Reasons people come to counselling – Difficult Life Events


…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  • withdrawn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


Reasons people come to counselling – Difficult Emotions


…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


Reasons people come to counselling – Anxiety


…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