Bereavement Counselling in Wicklow

Bereavement comes to all of us at some stage of our lives but this does not mean it is easy. There is no right or wrong way to grieve someone we have lost, whether the death was predictable or sudden. The circumstances surrounding the death of a loved one can make living in the aftermath far more difficult, for example, the death of a child or death by accident or suicide. How do we know if grief is holding us back? Grief does not follow a set pattern, it is complicated and unpredictable but counselling for bereavement can be a powerful process in contributing to healing. Talking to a counsellor can be useful especially if we find ourselves reluctant to share our grief with others. We may be trying to protect them. We may find others are avoiding us or avoiding talking about our loss. Sometimes we impose some random time limits on our feelings of loss. We may struggle to understand feelings of anxiety and fear that follow.  You may find talking to a therapist will help if you:
Know you are using alcohol, drugs, or overworking to cope.
If you have feelings of worthlessness and thoughts of suicide
You struggle with anger and survivors guilt years after the loss.
You have become socially isolated and avoid people & activities that you once enjoyed.

Give sorrow words:the grief that does not speak whispers the o’erwrought heart and bids it break”. Macbeth (1606)

Counselling for bereavement in Wicklow
Anxiety Counselling Counsellor

Counselling for Anxiety

There are wise words from Aesop which I love ‘a crust of bread eaten in peace is far superior to a banquet eaten in anxiety’.

Counselling for Anxiety

Although anxiety is around as long as humans are, there is some evidence that personal levels of anxiety are increasing. Neuroscience tells us that humans have an average of 60,00 thoughts a day. Our thoughts create our world and if we are caught up in a loop of negative thinking this will directly impact on mood and behaviour. In counselling, we build awareness of how we talk to ourselves and widen our perspectives which is essential to making sustainable and positive change.
• Rumination: You dwell on an endless cycle of stuff that worries you while failing to act. Chronic worry is often described as akin to sitting in a rocking chair. There is endless movement but you are not actually getting anywhere. The view stays the same.
• Overgeneralisation: you experience a negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat.
• Jumping to Conclusions; believing people are reacting negatively to you when there is no concrete evidence for this.
• Shoulds and Musts: you use these absolutes with yourself and others, failing to see that in the vast majority of situations we have a choice in what we do or fail to do.
• Labelling; you punish yourself forever for making a mistake thinking ‘I’m stupid’, ‘I’m hopeless, ‘I’ll never get out of this rut’
• Magnification; you lose perspective and constantly sweat the small stuff.
• Personalisation; you take on blame for things that are the responsibility of others.

Change is always possible and the most important step is to hold onto a sense of hope. What we have learnt that is unhealthy we can also, with patience and commitment, re-learn to find more productive ways of dealing with anxiety.
Write it down; keeping a journal can be useful in helping us to understand our patterns. We gain clarity from seeing things written down. If anxiety keeps you awake at night, try a process of externalising them. Write them down, park them until warning and commit to allowing yourself a good night’s sleep.
Switch off-It is very important we set boundaries around work and personal time. Having an evening ritual that helps you do this such as changing clothes, having a bath soak and turning off phones and devices is crucial.
Build resilience-find an activity you enjoy and do it regularly. When we do something we love we tend to worry less. Contact Aine Egan, accredited counsellor, if you feel your anxiety is impacting on your potential and relationships. Appointments in Arklow, Co.Wicklow.

Counselling Counsellor

Counselling for Change in Wicklow

Counselling for change in Wicklow
The mantra ‘A New Year, New You’ is a common headline in magazines and social media around the first week of January. This reflects the reality that many of us decide we want to make changes in the year ahead. How do you know that counselling may be a foundation for your change? Counselling is especially useful at times of transition or change when we recognise a sense of dissatisfaction and unhappiness and have a desire to make change that is sustainable. Sometimes our goals for change are clear; a new job, a new relationship, a new health regime. Sometimes we can be unclear what change will look like, but we know we are not prepared to continue with the status quo.
Counselling can support you to develop a better relationship with yourself which is the cornerstone for all change. Fundamentally our self-concept, self-belief and self-awareness are the roots from which all actions follow. Will this happen in one session? The short answer is no. The process is less likely to be effective if you are looking for a quick fix, a magic wand.
A counselling process is one that requires a regular commitment of time and consistency. Like most things in life, the more we invest in the counselling relationship the more we are likely to gain. Counselling works well when it is a collaborative process, the counsellor brings certain skills and awareness gained through their own training and experience. You bring your lived experience and your unique insight into what’s happening for you. As a counsellor, I have been privileged to share people’s lives in many different environments and this has shaped my approach to supporting others. It is a constantly enriching, humbling, and privileged position to be entrusted to be part of another’s unique journey, their process. Counselling Appointments available in Arklow and Greystones, Co. Wicklow.
 Counselling can help you to understand the experiences that have shaped your life.
 Build healthy boundaries, self-awareness and self-confidence.
 Improve your relationship with yourself and others.
 Gain greater clarity on your own needs and goals in life.
Identify self-defeating behaviours.
Call Aine Egan if you want to have a chat in confidence.


