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Below are a few of the issues that prompt people to work with a counsellor or psychotherapist. People’s troubles are wide ranging and the concern that is in your mind might not be listed. Nonetheless if it bothers you, it’s important and it’s worth asking if a counsellor might be able to help.

Stress
Many people lead busy lives coping with work, family commitments, home and social life. Long hours and responsibilities that come with little support, contribute to the experience of stress. The individual may start to feel overwhelmed by demands rather than excited by the challenges of the day. Factor in a concern such as the possibility of redundancy, or the health of someone close and the individual might become snappy, start to sleep badly, feel exhausted each morning or find that he or she is eating or drinking more or less than is usual.

Anxiety
While feeling anxious is a normal response designed to protect us from dangers that are truly life threatening, sometimes the feeling is provoked in response to an everyday situation such as entering a crowded room or travelling on a bus. It becomes the right response to the wrong situation. Occasionally an anxiety sufferer adapts his or her life to avoid such situations, only to find that limited contact with others and increased isolation – perhaps in the home with little outside activity – significantly decreases quality of life.

Trauma
We experience trauma as a response to disturbing and life-threatening events such as serious accidents, personal assault, natural disasters and major illness. The wake of a trauma may gives rise to feelings such as grief, depression, guilt or anxiety. The sufferer may experience unpleasant symptoms, for instance, flashbacks, nightmares, constant alertness, sleep difficulties, and muscular aches and pains, to name but a few.

Relationships
We are social beings living in communities of friends, families, neighbours and colleagues, but the way we relate to others, especially family members and partners, and how others have related to us over time, can have a significant impact on our sense of wellbeing and selfhood.

Low Mood
While many people experience the odd bad day and accept this as part of the ups and downs of life, others may be dogged by feelings of persistent sadness which are hard to shift. The longer it goes on the harder it seems to be to connect with the strong part inside which can help you to look after yourself and return to happier feelings.

Loss and Bereavement
Nothing stays the same for ever and when change happens it can make us sad. Loss may be associated with times such as the end of a relationship, children starting school or leaving home, moving house or a landmark birthday.

Bereavement is a special loss through death when we mourn the one who died. It is normal to feel intense sadness over the weeks and months following the death of someone loved because mourning is a lengthy process. Sometimes it can be helpful to think of mourning as a bridge between our old life with the deceased and our changed, new life without them.

Finding the Real You
It is not unusual for clients to seek counselling because they want to take an in-depth look at themselves to come to a greater understanding of what makes them tick, how they relate to others and who they really are inside. In some cases there is a sense of hiding the real self behind a façade designed, for the most part, as a protection and a wish to be renewed as the essential self that has been deep inside all along.

 
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       Senior Accredited Member of BACP
MBACP (Snr. Accred)

Registered with the United Kingdom Register of Counsellors/Psychotherapists
UKRCP Registered Independent Counsellor/Psychotherapist
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