Counselling? What about it?

Counselling, do I need it?

So the obvious question is what can a Counsellor do for me? If I’m not at breaking point why would I see and spend money on going to a Counsellor?

There are many ways to respond to these questions. From my personal perspective, the answer to what can a Counsellor do is – a lot! Usually, when someone seeks out a Counsellor they are wanting a few things:

What people want from a counsellor

  • Connection with someone they feel they can trust on an emotional and intellectual level
  • Safety and security in a warm and inviting space
  • Someone to listen deeply without offering an oppositional, ‘balancing’ perspective
  • A space where you drop your everyday facade and be yourself without being judged
  • Answers and clarity to questions about yourself and others
  • Solutions to specific situations that you may be having difficulty with (perhaps recurring)
  • Relief from ongoing negative thoughts, feelings and behaviours
  • Sometimes, they might want to be told what to do (This is not what Counselling is about)
  • Support and collaboration on your goals and priorities that allows you to make a step by step plan to reach them

The list above is just some of the things people will seek Counselling for, but it is not exhaustive. Do any of the points above ring any bells for you? Counselling is not just for people in severe distress, it is there for anyone who wishes to air their thoughts, improve their communication strategies with their loved ones and seek treatment for symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Therapies and the right counsellor

Counselling may also assist people who have had major trauma in life, and offer strategies such as Eye Movement Desensitisation and Regulation (EMDR), Somatic Experiencing, Breathwork, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Emotion Focused Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Schema Therapy plus many more.

If you would like to find out more about Breathing Space Counselling therapies visit our services page.

There are many many treatment modalities in counselling and psychotherapy, as well as many schools of thought which underpin the individual practitioner’s philosophical viewpoint. Ask a prospective counsellor about their skills and experience and if the fit is not quite right, keep looking until you have found the person for you.

If you think counselling is right for you, give me a call on 0423 915 389

Following are two brief Breathing Space Counselling examples. These are not the real names of the clients of course.

Meg

Meg was a young mum who came to me because her marriage was causing her a lot of angst. Meg’s husband was micro managing her, specifically what she did each day and how she did it. Parenting was a very touchy subject between them. Although her husband was a gentle man who was trying his best, his behaviour in this regard was extremely frustrating for her. Meg had tried to get her husband to go to couple’s counselling with no success.

We worked together to find out what was happening and what Meg’s feelings about the situation were. We explored habitual patterns in her own family, her relationship with her husband and her communication style and discovered that Meg gave her power away (unknowingly) by asking her husband’s permission for most things.

She changed the way she communicated to more assertive language, had lunch with her friend and all the other things she previously felt too guilty about and discovered that her relationship dynamic changed for the better when she felt more empowered.

Danielle

Danielle was a tertiary student who lived at home with her Mother and was having difficulty attending her course due to feelings of anxiety. Danielle disclosed she had been assaulted as a young teenager by someone she trusted. A history was taken which included her family dynamics. Danielle’s Mother expected high achievement from her daughter and Danielle was rebelling against this by not attending class and visiting her relatives out of town. Her assailant was still in her wider circle of people from school and so she avoided most social events in Perth in case he was present.

We explored her feelings about both of her parents and also what she wished to do about her tertiary course. We discussed how a person’s ‘attachment style’ affected them into adulthood. Danielle had an anxious- avoidant attachment style (see attachment styles for a brief introduction of this concept) which she was enacting in her current behaviour.

Danielle realised that she had choices. She could choose to avoid her Mother or her coursework however she chose to work through her discomfort of speaking her needs to her Mother, and discussing her anxiety with her University Access and Equity Officer to get her needs met on campus. We also practiced many ways to become calm when feeling activated and Danielle identified her own individual preferences for these, including Apps like ‘Anxiety Release’, ‘Smiling Mind’ and ‘Calm’.

If you feel I could assist with any issues in your life please feel free to call, text or email me on thebreathingspace@bigpond.com and we can discuss what’s happening.

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Janice White

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