Christmas Holidays

Time for Feet Up
Time off beckons! Counselling service is offline. Office closed from 20th December until January 3rd. Wishing you all a peaceful and restorative Christmas and New Year. May you get all the feet up time you need! Words of wisdom from Aesop which I love, ‘A crust of bread eaten in peace is far superior to a banquet eaten in anxiety’.
If your banquet is causing you too much anxiety and this anxiety hangs around in the New Year maybe 2019 is the year for change. Counselling for anxiety will help you build resilience, deepen self-awareness and self-compassion.
Appointments available in Arklow and Greystones, Co.Wicklow.


Counselling for Self-Esteem why does it matter?

Counselling for Self-Esteem

Eleanor Roosevelt put it well when she said ‘that no one can make you feel inferior without your consent’. We are all born with open minds and hearts, with a boundless sense of potential but life experiences can knock some of that out of us. How do you recognise someone with a strong sense of self-worth? They tend to be independent thinkers and slow to be affected by the opinions of others; they accept themselves for who they are (warts and all) and they can extend this acceptance to others. The good news is that self-esteem is not fixed, counselling can support us to make a conscious effort to change habits and thoughts over time. Try the quiz below; answer all questions: Yes, No or 50/50. Give yourself a 10 for every Yes, a 5 for every 50/50 and a 0 for every No.
 If you met yourself at a party would you want to get to know this person better?
 Do you enjoy being alone?
 Do you usually learn from your mistakes or do you have a habit of repeating them?
 Do you rarely compare yourself to others?
 Do you have a good sense of humour and ability to laugh at yourself?
 Can you ask others for what you need or do you expect people to read your mind?
 Can you receive compliments from others happily or do you dismiss them?
 Do you have compassion for yourself when you are having a hard time, or do you tend to blame yourself?
 If you were your own Mother or Father, would you be proud of your child?
 When you look in the mirror, are you generally happy with what you see?
Making Changes; Don’t compare yourself to others. We all have unique strengths and weaknesses. Simply accept there are times you will not get the results you wanted. Remind yourself that you have simply done your best. Keep Facebook in perspective; Everyone tends to put their best foot forward on social media. The image of someone with the perfect life, perfect hair, family kids etc. is just that. An image.
Deal with your Inner Critic; If you find that your internal voice is constantly judging and critising what you do, start to practice self-compassion and non-judgement. Begin to treat yourself as you would a close friend who was struggling. Do a strengths and weaknesses inventory. Recognise what you do well and organise your time to do more of it.
Scores: 80 and upwards, Congrats you have good self-esteem! 55-79 You like and accept yourself, Below 50 Time for change? If you are interested in counselling for change in 2019, get in touch.

Anxiety Counselling Counsellor Teenagers

Counselling Support for Teenagers

Counselling for teenagers can be a powerful learning process and useful for many young people who may be struggling. You may be reading this as a teenager or you may be an adult worried about someone you know. You may be judging yourself harshly for feelings of being overwhelmed or not being able to cope.
Life throws many curve balls at us and seeking support in a counselling relationship does not mean you or weak or deficient in some way.
Nor does it mean that you are ‘going mad’. Many normal people seek support at different stages of their lives and the safe, independent, supportive environment of a counselling space can be very powerful in helping us to process these hurdles. Young people must handle major physical, social and emotional changes in their lives as well as struggling with some of the key questions of identity formation. Who am I? Where do I fit in? How do I handle the pressures I am feeling?
Is counselling for me?
Even with a supportive, loving family, it can often be difficult to talk honestly to those we are closest to. We may protect others from the truth, our reality. Peer support is critical in our teenage years. If we feel we have lost this connection or our friends do not meet our expectations, it can lead to strong feelings of social isolation and loneliness.
If you have experienced parental separation/divorce or a major bereavement or illness during your teenage years, these life stressors may be causing you difficulty. Speaking with a counsellor can also help you with anxiety, phobias, depression, low self-confidence and self-harm.
A parental/guardian consent form must be signed and I will meet with both parent and the young person at the initial appointment. The first session offers the young person an opportunity to ask questions and to decide if they would be comfortable working with me. Appointments in Arklow, Co. Wicklow.

Counselling for Teenagers

Anxiety CBT Counselling

CBT Counselling for Anxiety and Depression

If you are struggling with anxiety or depression it can feel very isolating. CBT counselling for anxiety and depression can be a transformative process if we are willing to commit to a process of change. When we are depressed we can get trapped in a negative thinking loop which creates a downward spiral in mood. Cognitive behavioural therapy is a useful approach in counselling in helping us to recognise defeatist attitudes (what difference will talking make?).
In counselling, we can have a safe, supportive space to reflect on our own patterns and how they may be supporting us. Or perhaps they are keeping us stuck?. Sometimes struggles with assertiveness or healthy relating can be part of the problem. Words like ‘must’ and ‘should’ are known as word prisons for a reason. They deny us a recognition of the possibility of choice.

