Tag Archives: counselling

DEPRESSION // 7 ways to deal with depression.

April 5, 2016

7 ways to deal with depression

I don’t know about you, but when something is wrong with me or with those I love, I want answers. I’m not one for burying my head in the sand. I want a logical explanation for what’s going on and then I want a solution. I want tools to get me through; advice and support; real action. I do not want to be told ambiguous statements, such as ‘ You’re garden variety Kiki, it happens to many people.’ This is fine. It may happen to many people. But it does not happen to me?!

Well it did. And so the search began. Continue reading

DEPRESSION, CHRONIC ILLNESS // You are strong

March 30, 2016

 

you are strong

‘You are strong!’ I can’t tell you how many times my loved ones have told me this over the years. Time and time again. I rarely believed it. I felt nothing like a strong person. I felt weak and timid and useless.

Strength and depression are not usually bandied about in the same sentence. It’s not something that a sufferer would think about themselves. When you suffer with depression and crippling anxiety, the last thing you feel is strong. You relate far more to a timid mouse! A lion? No! Continue reading

THERAPIES REVIEW //  Counselling

August 18, 2015

therapy review counselling final

Counselling. What is it?

Counselling is a talking therapy. It is an opportunity to talk to a qualified professional whose aim it is is to listen, without prejudice and with support, in a secure environment. It is usually a short course of treatment for those who have an understanding of their current well-being. Counselling is used for everything from bereavement, depression or anxiety to problems with sexual identity, relationship problems and stress. It is a way of analysing exactly what thoughts you are having, what feelings you are feeling and looking at addressing them by talking them through. It will offer new ways of looking at your thoughts and feelings. It is normally centred on behaviours and behaviour patterns. You are required to be as open as possible with the counsellor.

I want to make a specific point here. I think admitting to having had ‘therapy’ at any point, used to be a bit taboo and there were negative connotations attached. I believe counselling and other talking therapies have come a long way and I know many people who have tried therapy with great success. There is no shame in talking to a professional person. After all, they are the experts.

The Process

If you think it’s worth a try then the first step is to talk to your GP. They may have a counsellor attached to your practice. Should you go through the GP practice there will likely be a waiting list. This is not ideal as the waiting lists are usually very long. But it may be worth the wait.

If you are employed and have an occupational health system in place, then it may be worth going to HR and asking to have contact details of the occupational health provider if you don’t already know who it is. You can normally self refer. This is usually confidential and should not have any impact on your job. You may be entitled to a set amount of sessions face to face or you may be able to have the sessions over the phone if this makes you more comfortable.

If you do not have occupational health support, but still want to try counselling and potentially happy to pay privately, then again approach your GP. They should have a list of recommendations. Alternatively, I would recommend visiting the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) website. They have lists of registered practitioners that are in your area.

Going on recommendation is always great. This would be my first choice. If you know of someone who has benefited from counselling and had a good experience with a particular counsellor, then its worth finding out the name and contact details of that counsellor, and making your own appointment direct.

Should you make an appointment, then I encourage you to be open minded at first. It may feel strange telling a complete stranger your deepest thoughts, but if you persist with the therapy, keep regular appointments and be as open as you can, then you may find that even though there may not be one specific issue to talk through, you may be thinking in ways that are not helping your recovery. The counsellor will recognise this and put you on the path for changing the way you think.

I would also say, at this point, you HAVE to be comfortable with the counsellor. If you feel in any way uncomfortable or do not have a sense of trust, then it’s likely it will not work. You will spend too much time considering how you feel about the therapist, instead of speaking openly about your worries and symptoms.

Pros

  • At first you may think what’s the benefit of talking? How can a simple conversation make things better? It’s normal to think this especially if you are feeling chronically ill with mental anguish. But counselling has proven time and time again to help aid well-being.
  • The old saying is that a problem shared is a problem halved. Talking to a professional gives you the opportunity to share even your most private thoughts and feelings in a secure environment.
  • Talking to someone who knows nothing of you, who is completely impartial, may be a welcome change from trying to talk to your loved ones and friends.
  • You are in control of what you discuss. You may find that you discuss more openly as the sessions go on and your confidence in your counsellor increases.
  • Even though some of the talking may make you emotional or upset, this may be a good sign that feelings need to be released. You are releasing these emotions in a secure and sympathetic environment.
  • All qualified counsellors are registered with the BACP. I would recommend that you only go with a qualified registered practitioner.
  • You are taking a positive first step to aid recovery. You are in control.

Cons

  • Waiting lists make it difficult to access.
  • Some cost could be involved if you go privately.
  • Emotions will flare up. But this is part of the process to healing.
  • When you start, you’re never sure that the counsellor you have chosen is right for you. So I would always go by recommendation if you can.

Kiki’s Review

I remember going to my first counselling session. It was many years after my breakdown. I went on the recommendation of a friend. The counsellor was very good. At the time, for whatever the reason, I did not feel that I wanted to discuss the past. I think I was afraid of finding something awful. So when I went I just discussed how I was feeling at that time and behaviours that were not helping me to live a full life.

