Joining the dots: How can counselling help you feel less anxious?

There is nothing better than being in a session with a client when they have a light bulb moment. When they finally realise they are not just an anxious person, they are not just always going to be depressed but that their struggles stem from somewhere.

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I am a person-centred counsellor but I specialise in early attachments and I believe that my job is to help my clients work back; help them to figure out patterns they feel like they can’t change. Why do they always feel powerless? Why do they feel like people don’t like them? Why do they always end up in unhealthy relationships? Some clients know where their trauma stems from but very few of us understand why it is making it impossible to feel happy or to live a fulfilling life and move past our difficulties.

So often, we are so used to our parent's or our partner’s behaviour that we can miss how unhealthy it is and how impactful it has become on our moods and our behaviours. We all have unhealthy parts in our relationships, and we are all flawed people. Acknowledging this makes it much easier to open up about how parts of the people we love and their behaviour are not helping us.

I recently worked with a client who felt a huge amount of shame about her divorce. Although she was clear her divorce was the right decision, this overwhelming feeling of guilt and shame continues to follow her around. She felt guilty about criticising her ex-husband because he treated her well. She didn't want to talk about her parents because they had difficult lives and she knew they did the best with the knowledge they had. Sadly by refusing to explore this and pushing down her emotions her anxious feelings started to become unbearable.

Once she started to feel safe we were able to explore how her family dynamics affected how she felt about her relationship. She recognised that she didn’t know anyone who is in a healthy relationship and her parents had been unhappy her entire life and have remained together. Both her parents suffered from poor mental health and had never sought support for this so she felt she should be able to just get on with things and never talk about her feelings. To the people around her she was so lucky to have found a man who treated her well and she should be grateful for that and not expect more.

For all this time she had been carrying around a feeling she was a bad person because she didn't remain in an unhappy marriage. That light bulb moment when she realised she has been brought up to believe you should stay unhappy and be grateful to have someone was a message she has been exposed to since childhood and had just become a subconscious belief.

This client has spent her whole life trying to look forward and feel grateful for what she has. To always strive for more and work hard to get it, but the voice of our inner child is so strong and our parents are our role models.

A therapist's job is to help you to solve why you are feeling the way you are feeling. We know you have all the answers and helping you to untangle them, and giving you the space to feel safe to talk about really difficult subjects can be the key to feeling healthy again. 

If you'd like to reach out to a therapist, you can message me via my profile or use Counselling Directory's search tool

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Brighton, BN42
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Written by Natasha Nyeke, MBACP, Couples, Fertility, Maternal mental health,Attachment
Brighton, BN42

Natasha Nyeke is a Person Centred Counsellor who specialises in working with early attachments and parenting.

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