CBT counselling for anxiety and depression

We may not choose our difficult circumstances, our feelings or pain but we can always take small steps towards doing things differently, no matter how small. If your anxiety or depression is holding you back, impacting on your work life, personal relationships or social life, counselling may help. Get in touch if you want to discuss your needs in confidence. Appointments in Abbey lane, Arklow.

Counselling Counsellor Dealing With Bereavement

Bereavement Counselling in Arklow

Bereavement comes to all of us at some stage of our lives. Although a natural part of the cycle of life, it is not easy. There is no right or wrong way to grieve someone we have lost, whether the death was predictable or sudden. The circumstances surrounding the death of a loved one can make life far more difficult, especially if we lose someone unexpectantly or in a violent way, such as the death of a child or the death of someone by suicide. A strong sense of grief can develop after a relationship breakdown, redundancy or a diagnosis of life-limiting health conditions. Counselling for loss and bereavement can be a powerful process in contributing to healing.

contact us talking solutions
Bereavement Counselling

Talking to a counsellor can be useful, especially if we find ourselves reluctant to share our grief with others. We may be trying to protect them. We may impose some arbitrary time limits on our feelings of loss after a bereavement. We may struggle to understand feelings of confusion and anxiety that can follow.
You may find that talking to a counsellor in confidence can help you;
deal with the challenge of coping with responsibilities everyday
work with complicated feelings of anger, sadness, anxiety and guilt.
Prioritise self-care by learning to nurture yourself in body, mind and spirit.
Come to appreciate the joy of the moment and to look forward with hope. If you think counselling may help you get in touch. Appointments in Arklow.


Suicide Prevention is our collective responsibility

Suicide is always a tragic event for any family and community. The shockwaves spread wide. Suicide is usually unexpected and sudden and leaves many unanswered questions for those left behind. It is a myth that any one event will cause suicide. The reasons are always complex and multi-dimensional. There is never one single cause. This month is Suicide Prevention month and an ideal time to promote our individual responsibility to educate ourselves.
What we do know from those who have survived an attempt is that people have very ambivalent feelings, they rarely want to die. They do want relief from ongoing emotional pain.

Community support is available
How to be a good listener

According to the Psychological Society of Ireland,

‘suicide is not a disease. It is an expression of a host of emotions, hopelessness, guilt, sorrow, loneliness, rage, fear, that have their root in psychological, social, medical, and biomedical factors.

The harsh reality is that we are all vulnerable to suicide if the chips stack up. We know that in Ireland, over 75% of completed suicides are male. Some other risk factors are;
A history of heavy drinking/other drug abuse, a history of impulsive behaviour, recent relationship break-up, a series of bereavements, physical illness, financial struggles.
What can we do in a community context to help?
We all have a personal responsibility to educate ourselves; to take talk of suicide seriously and not to dismiss it. There is a common myth that talking about suicide will encourage people to take their own lives. This is simply not true; showing someone you care; asking honest questions and seeking appropriate help are 3 critical steps. Check out the website . The community support section offers e-learning on how to listen to someone who is feeling suicidal. The above is adapted from an HSE booklet called ‘Suicide Prevention in the Community’. The HSE employs Suicide Prevention officers in every region. Contact them and ask about community training that may be available in your area. Check out the websites of the National Office of Suicide Prevention, AWARE and the youth counselling service Headstrong. September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day, let’s make it count.

Anxiety Counselling

Anxiety and Depression Get the Support You Deserve

Anxiety and Depression
Get the Support You Deserve

Anxiety and depression will affect most of us at different times in our lives. Sometimes we can see reasons; we are reacting to a life event like bereavement, redundancy or relationship-break up. Sometimes it does not make sense; there are no obvious reasons. Feelings of guilt and shame can compound the problem if we constantly beat ourselves up for feeling low, ‘I have no reason to feel like this so why do I?’. Constantly trying to hide feelings of anxiety or chasing depression away is exhausting.
There is a myth that talking to a counsellor is a sign of weakness, that strong people just ‘get on with it’. Seeking support to explore life struggles is an act of profound courage and one that I have the privilege to witness every day in my practice. To admit to our vulnerabilities is not a weakness. This ultimately is what lies at the core of our humanity and links us to each other and the rest of the human family.
Community support is available
How to be a good listener

Talking, however difficult, does help. When we feel truly heard, we feel understood and over time it can generate feelings of self-acceptance and clarity. If you are worried about someone you know, check out the tips on on how to be a good listener. There is free training in the Community Support section on how to talk about suicidal thoughts/suicide TALK. There are many low-cost counselling options available in the community. Anxiety and depression are manageable. Never imagine that you have to walk alone.