Effective Psychotherapy And Counselling –
Are You Struggling To Cope, And Don’t Know How To Change Things?
- Are you facing difficult life-events such as divorce, bereavement, chronic illness or work-problems?
- Perhaps there’s no ‘event’ as such and you simply find yourself feeling down or anxious, or facing overwhelming emotions such as anger or panic.
- Maybe life has become impossibly stressful and overloaded… or desperately empty and lonely.
- Perhaps you find yourself battling internally: to prop up low self-worth, or to block the shadow of memories from your past.
- Your relationships could be suffering due to what you’re experiencing… or they could be the source of your difficulties.
- Maybe you can’t see the point in anything any more.
Sometimes Even Strong People Can Feel “It’s All Too Much”
As we grow up, we each develop a range of skills for navigating through life. These skills may serve us extremely well for many years. But sometimes they mask other issues, which can eventually cause problems in our lives. We might gradually start to feel like things are getting out of control. Or we may feel we’re doing absolutely fine – then suddenly find ourselves feeling panicked, or full of anger, or overwhelmed.
Struggling with difficult thoughts and emotions like these is more common than you might think. Research shows that one in four adults in the UK will experience a mental health difficulty every year. And one third of NHS ‘sick notes’ for time off work are due to mental health problems.
The tendency to think “I should be able to cope” often means that on top of the problem itself, we may feel confused, ashamed, or highly self-critical about how we’re handling things. But everyone’s capacity to manage stress has certain limits. Even people who are usually strong and capable can feel vulnerable or have difficulty coping at certain times.
You Can Get Through This – And Counselling Can Help
All these difficulties can be resolved. The natural movement of all living beings is towards growth, connection and resilience. We just sometimes need a helping hand to get there.
A psychotherapist or counsellor acts as a sort of ‘midwife for change’ during periods of stress or difficulty. That means they may be providing assistance to resolve a particular problem you have right now. Or it can mean you’ll be journeying together, to transform something more general such as feeling ‘lost’ or ‘stuck’. With the right kind of support, even the most serious or painful issues can be faced and overcome. Psychotherapy and counselling can help you to make the most of your natural resources, repair the gaps in your coping strategies, and find the best path forwards.
I have worked with adults of all ages, from college students to retirees, who faced many different problems. My clients come from in and around Hereford, Brecon, Builth Wells, Kington and Leominster, from all walks of life. It’s shown me that regardless of how withdrawn and isolated you may feel, or how distressing your experience has been, or how messy your relationships have become – change really is possible.
Interested in counselling but still have some concerns? …
“Talking Can’t Really Change Anything”
Many people wonder how ‘just talking’ about things can possibly help – especially if their problems involve difficult life-events that simply can’t be changed.
But psychotherapy or counselling is a different kind of conversation. We orient ourselves to the detail of your experience; we pay attention to the things that normally get skimmed over; we ask different questions. We’ll maintain a gentle, steady curiosity about you and whatever you’re facing.
As things get spoken out loud and looked at together, the circular narrative that takes place in the closed circuit of your own mind can begin to shift – to move forwards. You and your story start to ‘make sense’. You can stop operating so often on autopilot, and start choosing different responses to the world where appropriate. Talking enables us to find a path, together, through your current difficulties, to a more peaceful place.
“It Will Take Too Long”
It’s very common for people to worry about how long counselling or psychotherapy will go on for. You might be concerned about it being a bit vague and directionless, or about you becoming dependent on it. Or you may worry about the whole process costing more than you can afford.
Of course therapy can sometimes take a long time, where sensitive issues need to be gently probed in some depth. But I’ve seen plenty of other instances where people make huge strides forward in just a few weeks. On average, my clients take around 18-20 weeks to achieve the changes they want to see.
I am experienced in working both short-term or long-term, as needed. So you can have confidence your counselling will never be rushed or forced, but it also won’t go on any longer than it needs to. We’ll work according to your personal needs and natural pace, until you feel able to meet life with confidence and resilience.
“It’s Too Late For Me – This Is Just The Way I Am”
Some people worry that their problems have been around for so long, there’s no point in trying to change.
But there’s no time limit on resolving a problem, and definitely no upper age limit for counselling. In fact, modern neuroscience has proven that although the brain undergoes some natural ageing processes over time, it never loses any of its original ‘plasticity’, or flexibility. In other words, we never lose the capacity to change.
This means that in our counselling sessions, we can work together to loosen even the oldest and seemingly most entrenched habits or difficulties. It’s never too late to find a sense of ease.
“It’ll Just Open A Can Of Worms…”
It’s true that looking at yourself and your life with honesty and clarity – as psychotherapy and counselling ask you to do – can be challenging at times. You may worry it will all be too ‘messy’, and feel things are better left neatly ‘packed away’. You might fear that you will be judged… or that you will fall apart if you start dismantling the scaffolding that has held you together till now.
However, most people find that looking at the difficult stuff is just one part of a helpful process of understanding, cleansing, and moving on.
And if that still doesn’t feel safe for you, then I have also undertaken specialist training which enables me to help you achieve change in the present without discussing all the details of the past. So you never have to talk about anything you don’t want to.
“Sarah is a therapist with great empathy, insight and intelligence. She offers a safe framework for her clients, does not judge them, and works with courage, flexibility and energy. I recommend her highly.”
Dr. Meriel Powell, PhD (Psych), MBACP (Snr Accred), UKCP (Reg) – Clinical Supervisor
What Do I Do Next?
The journey towards change can be challenging – but you don’t have to take it alone. If you live in or near Hereford, Brecon, Builth Wells, Kington or Leominster then you’re probably less than 30 minutes from the Hay Counselling office. Contact me to take the first step, and book a session together.