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 how counselling can help during this change in time.
Challenge negative thinking
Negative thoughts can be influenced by many factors, particularly the news articles circulating social media at the moment.
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 the loss of a normal routine, some people are experiencing difficulties with maintaining a healthy diet, sleep and exercise. Counselling can give you the opportunity to monitor your lifestyle, identify specific obstacles and find ways to overcome these – to move towards a healthy lifestyle.
If you are struggling with social isolation your counsellor may encourage you to keep in contact with other people virtually as frequently as possible. The actual counselling session is also social interaction between counsellor and client.
People who are experiencing early signs of a mental health issue will have the chance to work through their challenges with a counsellor before it becomes difficult to cope with day to day life.
Talking therapy can help you to reflect, make sense of difficult life events and find a way to move forward. It can be an essential tool to effectively manage our daily lives – supporting you on the bad days and giving you perspective on the good days.
As well as mental health issues, people access therapy to enhance personal reflection and inner growth.
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. By investing the time, you will be able to manage uncertainty in a more positive, balanced way.
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.
If you are ready to find support and want more information about our counselling services: Get in touch
The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) has more information on how to cope if you’re feeling anxious about coronavirus.