thoughts and feelings or perhaps explore current or past difficulties.

The key and most important part to counselling is the therapeutic relationship. Without that, well little can be achieved – and this has been well documented in research over the years. So it is important to pick the right therapist for you – I’ll be coming back to this topic in my next post.

So what is counselling to me?

I see counselling as a journey of self-exploration, discovery and understanding – and it’s one that I feel privileged to travel alongside with my clients.

I provide a space where I offer no answers or solutions, as I am not on expert on them – or you – but I am there to offer support and encouragement. Therefore my hope is to provide understanding and empowerment, enabling you and my clients to embrace and enhance their own lives and live them more fully.

My aim is to create a collaborative relationship, in which I work authentically with clients by sharing my thoughts and observations and by providing them with a reflective space to hear their own voice.

I hope that offers some idea about what counselling is, and perhaps if the topic of conversation ever comes up you can clarify that it isn’t about giving advice or telling people what to do.

Please like, comment, share and follow, and until next time:

be kind | embrace growth | nurture relationships

Kassandra

Hello and Welcome

Hello and welcome to Counselling with Kassandra and my very first blog entry!

My name is Kassandra, and if you have already explored the rest of my website, you are aware that I am an experienced qualified integrative counsellor. And if you haven’t yet please feel free to do so!

Blogging however, well this is very much a new experience for me, and I’m excited to share some of my thoughts and opinions not only about counselling and psychotherapy, but exploring the complexities of modern-day life, looking behind the reasons we may seek help and exploring ways we could all benefit from a bit of self-care.

Why did I want to start a blog?

Well, in my work I realise that I ask my clients to come out of their comfort zones and embrace their vulnerabilities with, in essence, a total stranger. While I don’t stay a stranger for long, I know this can be a difficult and hard process.

I therefore thought to myself, how could I make this process easier?

Which is when it came to me, why not write a blog!

Firstly, because it is out of my own comfort zone. Yes, even qualified counsellors have vulnerabilities. How can I ask my clients to own their vulnerabilities if I am not willing to share mine?

To say, ‘I’ve been there too’.

Secondly, that life can be difficult – there are times where we all struggle to make sense of life experiences, situations and relationships. Sometimes these can be overwhelming, we feel isolated and alone, and like no one else understands. And while all our experiences are unique and individual to us – I wanted to show that others may have similar thoughts, feelings and experiences.

 To say, ‘You aren’t alone’.

And lastly, to explain more about the process and demonstrate the benefits of counselling, to take away any stigma attached to seeking help. I mean, where else can you be heard, understood or have focused attention without having to give anything back?

To say, ‘I’m here to help’.

So whether you are or become a client, or someone considering counselling, maybe you just stumbled upon this blog during a difficult time, or perhaps you are simply looking to nurture your own wellbeing – my hope is for you to get the most out of your own life.

Thank you for taking the time to read my very first blog entry. I officially stepped out of my comfort zone today, what could you do to step out of your comfort zone?

Please like, comment, share and follow and until next time:

be kind | embrace growth | nurture relationships

Kassandra