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Some common difficulties...


DepressionDepression occurs in about 10% of adults in Britain at any one time. Recent studies suggest depression occurs as often in men, although women are twice as likely to be diagnosed and treated. It is therefore interesting to note that the figures for men are rising faster than the figures for women. This may indicate that men are more likely to admit to feeling depressed. All age groups can be affected.

We often use the expression "I'm feeling depressed" when we're sad or miserable about life in general. Usually these feelings pass in due course, but if the feelings are interfering with your life and don't go away after a couple of weeks, or if they come back over and over again, it could be a sign that you are depressed.

People who are depressed are often very anxious. It's not clear whether the anxiety leads to the depression or whether the depression causes the anxiety. By recognising and treating the symptoms, and getting help, it's possible to overcome and prevent depression coming back.

Most people attending GP surgeries are often offered anti-depressants as the first treatment choice. Drugs can't cure depression, but they can sometimes alleviate the symptoms. Counselling can help you address the root causes of your depression thereby reducing or even removing your your depressive symptoms and the need for medication.


RelaxWhen we are suffering from stress and anxiety relaxation can be a real problem. I can offer you a range of therapeutic relaxation techniques which are tailored to your individual requirements. These can be integrated in to your counselling sessions or you can be given strategies which you can use in your day to day life.



AddictionsSubstance dependency is sadly common in our modern society. Inappropriate dependancy on prescription medicines is a hidden problem in Britain today. Anti-depressants, tranquillizers and pain killers obviously have their place when used correctly however, they do not treat the underlying emotional problem and indeed may hinder proper emotional healing. Long-term use of these drugs is often contra-indicated by the drug companies which manufacture them but sometimes patients are left with repeating presciptions without proper review and monitoring.

Withdrawal from these medicines is a slow process which should be tailored to the needs of the individual. I can work with you and your doctor to devise a suitable and workable programme that can really help. For 3 years I was the manager of a specialist service for those wishing to reduce and withdraw from their prescription drug use.

Abuse Counselling

Child AbuseIn a simplistic sense a victim is someone who receives abuse. In the case of child abuse the child is always the victim. The child has no choice or power in the abuse. The adult always has choice and power.
Children who are repeatedly abused from an early age develop coping strategies for emotional and sometimes physical survival. This behaviour may be carried forward in to adult life where the client may seek out abusive relationships and environments.
Often one of the main aims of therapy is to enable the client to let go of the role of being a victim.
It is probably only over the past 50 or so years that child abuse has been recognised. As yet the statistical data is incomplete. As more reliable data on child abuse becomes available many myths are being exploded. Sadly it seems that child abuse is prevalent in all facets of our society and although men are more likely to abuse information on women as abusers is emerging.

Even though the accuracy of current data is open to question it is apparent that child sexual abuse is widespread in our society and figures continue to increase with more contemporary surveys.
Reporting of abuse against males is increasing. It is also likely that men are becoming more willing to accept that they were abused in ways which were acceptable to society in the past.

With effective therapy victims of child abuse can reassess their experiences and move forward in to a life which is not controlled by their history.


Relationship difficultiesAs human beings we do not live in isolation and, arguably, the most important things in our lives are our relationships with others. This may be with parents, children, siblings, partners, work colleagues, etc, etc. Each relationship is unique, just as individuals we are unique. Problems in the significant relationships in our lives have enormous impacts upon us.
We can become stuck in repeating patterns of behaviour, repetitive arguments, emotional separations, affairs and we can feel trapped in damaging relationships. It may be that we have gone to friends and family for support but because of their loyalties and emotional involvement this had been unproductive.

Relationship Counselling may help. Talking together with an unbiased professional can identify unseen issues and this can lead to change. The Counselling may provide support for couples to stay together, or, if appropriate, it may provide a way for people who are moving apart to do so in a more healthy way.

One specialist area in which Sheila can offer support is where one, or both, members of a couple are the survivors of childhood abuse. The survivor may or may not be in individual therapy. Being the partner of a survivor has its own challenges and Counselling can offer support and understanding.

It may be helpful for a couple to be seen together. To explore the effects of the abuse on the relationship and to work towards a deeper understanding of each other.

Compulsive Behaviour

Compusive behavioral difficultiesWe can all become prey to behaviours which harm ourselves and those around us. These may include substance misuse, food misuse, harmful relationship patterns, etc. They are often accompanied by the development of depression and/or anxiety. In Person-Centred Counselling the aim will be to address the behaviour by exploring the underlying distress. Practical strategies for modifying the behaviour can be explored but the aim will be for a deeper undertanding of the causes of the behaviour.

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