This is a gentle and insightful article on the authors experience of depression. Lauren Talbot describes depression as a dark grey cloud that envelopes a person and their spirit. It steals days, months or even years of a persons life. She knows from her own personal experience that if you find yourself in a dark hole then its very hard to see beyond it. So what can you do? If things get tough and unbearable seek help advises Lauren. She writes that in every decision you make towards getting help you can let go of something that is holding you down! If you would like to seek help then we have experienced therapists at The Affinity Centre, who have the right skills to support you on your journey.
Ideally therapy is a two person process. When you have made the big decision to undergo counselling your therapist should allow you to feel comfortable with bringing your personal material to the room even if you don’t initially understand what that personal material is actually all about.
This is Matt Cahills topic for his Downtown Therapy blog. He discusses the fact that there is often a strong urge to share and talk about our feelings when in therapy however the thing you want to talk about is less clear. Matt writes: “We can only partially describe what’s on our mind – in fact, it may not involve the mind at all, but emotions that seem detached from thoughts.”
If this resonates with you why not take a look at Matt’s article?
”You’re in therapy? Congratulations for choosing to take this vulnerable, powerful journey toward healing and empowerment” says Dr Ryan Howes writing for Your mind Your Body.
He begins with explaining why its important to tell people that you are in therapy. The more people talk honestly that they are receiving help then the more mainstream therapy will become. It’s also important to gain support from your loved ones through the process. Ryan says ”Talking about therapy lets your support network know you’re serious about growth and change and clues them in on how to help”.
Also why not take a look at his article for some pointers as to what is appropriate to share with others about your therapy.
A wonderfully insightful and honest article from Joseph Burgo writing for his website afterspyschotherapy.com.
He begins by talking about a client who has begun to really think deeply about joy. He takes us back to the mother infant relationship and the joy experienced by a young child in his mother’s presence. In a healthy relationship that joy is reciprocated by her back to the infant.
He then moves on to talk about the client therapist relationship. He stresses that it is important that the therapist communicates that they enjoy working with their client because it is an important part of the healing process.
If you can, take some time to read his wise words. They provide a great deal of food for thought.
This is a great article where the Robin Dreeke head of behavioral analysis for the FBI is interviewed by Nathalie Nahai. They discuss what stops people building up trust and the difference between persuasion and manipulation.
So what about trust? He discusses the fact that the main barrier to building up trust is when the non verbal signals like facial expressions and body language don’t match with what the person is saying. He says this often happens when someone is too focused on their own interests and not in the other persons.
He goes on to talk about the difference between persuasion and manipulation;
“The difference between persuasion and manipulation is intent”.
He discusses this further by saying that if you can leave a person feeling better for having met you then you have succeeded in persuasion. Take a look at the full article and let me know what you think!
Michael Salas writing in Vantage Point Counselling talks about depression. He says that severe depression is easy to identify as most people at that point know that they are dealing with depression when the emotions are very extreme.
On the other hand, if you have low levels of depression you may not even know it. You may just have a feeling that something is missing in your life, you may find that you don’t care about things or that you are searching for something you can’t find. Michael says that most people think about depression as this strong sense of immobilisation but he argues that you may be suffering from a level of depression even if you make it to work on time and are reasonably motivated.
His article helps you to reflect on your own feelings, to think about your strengths and values and how to act on them effectively.
Many of us are inclined to quash our feelings down, to repress emotion rather than express it. Studies show that this can have a negative impact on your body — those who repress are more likely to have high blood pressure (which is connected or many other conditions including stress) and be more agitated and tense. To help begin to express your emotions, and talk through your problems, many turn to psychotherapy.
What is psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy allows us to talk through our repressed emotions and problems with a qualified therapist. This therapist could meet you alone, with your partner or spouse, or in a small group, depending on your preference and how you think you will benefit most. Your therapist will help you to talk through your problems, listen, and with time, help you to overcome them by using established and tested scientific methods.
When should you begin to consider psychotherapy?
