People come to personal counselling and psychotherapy for many reasons. Some may come with one issue and one goal. Others may have several concerns. I offer individual therapy to people who are experiencing a wide range of difficulties that may come from experiences in family, from relationships or from work. Many people want to find new ways of coping with relationship difficulties, unresolved family issues, including abuse, as well as feelings of anxiety, depression. I also see people who may want help with intimacy issues, addictions and compulsive behaviour, anger management, and work-based relationships and group dynamics. Many people need the space to talk about old grief and losses in their lives so they can get on with living a full life.
Often the big questions about life – who am I, what’s it all about, and other existential issues can be important for some people to examine. Another good question might be: what causes us to change and what prevents us from changing?
PERSONAL BOUNDARIES give us a sense of who we are, they let us know who we are in relation to others, and they guide us in our intimate relationships and in our relationships at work and in organisations. When people have clear boundaries they are better able to take care of themselves, they find it easier to be assertive and know if they are being used or abused.They can also be supportive and caring towards others without feeling they have ‘given too much’. Having clear boundaries is good for our sense of self worth. In therapy many people work on clarifying their boundaries and improving their relationships with others.
The relationship between the therapist and the client is central to the whole work of therapy. It can take some courage to go for counselling. I believe trust, safety and sincerity are a priority for successful results. Establishing that connection, that dialogue, that rapport, may take a little time, or it may be there from the start. I see this as a key part of the therapeutic process.
CHILDHOOD ATTACHMENT (closeness) experiences with parents or carers………
People who had broken or wounded attachment experiences in their childhood (due to parental illness, alcohol abuse or other trauma or abuse) often as adults avoid being close to anyone who they see in a ‘care giving’ capacity. They may avoid or sabotage loving, caring adult relationships in case they ‘go wrong’ and remind them of painful attachments with early caregivers or parents. They may find it difficult to be really close to someone. Many people are not aware that this is what’s been happening. This vicious cycle can result in repeated feelings of ‘re-enactment’ in adult relationships of old childhood/family dynamics that make it difficult for a person to trust themselves and others.
Therapy is a place where these experiences can be identified and dealt with so that people can better understand their emotional ‘triggers’, avoid the old patterns and learn new, safe ways of building trusting, healthy relationships. This process of change can happen in both individual and/or couples therapy. The choice of approach depends on what each person feels is the best way forward and this we would discuss at the start of the counselling and therapy.