Do I need counselling?

As you read this website, you may be wondering if counselling is right for you. Many people who seek out therapy often worry that their problems aren’t ‘big enough’ or question whether talking about their problems week after week is going to make any difference.

To those people, I provide reassurance that day to day life doesn’t have to be really hard for us before we recognise we need some support. After all, being human can be a challenge and so why wait until crisis point before checking in and making some changes.

We all have increasing demands on us at work and home, as the pace of life becomes faster and faster. Many people who come to me talk about every day demands from increasing workloads, social media, the pressures of family life and the need to get ‘everything done’…

And this is all without the ‘big stuff’ that can come in and wobble us, such as ill health, bereavement, redundancy and relationship breakdown.

In addition, I want to provide assurance that it is OK to ask for help and that everyone deserves to feel listened to, understood, and as though they are worthy of support.

I’d also like to address the myth that counselling involves merely talking about our problems. The difference between counselling and a chat with a friend is that a counsellor will challenge you to look differently at what’s going on, so you can explore your habits, and find new, better ways of being.

People sometimes come to counselling to gain insight and awareness into who they are, or because they want to learn how to live a more meaningful life. So, things don’t even have to feel that bad to have a desire to feel better! Sometimes, there is just a vague feeling that something isn’t right, or maybe the body is speaking by being lethargic or aching.

Other signs that you might need to speak to someone include excessive worrying, angry outbursts, crying regularly or feeling sad and demotivated.

If having read this piece you’re still not sure, then please do contact me to discuss whether counselling is right for you.

What is Person-Centred Counselling?

The BACP summarises the person-centred approach as follows:

“Person or client-centred therapy is based on the view that everyone has the capacity and desire for personal growth and change, given the right conditions. Rather than being seen as the expert and directing the therapy, the counsellor offers unconditional positive regard, empathy and congruence to help you come to terms with any negative feelings and to change and develop in your own way.”

Person-Centred counselling was founded by Carl Rogers and has, at its core, the belief that people are inherently ‘ok’ and that they have the capacity to reach their best (self-actualise). Rogers believed that by creating the right conditions within the counselling relationship, individuals can change, grow and reach their full potential. He suggested that counsellors need to be able to create these conditions by offering:

  • Congruence – being real, genuine and honest
  • Empathy – understanding the person’s experience, or, ‘walking a mile in their shoes’
  • Unconditional Positive Regard – offering a non-judgemental ear and valuing the person in each moment

Person-Centred Counselling can help with:

Broadly speaking, Person-Centred Counselling can help people of any age, with a range of personal issues.

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Self-esteem and confidence issues
  • Relationships
  • Stress
  • Creativity
  • Addictions
  • Bereavement and  loss
  • Menopause
  • Mid-life crisis
  • Parenting
  • Anger
  • Breakdown
  • Family problems
  • And many more…

Please get in touch to discuss what is troubling you.

Counselling for men

You may be questioning why I have dedicated a specific section on my website to men. There’s a very good reason for this. Let me explain…

Traditionally, men have not sought out help for both physical and mental health issues. The reasons why are well documented and understandable.

But thankfully this is changing.

Around half of my clients are male, which debunks the myth that men are reluctant to talk about their challenges.

It feels like a shift is taking place within our society, whereby the men – and women – are realising that the expectations put on men to be strong at all times are unrealistic. And rightly so.

But there is still a long way to go…

In 2017, the Office for National Statistics identified that in 5,821 suicides were recorded in Great Britain, of these 75% were males. Suicide represents the largest cause of death for men under 50.

What’s more, the Mental health and wellbeing in England: Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey found that In England, around 1 in 8 men have a common mental health problem.

It’s great that this information is getting out there and receiving the attention it deserves. Also, television programmes aimed at raising awareness of men’s mental health as well as public figures such as Princes William and Harry being prepared to speak up do much to change hearts and minds.

And from where I sit, the good news is that time and again, I have witnessed the transformative effects of counselling for men.

Men tell me that they enjoy my real and straightforward approach to the counselling relationship, and that the humour and challenge to their potentially habitual ways of thinking have been pivotal in their transformation.