Carl Jung, 1875-1961
Counselling and Psychotherapy are two types of “talking treatments” the aims of which are to give individuals an opportunity to inquire, discover, and explore alternative ways of living more resourcefully and satisfactorily. They are intended to support and encourage individuals to reach a clearer and more meaningful understanding of their behavioural, psychological, and emotional lives, and in finding their own ways of dealing with personal concerns.
It is not always an easy process as it often entails digging beneath the surface and discussing matters which we feel uncomfortable about or have pushed to one side. Although sometimes painful it can be a relief to air and discuss these feelings in a safe and non-judgmental professional environment.
Due to the intimate nature of Counselling and Psychotherapy, it is not uncommon for individuals to be nervous, anxious, or embarrassed when approaching someone for the first time, and for the subsequent couple of sessions. This is very normal and it will take a little time for these anxieties to subside. To aid this process, you should not be afraid to ask any questions regarding the concerns you may have.
Although you will be encouraged to discuss many aspects of your life, and express your thoughts and feelings regarding them, you are not obliged to talk about matters you would prefer not to discuss. These matters can, however, be important and it is useful to be aware that they may be very significant in terms of your personal development. It is important to be clear that Counselling and Psychotherapy are not the same as advice giving, although some people who give advice are often called counsellors. You will not be given advice nor told what to do. The objective of Counselling and Psychotherapy is to work with individuals to help them reach the aims outlined above.
There are times in most of our lives when we experience emotional duress or distressing events which can be difficult to cope with or which may appear to have no end in sight. This can be due to particular circumstances: bereavement, past or present unsatisfactory relationships. However, sometimes we may have no idea what is making us feel the way we do, and how to account for unexplained changes in our mood. What we are aware of is that life has become uncomfortable, puzzling and at times, almost intolerable.
There is a broad range of difficulties which individuals present with. The concerns addressed are not always straightforward and can be appreciably complex. Some of these include the more common mental health difficulties of:
• Panic Attacks
• Relationship & family difficulties
• Sex, Sexuality and Sexual Orientations
• Sexual, Physical, and Emotional Abuse and Neglect
• Childhood experiences and Concerns
• Guilt and Shame
• Coping with illness
• Critical life events
• Low Self-esteem
• Crises throughout the life cycle (adolescence, 20s, 30s, mid-life, retirement, and senior years)
• Lack of meaning
• Spiritual concerns
I would like to emphasise that this list is by no means exhaustive and is only intended to give a sense of the kinds of material that an individual can be wrestling with in terms of their desire to seek some assistance.