Specific Issues

I offer counselling for a wide variety of problems we may face, and you can see an in-depth list of these on my Counselling page. But here I describe a little more about my approach to these commonly experienced issues:

Anger

Anxiety and Depression

Bereavement

Couples Counselling

Menopause

 

Anger
It can be quite scary to take that first step and contact a therapist. It can feel like crossing a threshold. Maybe we have admitted to ourselves that we could do with some support, but to make that phone call means that we admit it to another person as well. This is not easy since most of us have learned that we should be able to cope on our own and that admitting to needing help is a weakness. I think that asking for support is a courageous thing to do; it's the first step to sharing the burden and making our lives better! We may battle with too much anger, a mighty energy which can cause a lot of trouble and destruction in our lives and relationships. But this powerful energy could also be used in a positive, constructive way. We just need to find out how to do that, and this we can do in therapy.

In my experience, people who decide to get counselling because of anger sometimes get scared after they contacted the counsellor. I think they might get scared of facing up to the damage this issue has caused in their lives and relationships. They feel ashamed and afraid, and it may seem too hard to admit this to themselves and to a counsellor. They may turn up for the initial free meeting and say that they want to give it a go. But then shame and fear kick in and they cancel the next session, which is really regrettable because in counselling they might finally find somebody who doesn't judge them, who could help them to understand where all this anger comes from, and how to change their lives for the better. For some people anger was the only way to get through difficult and scary times, a survival-mechanism. In counselling they would get the chance to learn to cope with difficulties without destroying their relationships all around them. I really would like to reassure them that things can and will get better as long as they can take that risk and make a commitment to the counselling process.

 

Anxiety & Depression
Anxiety and Depression can have many causes and often go hand in hand. It is absolutely possible to find out what these causes are. Some are more obvious and more on the surface, like being in the wrong job where you can’t use your real talents and strengths, or you are in a difficult relationship and you can’t figure out how to change things for the better.
Or maybe you are single and would really like to find a partner. Some causes may be “deeper” and not so obvious. You may feel hopeless and that life is not worth living; you may have trouble sleeping, feel empty or angry and irritable for no particular reason, you may have lost your libido or your appetite or you eat too much, and maybe you feel that things will never change. It’s like living under a heavy black cloud with no hope of it ever lifting.
Some of the reasons for feeling this way could be that you are too adapted, to “good”; you listen too much to others and ignore what you really feel. Maybe you feel that your life is generally a mess and you can’t find a way to get some order into it. Maybe you don’t think much of yourself and don’t trust yourself and your feelings. Maybe you try to be somebody else than who you really are; you put a lot of effort into pleasing others and forget what is right for you.

These are only a few examples and there may be other causes, but whatever they are, they usually have something to do with us having lost the connection to our True Self, to who we really are. We can work on these issues and improve the quality of your life if you are willing and ready to engage in this work and stick with it for a while. The more you put into it, the more you get out of it.

Bereavement
We may have lost a loved one and don't know how to cope and to live without that person. Bereavement can be cruel, and it is not necessary to go through all that pain on our own. It is helpful to share this difficult experience with another human being and to tell somebody who is able to really listen, about the person we lost. We may even have conflicting emotions: grief, pain, but also anger about being left behind, or guilt and regret because there were some things unspoken, unfinished. It is possible to work through all these emotions and to find the strength to carry on living without that person. We can even learn how to make peace with the person who is physically no longer with us, and so find inner peace for ourselves as well.

 

Couples Counselling
Relationships can bring a lot of joy and fulfilment if we know how to do it. This may sound strange but unfortunately most of us aren't taught anywhere - neither at home or in school - how to make relationships work. What most people who have relationship-problems think is: "If my partner would change, then all would be well". But of course that's only half the story. It takes two to tango, and it takes two who are willing to learn new ways of relating to turn things round. We often go into a relationship with the hope that the other person will make us happy and fulfil our needs. This is partly true, but only partly. We all have a history and bring baggage into a relationship; and we may be living under the illusion that our partner should give us what we never had and should heal our wounds. Normally this is too much to ask, and partners can feel helpless, and overwhelmed by the demands of the other. But there are also partners that don't know how to listen properly, or they don't know how to speak out and say what they feel and think, and how to do this in a way that brings positive results. Some partners think that the relationship is fine while the other one feels neglected and lonely. Learning how to communicate is paramount. It's the foundation on which good relationships can be built. If your attempts at communicating always turn into rows then you are caught up in a "drama-dynamic". In counselling we can work on how to step out of this destructive dynamic and how to talk things through in a way that will make both partners feel heard and appreciated. A relationship will get better if both partners are willing to do this work.

 

Menopause

Please read the article 'The Change can be The Chance' for more about my thoughts on the menopause. You can also read it here in my articles on the counselling directory website.

I have also written about the Change for Men.