What to expect from psychotherapy and counselling…
Please note that I am using the term psychotherapy, but the word counselling could be used instead.
The experience is different for everyone, so please take this is a general outline.
Most clients settle into the psychotherapy environment over the first few sessions. They build confidence that they can speak freely, and that what they say will be received with respect and consideration.
In the first six sessions or so, we look at your life experiences and we start to see the different internal parts that make up your inner world. This process enables some clients to see things in a new way and make some practical decisions or changes.
Over the next few months, we explore your inner experience in more depth. “Inner parts” become more accessible and are understood more clearly. You begin the process of recognising and letting go of unhelpful patterns and burdens that are held within your inner system. As these burdens are released, you find that things can be done differently. This may be about the way you see yourself, or the way you respond to others. You may find some new freedom to make healthier choices and feel lighter and happier.
Internal Family Systems Therapy
IFS Therapy is an evidenced based approach which I have found valuable in my work – read more about the approach here.
In Core Process Psychotherapy we explore our mental and emotional processes. We explore the energies, sensations, feelings and thoughts that make up our inner world.
Core Process work is based on the understanding that within the mind there is a deep wisdom that moves naturally towards healing. As we become more open to the ways in which we hold onto our suffering, we make a deeper connection with this wisdom at the heart of our human condition. This connection helps us to live with more creativity and freedom.
Common Issues Explained
Dealing with Anxiety and Stress
Anxiety is defined as nervousness, apprehension, and self-doubt. It may or may not be associated with real-life stressors.
A certain level of anxiety or stress is, for many people, a healthy part of life. It can sharpen our thinking and fuel our actions. However, when anxiety levels become too high we experience ongoing dread and worry. Thoughts and feelings may become unfocused, overwhelming, recurring and with no direct link to stressful events. It may be difficult to carry on with our daily activities.
Psychotherapy is an opportunity to explore the issues and discharge the tensions that are bottled up within us. We can learn to maintain stability and positivity even while experiencing challenging situations, feelings and sensations. This can bring a sense of balance and peace back into our lives, allowing us to think clearly and begin to tackle difficulties with creativity and enthusiasm.
Relationship problems may arise due to stressful circumstances affecting the couple as a whole or just one of the partners. There may be ongoing issues, such as finances or different life expectations. These may build up over time to become a major problem. Many couples struggle to communicate effectively and don’t feel heard by their partners.
Feelings of irritation, resentment or even contempt may build and arguments may increase in frequency. These are signs that underlying problems have been left unaddressed.
This can be addressed in couples counselling, but if this is not possible, or in addition to couples counselling, you may wish to use individual psychotherapy to improve this situation. Individual psychotherapy can provide a space to explore your experience, and relieve the stress that may have built up. Greater calm and understanding can improve the way you respond to the situation and enable improved communication which helps the relationship as a whole.
Everyone feels sad and fed-up from time to time. For some people, this type of depression becomes so severe that they find it hard to carry on with their normal lives.
Some symptoms of a severe depression are anxiety, difficulty concentrating and feelings of worthlessness.
An opportunity to express worries and fears and to work with some of the patterns below the surface can help you to regain energy and balance.
Shock and Trauma
Whether through a sudden traumatising shock, or a series of seemingly minor, difficult events, people sometimes build up a store of nervous energy in their bodies that is not being discharged. If you find yourself in this situation you may experience a sense of physical and mental tension that doesn’t seem in proportion to your life’s events.
Discharging the energies may involve a process that leaves you feeling vulnerable and in need of support. If your body doesn’t feel it is safe for it to discharge the energy, it may attempt to hold a composed facade, but the inner struggle can be tortuous. This may also block pleasurable experiences and interfere with relationships.
This blocked nervous energy may also leave you vulnerable to panic attacks, where, even though you are in a safe environment, your nervous system is responding as if you were in extreme danger.
A psychotherapeutic relationship may provide a safe place to work with these blocked energies. The process may involve physical shaking as your body discharges the energy. This work may require time to establish a relationship with the psychotherapist that can support the process.
‘Stuck’ or ‘Blocked’
Perhaps you find that your life is not going where you want it to, or that you just can’t seem to work out what you really want. In a psychotherapy session there may be the potential to explore patterns of behaviour that are normally invisible to you or simply impossible for you to work with on your own.
Through this exploration you may find an increased self-awareness and more freedom of behaviour.
This change may give you the clarity and freedom of choice that you need to see your life more clearly and move in the direction you want to go.
You can call (07909107447) or email (from the Location & Contact form).
I would be happy to discuss your needs and answer any questions that you may have, with no cost or commitment to proceed further.