Carl Rogers and Counselling Approaches

One of the most influential psychologists in the 20th century was Carl Rogers, a man who had a profound influence on our understanding of how people evolve and grow. Rogers founded person-centred counselling

Counselling Wicklow
Conditions of Worth

following a lifetime of studying what he described as the ‘core conditions’ or values that enabled personal exploration & growth; congruence, unconditional positive regard and empathy. Rogers held an optimistic view of human behaviour, that as humans we have an innate need to realise our potential and become ‘fully functioning’. He suggests that obstacles arise when there is a mismatch between our inner worlds (the authentic self) and our external environment (the false self).

Conditions of Worth
Through the process of socialisation, in family and society, we learn what behaviours are acceptable and personal qualities that are valued. We learn how to ‘fit in’ with our environment. Over time this can lead to the creation of a false self which meets the demands of the environment and draws approval from those around us. Self-worth that feels conditional, for example on achieving academic excellence, sports achievement or on maintaining a certain personal appearance can generate a shaky sense of self if these conditions change.
Rogers used the term ‘congruence’ or genuine to describe someone whose inner world reflects their outer experiencing. When we learn to be our ‘authentic selves’, we are less governed by the values of other people or institutions but operate from an internal centre of responsibility. Unconditional positive regard is fundamental to healthy growth, none of us is perfect or infallible and in order to be authentic, we need to know that regardless of mess-up’s or behaviour we retain a core worth. Some of the markers of ‘fully functioning’ are having a positive self-concept and
o understanding and accepting all parts of our personality
o being reality-oriented; we do not seek refuge in fantasy, addictions, or denial of problems
o we take responsibility for our own lives as adults
o we recognise and express our capacity to live creatively & spontaneously
o we seek out validating relationships & environments that help us to grow
o we become more capable of living in the present
Rogers stressed that the ‘fully functioning’ state is an ideal and a dynamic one, a state of realising that we are always ‘in process’ and evolving through life. What matters most is the continual striving and seeking growth in a way that does not stagnate after setbacks but that feeds our learning and helps us to try and try again.

Anxiety Counselling

What is Counselling?


If I had a tenner for every time, I was told counsellors ‘just listen’, I would not be a wealthy woman, but I would have a decent holiday out of it! Counselling is a collaborative process where a safe, confidential, non-judgemental space is provided to help explore personal struggles.
Research indicates that talk therapy can be highly effective in supporting people struggling with anxiety and depression and life changes such as retirement, illness, relationship break-up and bereavement. Often a close death can activate feelings of previous losses and unresolved grief although we may not be conscious of this connection. If your struggles are impacting on your quality of life, your relationships or fear and hesitancy is causing you confusion then counselling can be a powerful process to support change.
While different counsellors vary in the degree to which they emphasis technique or behaviour, all will have as the primary intention to empower and support improvements in their client’s well-being.
Confusion is Normal
Ambivalence is a normal position when we are at a transition or crossroads in life. We ask ourselves where do I go from here? Maybe I don’t need change? Can I muddle along? Is the status quo okay? This treadmill of repetition can go on for many years and if often takes a crisis to provoke change. Stepping out of our comfort zones is always an act of courage. Counselling is not a quick fix but is a process for the courageous that takes time and effort to reap real rewards.

Although it is common to be unclear when we start counselling what we would like to achieve through therapy, your therapist will support you to explore your life and its uniqueness and over time gain clarity on subjective well-being goals. The comparison curse means we can be mired in comparing our lives to others and berating ourselves for not measuring up. It is a measure of some emotional maturity when we stop this comparing and recognize our lives are always different, contextual and unique. When we understand, express and have confidence in living our own values this comparing to others tends to fade.
This is why counselling always differs from a chat with friends or family. The effective therapist will not have an ‘agenda’ and will create enough psychological space in the counselling room for you to explore these fundamental questions. Our friends and family will always be partial and have their own agenda in relationships.

The best qualities of a great friendship exist when we find a therapist we trust; supportive, empathetic, honest, challenging and possibly even fun. But conversation is always purposeful, supporting you to improve the relationship you have with yourself, gaining self-awareness, personal insight, confidence and self-acceptance.
So yep, counselling is a lot more than ‘just listening’!. Get in touch if you want to talk in confidence.

Anxiety Counselling

Counselling for Depression and Anxiety

Get the support you deserve

One in four of us will struggle with our mental health at some stage of our lives. Sometimes, it is reactive, a response to a difficult life event such as bereavement, divorce or redundancy. Sometimes it does not make sense, we may struggle to understand low mood and why it persists. In these situations, counselling can be helpful. If switching off is a problem for you, it can impact on your energy and perhaps your tolerance levels with family and work colleagues. Feelings of depression can be very isolating and we struggle to believe that change is possible.
Counselling aims to help you understand why and how depression may be occurring at this time. When we are depressed our thoughts and perceptions can become exceptionally negative, bleak and defeatist. This thinking, in turn, contributes to a lower mood and we get caught in a downward spiral. There may be core beliefs which frame our thinking such as I’m a worthless person or Nobody likes me. Depressed people also tend to ruminate, going over and over a problem, leading to paralysis by analysis.

Depressive episodes that are recurrent will take time and commitment to change. However, holding on to hope is very important. The use of cognitive therapy is well researched and will often be combined with medication. By learning strategies to counter the depressing thinking, cognitive therapy will help to prevent depression returning. A counselling process will support you to examine interpersonal relationships and identify ways in which established patterns of relations may be affecting how you feel about yourself.
One of the common features of depression is a vicious ‘inner critic’, that internal voice that tells you are hopeless or undeserving of support. Introducing a therapeutic space to reflect on how you talk to yourself and introducing some kindness and self-compassion can prove transformative over time. Building a process of change begins which small achievable steps which lead to a sense of achievement gradually, critical if we struggle with inertia or indecision.

Research indicates that those who live with a lifelong partner with depression are at risk of struggle themselves. If this is you, it is really important to seek support. If you want to learn more, I would recommend reading ‘Depressive Illness: The Curse of the Strong by Dr.Tim Cantopher. Appointments in Greystones and Arklow, Co. Wicklow.


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.


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.