You should consider psychotherapy if;
• you are having a tough time trying to deal with emotional trauma
• you have excessive levels of stress and/or worry a lot
• you have problems that reoccur and don’t seem to go away
• your existing mental health condition is causing you problems
• your actions begin to harm others around you
• you feel a sadness over a long period of time
Remember, your friends and family are the people who know you best, so they are good indicators of whether you would benefit from help.
Unlike the drugs which may be prescribed as an alternative to psychotherapy, there are no negative side-effects of talking to a professional about your problems. On top of this, there is a much smaller chance of relapse
How can psychotherapy help you?
Psychotherapy can help you to treat issues relating to life crises — this could range from a death in the family, an illness to yourself or someone close to you, to unemployment or substance abuse. Psychotherapy is beneficial in these instances as the help and advice you receive is specific to yourself: everyone’s problems are unique, and a psychotherapist will see the unique guidance you need to overcome these problems.
Psychotherapy could also help you to develop new methods of dealing with issues which play huge parts in many people’s lives, such as stress and anxiety. Your sessions will help to equip you with the tools you need to overcome problems you may encounter in the future.
Psychotherapy can also help if you have a mental health condition, such as depression. Your therapist will help you to pinpoint the cause of your depression, and help you to develop techniques to combat your depression.
Psychotherapy can help you to overcome issues around sexuality — if you are unsure about your sexuality, or are having difficulty coming to terms with your sexuality, a therapist can talk through your qualms and help you to move past your difficulty.
Why psychotherapy over other methods of dealing with problems?
Unlike the drugs which may be prescribed as an alternative to psychotherapy, there are no negative side-effects of talking to a professional about your problems. On top of this, there is a much smaller chance of relapse, and a much more permanent solution to be found in psychotherapy — prescription drugs are more of a stopgap solution which often have negative side-effects. For example, antidepressants have been shown only to be around 50-65% effective, and have side-effects including nausea and insomnia.
Still not sure?
If there is still something putting you off talking to a therapist and need further convincing, you could talk to someone you know who has attended therapy sessions. Ask them about their experiences, and more often than not they will show you that many of your ideas about psychotherapy are misconceptions. Ask them to explain to you how they benefited from their experience.
If you think you could benefit from psychotherapy, please get in touch with us at The Affinity Centre today.
Here at the Affinity Centre we have experienced therapists who can help you with whatever difficulties you are experiencing. So when choosing a therapist what should you look for? This article gives some excellent down to earth advice.
Initially most people choose a therapist whom they can afford, who has expertise in their particular issue and has the right qualifications. The most fundamental thing however is the relationship you develop with your therapist and research has shown the success of your therapy is dependent on it. Ryan Howes a clinical psychologist interviewed here suggests there are certain qualities you can look for. These include patience, listening skills and also that your therapist has self awareness. Why not read the article if you are considering therapy? Also take some time to look around our website too.
”If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” a quote from Thumper in the Disney film Bambi. Most of us operate with our family and friends in this way says Cheryl Fuller so that we don’t hurt peoples feelings or make them angry with us.
However if you are in therapy this rule needs to be put on hold. Cheryl argues that if you don’t tell your therapist how you really feel then there is very little that the therapist can do to help you. ”Putting those feelings into words is a key part of what therapy is about, after all, because that opens the doorway to understanding where they come from and how to deal with them in ways that are helpful rather than destructive in life.”
It’s all about being honest isn’t it? Honest about your feelings and being who you really are; not who you think you should be!
The concept of self-direction, based on personal freedom, is the essence of this non-directive approach to counselling. The aim is to move from a position of being someone who others do things to, to being on a journey to discover your true worth.
“The less we value ourselves, the more we are drawn to work hard to ensure people’s affection, approval and acceptance” (D. Rowe, “The Successful Self”, 1993).
There is a shift from ‘doing’ to ‘being’ when a person stops seeking acceptance and approval of others. Self-understanding leads to self-acceptance, which leads in turn to a healthy, fulfilled person. Person-centred counselling is about trying to help people move towards change, growth and fulfillment, and to regain the ability to act freely.
Below is a video of the originator of the person centred approach, Carl Rogers, talking about his modality.