Anxiety: is a sense of needing to keep life at bay – a distracting and continuous concern for what has happened or might happen. Quite often we are coping alone and need to understand the real fears and concerns that underlie anxiety. Are we running away or dreading something? Facing up to fears – and managing them – can be the path to reducing anxiety.

Depression: often a sense of being trapped and feeling hopeless, over a long period of time – it makes us feel deprived of energy and positive feeling. Motivation drops and there can be a sense of doom or a feeling that there is no escape. The solution is often reviewing the entire picture again and working out exactly how life can be changed – or why the helplessness developed in the first place.

Loss: we all process loss differently but in most cases there are stages to adjusting to the loss of someone or something we hold as precious. Our identity is built on the environment around us, including our sense of self. The process of adaption to change may become blocked and prolonged suffering may leave us estranged from ourselves and others. Counselling is a way of reconnecting with the environment and processing difficult feelings.

Fears and phobias: often develop for many different reasons and the complexity is best understood through working out what is rational and what is not. Sometimes the way forward is exposure to our fears and in other cases there is a need to understand the impact of trauma and responses that bypass our conscious mind – to protect us from threat. The remedy is often a rebuilding of trust and establishing a sense of safety.

Anger: is often a sign of frustration in the short-term but long-term presentations are usually founded upon deep feelings of fear, shame or threat which may or may not be consciously understood. To protect ourselves we often cut off difficult feelings and anger is all that resides.  Getting to the bottom of these lost feelings is often the best way to understand and then manage anger.

Relationships: conflict, distrust and unmet needs can prevent normal connectivity with others. Our relationships often follow patterns, some of which may even date back to how we connected with our parents and carers. To relate better to others we often have to examine our relationship with ourselves, understand our needs and how they fit into the lives of others – both in the present and the past.

Stress: work and life balance can cause a range of symptoms, ranging from physical to psychological – as well as levels of fatigue, burnout, and irritability. The complexities and demands of modern life and work can leave us without time for ourselves. This reduces space for contemplation, decision-making and taking stock. Counselling is an opportunity to stop and consider life choices and the causes of stress.

Addiction: all of the above issues can lead us to adopt negative coping mechanisms and these can become addictive – as well as taking drugs we may find ourselves engaging in compulsive behaviour, eating, self-harming and gambling. As well as being intrinsically addictive – addressing the causes is an important part of making changes.

Crisis: If you think you are being adversely affected by the above issues or feel an urgent need of support, you would be advised to make an immediate appointment with your doctor as counselling can take time to make changes or it may need to be in conjunction with other support. If you feel in immediate crisis or suicidal please refer to the following links.