Sometimes we need a little extra support 

Counselling for Anxiety 

Everybody gets anxious right? 

It's true that everybody can feel anxious at some point in their lives and most of us can relate to feeling anxious or nervous before an exam or job interview. It's all a natural part of how we prepare ourselves for stressful experiences. But sometimes anxiety can come to dominate our lives; affecting our relationships, sleep and ability to enjoy everyday things. 

How can counselling help with anxiety? 

Anxiety can lead to feelings of isolation and panic and a sense that no one around you understands how you are feeling. It may be that a specific event has triggered your anxiety and is making you fear things that used to be so very ordinary to you, or it could be that you learned very early on in life that the world is a frightening and untrustworthy place. 
I understand how crippling anxiety can be and how real it is for you and I will treat it with the respect and seriousness it deserves by providing you with a safe environment to explore your feelings without judgement. 

Depression and Low Mood 

The downward spiral of negative thoughts 

Low moods can hit us all from time to time, particularly when life becomes challenging but if we feel depressed for more than a few weeks at a time, it could be a sign that something more serious is going on.  
If you are feeling depressed, it can be easy to get dragged into a downward spiral of negative thoughts.  
You might feel that nothing will change and that things will always be this way, meaning that you are left feeling even more depressed.  
When depression sets in like this, it can affect your relationships, your work life and how you see the world. It could be that you have experienced bouts of depression throughout your life or that a specific event might have triggered your depression.  
You may be finding it difficult to get over the death of a loved one or you may have experienced a life changing event such as redundancy or divorce. Sometimes these experiences can be difficult to come to terms with and can lead to depression. 

How can counselling help with depression? 

Exploring the roots of your depression with someone who understands how your depression is affecting you, can allow you to put your feelings into context. 
Making connections between your past and present can go a long way to helping you understand why you are feeling low so that you can lift your head and see your world more clearly. 

The Impact of Trauma and Abuse 

The terms 'trauma' or 'traumatic' are used to describe experiences and events that can have a lasting and distressing effect on people's lives. It could be that you have witnessed something terrible or that you have been directly affected yourself.  
However you have been affected, experiencing a traumatic event can lead to bouts of anxiety and depression or a condition known as post-traumatic stress. 
All types of abuse, whether psychological, physical or sexual can be traumatic in nature. 
Disclosing to anyone that you are the victim of sexual, physical or psychological abuse might feel nigh on impossible or you might have told yourself that it wasn't that bad and pushed the thoughts of what happened to you away; hoping but failing to forget. 
I have been offering counselling for sexual abuse and the impact of traumatic experiences for eight years and I understand how difficult it can be to talk about these kinds of experiences and the level of care needed to support someone through a programme of carefully paced and safe disclosure. 

Domestic abuse 

Anybody can be the victim of domestic abuse which can include physical violence, bullying, coercion and sexual abuse. It can have a huge impact on your self-esteem and leave you living in fear, even after you have escaped an abusive relationship.  
I have offered counselling for survivors of domestic abuse since the very early days of my counselling training so it’s right at the heart of what I do, and I understand the complex and difficult mixture of emotions you might be experiencing. 

Need help to escape an abusive relationship? 

If you need help to escape from an abusive relationship, the Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership website has a list of agencies that can help you with practical support and advice. 
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