“Counselling is a combination of recognising the negative AND the positive in yourself and your life. It’s important to accept that there are both in your life. Self-awareness is so important.” Alison Gilbert, Counsellor
A big part of what we do here at Phoenix, is helping people to unravel the complex knots that we all get ourselves tied up in at certain points in life. We can be tied up in issues that stem from our past or we can have thoughts and emotions that hold us back, preventing us from getting on with our lives.
It sounds over simplistic to say that counselling can really help to untie the knots that bind us but here at Phoenix we see it work time and again for all kinds of people.
Meet Alison Gilbert
We asked Alison Gilbert, one of our counsellors, to tell us how counselling can help and what issues it can help with. Here’s what she said.
Alison: “Counselling at Phoenix offers a safe space. Here you’re able to offload and release emotions without any judgement at all. You can talk to your counsellor about any issue that you have. You can really explore who you are in confidence. Of course, you can talk to friends and family but because they know you they will respond based on that knowledge. The fact that you don’t know me ensures that our sessions our objective. Without judgement.”
“A counsellor is completely independent of you and will not judge you or offer advice. They won’t tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. They’ll use techniques to help you come to a decision yourself if that is what you want.”
“Counselling can help with any issue – it’s what is important to you really. What is holding you back from getting on with your life, getting the best from your life”
People come to Phoenix for counselling with all types of issues – some are listed below – many people have several from this list. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you want to understand what’s really happening. Often rather than talking about it we brush things to the side and carry on – telling ourselves and others that we’re ok even if we’re not. It’s ok to not be ok and to ask for help. It really shouldn’t be seen as sign of weakness. Trying to move forwards is not weak but actually a really brave and strong thing to do.
Issues that counselling can help with
Really the number of issues that counselling can help with is unlimited. What matters is that it is important to you as Alison says “Counselling can help with any issue – it’s what is important to you really. What is holding you back from getting on with your life, getting the best from your life”
To give some examples:
- Depression/ anxiety/ low mood and low motivation – counselling can help here because it gives the opportunity to really explore what causes the lows as well as the highs. “We rarely get the opportunity to be really introspective and this is where counselling comes into its own. You really get to examine yourself – with the support and help of a counselling professional”
- Stress – this covers so many situations and underpins so many issues in our lives. It can be created by us or forced upon us but how we react to stress is key. Counselling can help to identify what causes our stress as well as how we can deal with a stressor more constructively.
- Bullying or abuse – we see far more issues relating to bullying than you would expect. People are often embarrassed about being bullied – especially as adults. For some reason it is often seen as a sign of weakness but in actual fact it is very debilitating. With the help of a counsellor you can understand what the bully is doing to control you and make you feel threatened. It is also possible to gain confidence to tackle the bullies and rebuild your self-esteem.
- Lack of sleep – as with stress there is usually one or more issues that underpin poor quality sleep or lack of sleep. Counselling can help you to identify what is really causing your sleepless nights and develop actions plans to face the demons that keep you awake.
- Relationship problems – this has to be one of the most common issues that we see. Relationship problems don’t just happen with couples but can be with any significant other. All relationships face stresses and strains and in some cases taking a step back and examining the nuts and bolts of the relationship can really help to give perspective on whether a relationship is worth fighting for or simply not right for you.
- Addiction – don’t assume this is only illegal substances. People get addicted to all manner of things – tobacco, alcohol, gambling, chocolate, to name a few. The key here is what is the addiction being used to mask? Why are you using an addiction? What is it that the addiction is concealing? These are all big topics and can take a lot of unravelling, but it really is achievable with the right counsellor.
- Anger management – this can be a really complex area. There are so many issues that can underpin anger management. You often find yourself reflecting on issues in childhood of there may be trapped emotion. There really needs to be a deep exploration of the issues and emotions associated with anger. It is a real voyage of self-discovery.
- Eating disorders – again this is a very complex area worthy of a lot of self-exploration and discovery. With the help of a qualified and experienced counsellor it is possible to unravel the emotions and situations that might be seated behind an eating disorder. It takes patience and commitment on your part and the wholehearted support of your counsellor.
A final word of wisdom from Alison Gilbert: –
“All of this exploring yourself can definitely feel intimidating because you may be here to share things that make you feel vulnerable. Before you come along you need to have decided that you want to do this for yourself. So that you’re open to putting the effort in. We all have a responsibility for ourselves – taking ownership for your own thoughts and feelings, and the sessions are about working towards being confident to explore them on your own and having confidence in your choices without any judgement”
If you would like to know more about counselling at Phoenix Health and Wellbeing click here.
If you want to visit our professional body – the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists click here
Phoenix Health & Wellbeing is a Charity. By coming to us for a treatment you can relax in the knowledge that you are helping others less fortunate than yourself. We use the proceeds of your treatment to subsidise those who would not otherwise be able to access our therapies due to cost. Roughly £4 to every £10 spent with us will go to help others.
For information on our charitable work follow this link / call us on 0113 234 0181
Monday to Thursday from 10:00 to 20:00
Friday and Saturday from 10:00 to 16:00