It is usual to have some level of anxiety as it prevents us from taking risks that would harm our wellbeing and lives. Anxiety becomes unhelpful when we have intrusive thoughts which may cause lack of concentration in daily life or begin to fear going outside or meeting others, becoming isolated experiencing panic attacks and other physical symptoms, our dreams can be disturbing, our relationships may begin to suffer and many other symptoms which can change over time. Isolating the issues and looking at new perspectives can help us to find new solutions to our worries. Anxiety is usually caused by an experience or repeated experiences which inform us that we are not safe in our lives and we must always "be prepared" for something to go wrong.
Depression, like anxiety, is often seen as an isolated issue as opposed to a natural reaction to feeling unable to resolve our problems. We feel stuck, the choices we see aren't what we wish for, life can feel like a burden we carry , we feel unseen, uncared for and isolate ourselves. Finding the source, the patterns in our responses and updating our thoughts helps us to find new solutions. Our life beliefs are formed mostly in childhood and as adults we seldom notice that these may need updating to a new adult version choose by ourselves. Depression can helped by updating those beliefs.
Bereavement can be the death of someone we love but it can equally be the loss of a home, work, relationship or anything else that is of emotional significance to us. Our response is always in proportion to the importance of whoever or whatever it is that we have lost. Our range of feelings in grief is entirely individual to each person and can be repeated in cycles. Sometimes being alone or not talking about feelings of grief can feel like the only option so as not to burden family and friends with repetition. Society has an expectation that after a while the grief will be healed or resolved, in reality it is seldom either - grieving is a painful process of change and adjustment.
Today anything that covers difficult thoughts, unexplained feelings and uncomfortable emotions is termed as a mental health issue. Most are caused by a life event so working with our experiences often changes how we feel and creates greater understanding which results in less anxiety about our emotional health.
It has been previously thought that post traumatic stress is caused by extreme events such as being in war zones or a plane crash. In reality it can happen to anyone - especially people working daily in areas where they are dealing with the trauma of others such as police, emergency teams, lawyers, medics, therapists and counsellors or anyone who works with the lives of others. It can affect people who experience repetitive, small, bad experiences over years - creating the "drip, drip, drip" trauma effect. These don't have to be accidents, just repeat negative and anxiety provoking life experiences. It can be caused by major illness or medical treatments which are experienced as traumatic events. EMDR is particularly effective with PTSD.
Sexuality is not only extremely personal to the individual but also private, so that most people aren’t comfortable discussing sexual themes with others. This is especially when it causes us problems in relationships, or feelings of low self worth and becomes the focus of our concerns. We may also feel fearful of revealing some things even to ourselves. By providing a safe and secure place to talk, counselling can help isolate each part of the concern and emotional discomfort, leading to new solutions and a better understanding of who we are.
Coping with our life difficulties may have varying effectiveness, sometimes people are unable to find a solution which leads them to depend on something outside of themselves to distract them from the pain of their emotions. Like anxiety and depression, addiction is the result of the experiences we can't cope with and doing something so that what we are distracted from the painful feelings. Sadly, addiction has come to mean something other than this in our society. Therapy helps people understand what the real issues are, come to terms with them and find alternative ways of finding solutions.
We aren't taught how to have relationships and we usually learn by watching our parents, friends and others - which can mean that we learn the problems of others. Most people wish happiness for themselves but aren't aware of what their happiness goal should contain so they may not realised they have arrived at that goal. Many people feel that once they have found their life partner they should be happy. For most of us the work has just begun at the start of a relationship and the pivot of what happens to ourselves in the relationship, whether personal or professions, is us.
These are the ways we see ourselves - the value we believe we have, our importance and our place in the world. With too little of confidence and self esteem we may not reach our true potential, when we care too much about how others see us we may be afraid to be individual or voice our opinions and thoughts. Getting a balance can be tricky to achieve, especially when the voice in our heads encourages our low self esteem. With support and help our lives can be more fulfilled.
No one wants feel anger, no one wants to be seen as angry - it's even used as an insult "He/She is such an angry person". And yet we all have anger and it can useful to create determination and success. We can learn to use it to express our needs, wants, wishes and to achieve the goals we have in life. Learning how to use our emotions as information about our lives can lead to having a more rewarding, successful and comfortable life. Coming to terms with the emotions we don't feel comfortable with and accepting that they are a useful part of us is part of the therapy.
Any type of abuse is about the person having their right to choice removed and replaced with the other persons choices. This can result in a dramatic reduction of confidence and self esteem. Feeling they won't be believed, perhaps harm will come to them or others if they tell others what has happened. The person can cease to feel they know themselves or may not have a sense of self at all. They may not know what they need or want, their emotions may have been suppressed so as not to feel their sadness, anger or fear. Using my training and years of experience in this field, I can help people create safer and stronger lives that they choose for themselves.
Aspergers is on the autism spectrum and causes the person to feel social unease and anxiety in many areas of life. There may be few places they feel comfortable because they often fail to understand social situations which can result in feelings of isolation or inadequacy. Both work and home may feel like places of high anxiety with expectations of them they cannot comprehend. I help the person bridge the distance between themselves and the world in which they live in order to gain a better understanding of both themselves and their external world.
EMDR is a type of therapy that is often a successful and fast way to readjust our anxiety back to a comfortable level - the amount time is usually reflected in the gravity of the experience that caused the increased anxiety. EMDR can also be used to work with depression, trauma, panic attacks, prolonged and/or difficult life experiences, PTSD, substance misuse or combinations of any of these. It works by distracting the anxiety in the limbic area of the brain and allowing the cognitive part of the brain to become active in order to come to new a understanding which releases the person from their fears.
It can be hard to find the time to analyse your methods of working between striving for targets, getting results and representing yourself, team or company to others. The business environment doesn't encourage us to be an individual but it is you, the individual, who is in there doing the job and that can cause internal and external feelings of conflict. When we aren't reaching our expected potentials, earning enough money, or perhaps finding that our business relationships aren't cementing in the way we want in can be difficult to find out why. By investing one hour per week in visiting those areas to discuss what is happening, you can reach new decisions, feel more confident in yourself and your business or career.
I am based at Trinity House in central Halifax.