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.

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.