Counselling

How might counselling help me?

Whether you're considering counselling or someone has suggested to you that you might require counselling, this does not mean that you are crazy.  It might mean that you are probably looking for relief.  Counselling can give you solutions and a new perspective in how you can deal with issues in a more proactive way.  It can be useful talking with someone objective who you don't know.  Counselling is an opportunity to discuss what's on your mind with someone specifically qualified who can validate what you are going through, and help you harness your own strengths, implement new ideas and strategies unique to your situation, and provide you with useful resources that you can keep using, well after you complete your sessions.

What happens, and what can I expect?

You can expect to meet someone you don't know, so it may be a little unnerving which is natural.  But most people finish their first session feeling it was easier than they had imagined.  You can also bring someone along with you for support if you wish.The first session is an opportunity for you to assess if counselling might be what you want, and where you can ask questions to help you find out how counselling might help to address the issues you're dealing with.  We can discuss what you would like to be different, what you're struggling with, and what your hopes and your dreams are.  And you can find out how counselling can help you discover your own healing potential.  You can expect to be treated in ways that are respectful of, and sensitive to cultural values, religious beliefs, gender issues and disabilites.  You can expect that what we discuss is strictly confidential.  The only exception is if there is a threat to your own safety, or somebody else's.  You can then choose up to six sessions which are for an hour a week at the same time.  You can also request notes after your sessions are completed.  Counselling can offer you insight and can provide a powerful experience to promote clarity, awareness and encourage compassion for yourself.  You ultimately find you are not entirely alone, that you can talk about your experiences and not feel judged, and where just being in a safe and quiet environment can be healing in itself.

Techniques

Every counsellor is different.  Patricia works holistically, which means that in order to have balance in our lives that encourages wellness, we need to pay attention to how stress affects our mind, body, and even our spirit. Patricia likes to promote the idea of choice; that you actually have choice can be a new concept for some people.  Essentially, you know yourself better than anyone.  Nothing happens in counselling without your consent.  You will work together, at your pace to come up with a plan to reach your goals.  There is no pressure to talk about things you don't want to.  However you have approached and dealt with your struggles or traumatic experiences in the past will be acknowledged and appreciated, not judged. 

Results of stress

Experiencing and trying to manage a painful or stressful circumstance at various stages in our lives can sometimes be very difficult.  New changes or phases we try to cope through are supposed to be challenging, but if the way we manage becomes too stressful, we can to revert back to old habits and patterns of behaviour, often without knowing, that are not always helpful.  We don't all cope the same way.  Some of us respond in ways that make us sensitive to anxiety and depression, or where we feel confusion, intense grief, anger or fear.  These experiences can leave us feeling lost and very alone and our relationships can suffer.  It we're lucky enough to have supportive family and friends we might find ourselves looking after their feelings so they don't worry.  Or we keep our pain to ourselves for other reasons.  Maybe there are people we're close to who are suffering, and we have no idea how to help them so we end up affected ourselves.  Even if we have managed relatively okay for a long time, sometimes it can eventually become too much.