Is counselling right for me?
If you’ve never tried counselling it’s hard to know if this would be the right service for you. Here we provide everything you need to know about how counselling could help you so you can make the right decision for yourself.
We provide talking therapies that can help with issues such as:
- Current and/or past abuse(s)
- Mental ill health
- Panic attacks
- Difficult changes and transitions
- Low confidence / self-esteem
- Relationship difficulties
- Work problems
- Inability to cope and other issues leading to harm and/or distress to the individual and those around them
- ACT also has expertise in medically unexplained symptoms and childhood sexual abuse.
Counselling and psychotherapy are both talking therapies that are intended to help you become emotionally, psychologically and mentally well. They are offered in ways that help you to talk, by carefully developing a ‘safe’ relationship with your counsellor. Mutual respect and confidentiality are essential as well as your need to feel listened to and not judged. If it’s important to you, no matter if the issue is small or big, we want to support you.
Counselling and psychotherapy are available if you are concerned about how you are feeling. By talking, you will gain an understanding of your choices and feel supported to work towards your goals.
Counselling can help if:
- you are feeling stuck and not sure what to do
- you have recently been bereaved or experienced a loss of some kind
- a past event is having a negative impact on you and affecting how you feel
- you feel stressed or anxious
- you have a poor self-image, low self-esteem, or lack confidence
- you want to make significant life changes
- you have been, or fear that you may become addicted to substances that mask feeling(s)
- you are feeling low and may have a sense that you have lost control of your life or your direction
- relationships in your life are difficult, or you’re going through divorce/separation or another important change
- you simply need a safe space to explore your thoughts and feelings and contemplate choices which may lead you to positive changes
Learning patterns and behaviours
Counselling helps you to process what you do and why you do it. You can explore or re-visit repeating patterns, break cycles of behaviour that are no longer helpful to you, and live your life in ways that feel more empowering for you. Using a therapeutic relationship, can help you to unpick difficulties that feel stuck, and free yourself to do something different.
A therapeutic relationship offers opportunities to improve your mood and the way your mind works, by untangling muddles, reducing struggles and by piecing together how you found yourself there. Then, you can understand from a different perspective and create a better understanding of your own unique process and how you can influence it.
Psychotherapists apply scientifically validated procedures to help you develop healthier, more effective habits. There are several approaches to psychotherapy including cognitive-behavioural, interpersonal and other kinds of talking therapy that help individuals work through their problems.
Psychotherapy is a collaborative treatment based on the relationship between an individual and the therapist. Grounded in dialogue, it provides a supportive environment that allows you to talk openly with someone who’s objective, neutral and non-judgemental. You and your therapist will work together to identify and change the thought and behaviour patterns that are keeping you from feeling your best.
By the time you’re done, you will not only have solved the problem that brought you in, but you?will have learned new skills which will enable you to cope better with whatever challenges may arise in the future.
- You feel an overwhelming, prolonged sense of helplessness and sadness.
- Your problems don’t seem to get better despite your efforts and help from family and friends.
- You find it difficult to concentrate on work assignments or to carry out other everyday activities.
- You worry excessively, expect the worst or are constantly on edge.
- Your actions, such as drinking too much alcohol, using drugs or being aggressive, are harming you or others.
There are many different approaches to therapy and therapists generally draw on one or more of these. The kind of therapy you receive will depend on a variety of factors: current psychological research, your therapist’s theoretical orientation and what works best for your situation.
Therapists who use cognitive-behavioural therapy have a practical approach to treatment. You may be asked to carry out certain tasks designed to help you develop more effective coping skills. This approach often involves homework tasks. Your therapist might ask you to gather more information, such as logging your reactions to a particular situation as they occur. They may want you to practice new skills between sessions, for example you may practising pushing elevator buttons if you have an elevator phobia. You might also have reading assignments so you can learn more about a particular topic.
Psychoanalytic and humanistic
In contrast, psychoanalytic and humanistic approaches typically focus more on talking than doing. You might spend your sessions discussing your early experiences to help you and your therapist better understand the root causes of your current problems.
Your therapist may combine elements from several styles of therapy. In fact, most therapists don’t tie themselves to any one approach. Instead, they blend elements from different approaches and tailor their treatment according to each client’s needs.
The main thing to know is whether your therapist has expertise in the area you need help with and whether they feel that he or she can help you.
Group work and signposting
The aims of the group is to provide participants time to discuss the impact of mental ill health with others. We know that having shared experiences with other people increases the possibilities of individuals understanding how they can improve and maintain their own mental well-being. Additionally, input from an experienced group facilitator can provide information, guidance and signposting as to other services which may enhance personal life experiences.
Groupwork can help to increase personal confidence through making and maintaining new, healthy relationships and ultimately develop a feeling of social inclusion. In turn this can reduce the reliance on mental health services and increase employment opportunities.