During these challenging times, people may feel overwhelmed, anxious or stressed. We are affected in different ways, at different times which can make looking after our own wellbeing difficult.
Opening up and talking to someone about your thoughts, worries and feelings can give yourself the time and space to reflect and adjust. There are many different types of counselling and talking therapies, which enable you to make sense of what you are experiencing and develop effective ways of managing.
Counselling sessions are confidential, so you can talk about things you might not feel comfortable discussing with anyone else.
We chat to Breathe’s Integrative counsellor Christos about the ways counselling can help.
Challenge negative thinking
Negative thoughts can be influenced by many factors. Some people may be triggered by the news articles circulating social media at the moment.
You might spend a lot of time either worrying about the future or regretting the past. A counsellor can help you to distance yourself from catastrophising thoughts where a person imagines the worst possible outcome. Irrational thoughts can lead to high levels of stress, anxiety and depression.
Here are some general examples of catastrophising:
- “Assuming I fail this test, I will never pass school, and I will always fail in life.”
- “If I don’t recover quickly from this procedure, I will never get better.”
- “Supposing my partner leaves me, I will never find anyone else, and I will never be happy again.”
Catastrophising thoughts are not based on evidence. Your counsellor can help you to challenge your thoughts by using proven facts. You will begin to recognise an irrational thought and replace that thought with a more realistic one.
By working together with your counsellor you can learn helpful techniques and ways to accept a situation for what it is – both for things happening to you right now, as well as things that will happen to you in the future.
With everything going on in the world, some people are experiencing difficulties with maintaining a healthy diet, sleep and exercise. Counselling can give you the opportunity to take a look at your lifestyle, identify specific obstacles and find ways to overcome these – to move towards a healthy lifestyle.
An investment in you
People who are experiencing mental health issues will have the chance to work through their challenges with a counsellor and find ways to move forward.
Counselling can offer an opportunity to re-evaluate, reflect where you are and where you want to go. You may want to talk about difficult life events or your relationships and emotions. Or you might want to challenge negative thoughts & behaviours. You can learn techniques to cope with life’s challenges or have a stronger sense of who you are in the world.
Our aim is that people feel able to speak openly, experience being listened to and understood, have more clarity about their goals and end the session enthused by what’s possible.
If you are thinking about counselling
We understand that seeking support for your mental health is a big step. Counselling can be a journey of self-discovery and it can be a life-changing experience, but it can also be hard work, emotional and challenging.
Breathe has a large team of professional counsellors. Following an assessment, we will pair you with a counsellor best suited to your needs. We want to get it right for you so that you have a good relationship and experience, which will help you to achieve your goals.
Find out more about our free counselling service here: https://bit.ly/33cY0MH
The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) has more information on how to cope if you’re feeling anxious about coronavirus.