Since then I have seen two other counsellors at different stages of my recovery. Each was very different in their approach, but equally good. They each empowered me to help myself feel better. All have given me a recommended reading list of ‘self-help’ titles. I have always welcomed this. It always gives me a sense of control that I am getting to the bottom of issues. Reading and learning to improve myself is always high on my agenda.

I can only say good things about counselling. I have not really had a negative experience. I did see one lady about 10 years ago. I did not feel a rapport with her, so I didn’t continue with the sessions.

Counselling was not something I did following my breakdown. When I first had the experience of depression and anxiety, I was so bad, that the GP’s figured that I needed medication. And to be honest with you, by that time I was desperate and happily took the medication. They saved my life, and continue to. However, over the years when my mental and emotional health has been a struggle, I have been very glad to talk to a counsellor.

My point of view is this. What do you have to lose? Are you feeling depressed and anxious? Are you grieving, confused with life or really stressed? Then counselling may be just what you need. If it doesn’t work out, you have lost nothing. Just an experience.

Leave comments below my loves.

Onwards and upwards. Kiki xox

Techniques – Just be

May 4, 2015

just be may 2015

When your world is consumed by anxiety and depression, you have an overwhelming need to find the solution. It’s like looking for the golden ticket, the ticket to freedom. You try every which way to think yourself out of the nightmare you’re in.

I know. I still do it from time to time. But take note my friends. The worst thing you can do to perpetuate the anxiety, is to constantly search for the answer. It is the over-thinking that causes the problem.

In my experience and over my journey, I have tried every therapy, every medication, every diet and every supplement. All in an effort to finally rid myself of this beast. I wholeheartedly believe that each one brings benefits of some sort, along the way. And each has a place in recovery.  But the truth is that sometimes the ‘searching’ and ‘trying’ to ‘fix’ yourself, can make matters worse and prolong the pain.

Learning to see that the fight is making you more stressed will actually bring relief. So I tell you right now. Stop! Stop looking. Stop trying so hard. Just BE.

Right now, if u are or have been in a constant state of anxiety and depression for some time, then I can guarantee that your poor body and soul are exhausted. Exhausted from the fight and looking for the miracle that will bring your old self back.

Well there is a miracle. It is acceptance and allowing yourself to just be. You will heal. Time will heal you if you just step out of your own way. If you take one thought away from this blog post, then let it be this: you do not need to fight any more.

Learning to not fight, to accept myself, as I am right now, has given me immeasurable freedom and peace.

Anyone who suffers anxiety knows that feeling when you believe that you are your own worst enemy. If only you could stop thinking. If only you were stronger. If only you could stop these horrible thoughts.

If I just say to you. Stop fighting. You will be ok. Your confidence will return. But that confidence and peace will only return if you give yourself a break. The healing process takes time. There is no immediate cure. But if you look after yourself. Look after your battered body and soul then peace will return. The key is patience.

There is always some pressure for us to be well and whole right now. This day, this week, this month. But, at this point in your life you are not quite there. The reason doesn’t really matter. What matters is that right now, in this moment, you have to care for yourself and let yourself off the hook. Say to yourself that right now you are anxious and low. But if you can give yourself a break, take time out. Stop thinking and just be, then the healing will begin.

I read an interesting article on the subject that included this sentence: ‘Don’t say yes when you mean no, and don’t say no when you mean yes!’. This sentence really resonated with me. All too often I am in a place where I say yes to things, when really inside I am struggling and I should be saying no. And its ok to say no. Doing what feels right for you, right now, is the most important thing. Don’t put pressure on yourself. In time, parts of you will return, piece by piece, layer by layer, and you will get back to a place where you can say ‘yes’ again.

Most anxious people I know are very driven people. This drive keeps you strong. But it also keeps you fighting and you’re fighting something you cannot win with boxing gloves. The kind of fight you need is with kid gloves.  You will win by allowing yourself to just be.

As you take the pressure off yourself, you find a peace. It’s OK not to be OK. It’s OK to feel battered. There will be days you can accept it and days that you can’t. But either way, if you stick to a promise of giving yourself a break and just be, you will find that parts of you start to return.

Be black and white about it. The grey murkiness does not help. Say to yourself that right now you need care. Right now you are not as strong as you have been or will be again. And that’s ok. Stick with one route to healing and don’t stray.

When full recovery comes you will be bigger and better than ever. You will be stronger, wiser, more considerate and kind. You will have an understanding of this illness that no one else can have. You will be strong enough to face anything that’s ahead of you, armed with the knowledge that you already managed to get through so much.

Time heals everything. Your body knows what it needs. The constant barrage of thinking and stress is not what it needs. Treat yourself as you would a good friend or as a child. Lots of TLC and no more pressure. Just acceptance. Just being who you are, right now. Time will show you that you have not gone anywhere. Your confidence may be battered right now, but that will heal too. You will be more confident, more you, than ever before. I know how brave you are. I know how strong you are. To have traveled this far, you are amazing in my eyes. Don’t ever underestimate that. So whilst you wait it out, to become strong again, just be.

Onwards and upwards my loves.  Always Kiki xox