Growth through change
Why do people seek counselling?
Usually, but not always, it is a desire to change. They know that something in their lives is not right, and that they feel stressed, anxious, or have a sense of 'stuckness'; of not moving forward. It is desired to go to someone who is trained in helping them to unravel their thoughts and to understand their emotions.
Each client has the inner resources and strength to become their true selves, like a tiny acorn that grows into a strong oak tree.
Counselling explores where your inner resources and strengths lie. When we are so confused, depressed, and unsure, we forget what our strengths are and how we have used them in the past to help ourselves. A counsellor can help us to rediscover the sense of self that might have become buried under the layers of life's 'should's' or other people's beliefs and rules of life.
Often, we will run from our negative emotions. If something doesn't 'feel right' or we feel angry or sad, we might try to distract ourselves, to push down that emotion instead of exploring what we feel. Mindfulness in counselling asks us to explore our emotions and to greet the emotion with curiosity. Asking ourselves "why do I feel this way? What is this feeling?", we can explore what is really going on for us. Pushing emotions away is a bit like pushing a toy jack back into his box; they will always pop back up again. Keeping the lid closed tight on our emotions is not helpful. Counselling can help us to explore in a safe, confidential space.
Sometimes we might use a form of distraction or numbing to stop the ruminative thoughts that are spinning around our heads or to simply not feel. We might shop, drink, take drugs, or binge. What cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) does is to help us to look at our thoughts, emotions, and behaviours and to see how they are all connected. We can then see where a behaviour like binge-drinking comes from and take steps towards change. The first step is noticing and understanding. A counsellor can help us to understand and challenge our thoughts; it gives us a different perspective on life events.
A good example to help you to understand how this works is a simple one. You see a friend in the street on the opposite side. You wave. They ignore you. How do you feel? You might feel annoyed or even angry. Your thoughts are "they are so ignorant. I can't believe they just ignored me like that. I won't be bothering with them anymore". You then might delete them from social media, get rid of their number, and ignore all future contact. But what if your friend had just had some bad news just before you saw them? Maybe they were deep in thought about the news and just didn't see you. But you didn't know this and assumed they were ignoring you. Your thoughts set off a whole chain of thoughts, emotions, and events.
CBT allows you to look at things from different perspectives and allows a closer examination of your emotions connected to those thoughts. It's another step towards change.
In the counselling work that I do with clients, I use an integrative approach which means that I use interventions that will best suit the client. Sometimes a client might prefer more CBT, and another one might prefer using visualisation and emotion work. I work in a way that will best suit your needs and help towards change and growth. If you are struggling with mental health issues, or are wanting to take steps towards change in your life, please contact me. We will have a brief consultation over the phone to look at your issues and how we might work together towards helping you towards change and growth.
Contact 07387 570 930 or email Samanthaf747@gmail.com.
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About Samantha Flanagan
I am a member of BACP with a level 7, PGdip in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy. I am qualified to work with many issues which include but are not limited to: emotional abuse, trauma, anxiety, depression, substance mis-use, developmental trauma, domestic violence.… Read more
Located in Chapel-en-le-Frith.
Can also offer telephone appointments.
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