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How I can help you

...or maybe I should ask

How Can I Help You?

I think this a very interesting statement and question, as first of all before we can work together or have an answer to these questions I guess we need to talk and listen together. We need to make sure that we both feel comfortable and trusting of each other in a relational way and of course I am interested to hear your story and why at this particular moment in time you chose to contact me.

I guess there was a trigger that prompted you to say to yourself, ’I can’t/wont/put up with/feel this way etc. etc. or do this any longer.’ And that’s when you sprung into action and contacted me. Or maybe it was so scary that you enlisted someone else to do this for you or support you while you did. So, already you can see that I am interested in your patterns of behaviour and what makes you, and how you spring into action or not.

Next of course I am extremely interested in your story; the issues that you feel are challenging you right now or maybe have done so for some time. And in that listening I will already be hearing how you see ‘yourself’ in your world, ‘your’ coping strategies that ‘you’ use at this moment in time that are working for you, or, that are not working quite so well for ‘you’.

We are who we are from our earliest experiences and the position we are born into our family. We choose very early on how to behave to be significant in our family, to feel accepted, loved and have worth. We form coping strategies for when things are challenging that enable us to keep control. When those strategies are not working we are thrown into some sort of chaos. Whereas previously we were in control of issues now the issues feel in control of us. When challenges feel ‘in control of us’ we have difficulty making sense of anything, thinking clearly, making decisions etc. etc. When we understand this process sometimes the tiniest tweak in our behaviour along with support and insight can make significant changes.

So that’s how we can start our understanding together; and of course next we need to establish what your feelings and plans are; whether you want short term counselling where we look briefly (eight to ten sessions) at how you can resolve a particular issue. Another option could be whether you feel ready to enter psychotherapy which is longer term; where together we explore, your ‘individual sense of self’ which is, the type of person you wish you were, is who you really are, but haven’t yet learnt how to be’.

At all times you only go as far as you feel able to go at that particular time with an aim that you feel supported and safe and able to get on with your life when you leave after your time here; (either in between sessions or when we complete our time together).

Why is it so Scary?

I How often have you found yourself completely confused, anxious and stressed? Were you unable to sleep, waking early with your mind racing, either over or under eating and found yourself either telling everyone you meet that day your problem whilst watching their faces glace over; or holding on to the problem as it was to personal or embarrassing to share until you thought you might burst.

I think we all know that feeling. Many years ago when families all lived in the same village or street of a town it was easy to pop into Auntie’s or Grandma’s to pass time and share our woes thus relieving the tension to some extent. Since families have become migratory often living hundreds of miles away from each other and with most people working to full capacity¬† and with fewer resources for support and little time for thinking through and reflecting on difficulties. Consequently small issues are not dealt with and over time are added to the list of others; add them to a childhood belief such as “I must be perfect”, “I must not cry” or “the harder I work the more I am loved” and crisis could be around the next corner.

I wonder why it is so scary for some people to admit they need help and approach a counsellor or psychotherapist for support while they work through a difficult time. If people break a limb of have influenza it is visible and consequently gives credence to call upon their doctor; whereas visiting a therapist is invariably accomplished secretively. Working with confidentiality is the way my colleagues and myself work and being professionals we do so with great respect. I hope that in time people will find that they are proud to be able to say they are caring for their emotional health with pride.

Sex seems to be a scary subject also, it appears that some people brag about conquests that may or may not have taken place. Would it be so awful to speak the truth and say that none of us are perfect and like any other part of our relationships with others ‘respectful intimate sex’ doesn’t just happen but has to be learnt and developed over time and with experience.

There are few people for whom sex has not played an important if not essential part of their life. It is what we use to nurture each other, ourselves and to celebrate our love for each other. There are an amazing amount of people who hide their fears and frustrations about their floundering relationships both personal and sexual. This can leave them with feelings of inadequacy and insecurity and reflects not only in areas of personal relationships but can effect work, social connections and self-esteem also.

Alfred Adler, a famous Psychiatrist, believed we have four areas of our lives, work, social, intimate and spiritual; therefore, is it not essential that we learn about, nurture and respect all these aspects of ourselves.

If you still have questions about ‘how I can help you’ or ‘how can I help you’ please feel free to make contact.