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Why Counselling and Psychotherapy?

We seek out medical assistance when we have physical problems and feel unwell, this response seems to come naturally. However, seeking assistance for emotional feeling overwhelmed blog imageand mental health problems seems to come less naturally for most of us. We live in a culture where we are perceived to be weak or needy if we ask for help in relation to our emotional concerns and issues.

The prominent narrative in today’s culture has supported the so called hero’s journey of the rugged self-sufficient individual who can suck it up, or as that terrible saying goes “take a teaspoon of concrete and toughen up”. Thankfully, this narrative is changing of late due to the increased publicity and education within the media regarding mental health. We are actively encouraged to reach out and ask for help or to just simply check in with someone we may be concerned about.

The prevalent drive towards self-sufficiency and the ‘go-it -alone attitude’ has produced a society with never before seen elevated levels of depression, anxiety and other serious mental health issues. Our children’s behaviour is being normalised and gauged along the autism spectrum continuum. We live in a society dependent on anti-depressants and other mental health medication. To our detriment, bio-medical interventions have become our default position when we feel uncomfortable and out of sorts.

Where can you turn when you are ready to seek help? Counselling and psychotherapy is a proven treatment for people who are feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope with unexpected life challenges and events. Counselling offers support and guidance through those challenging times.

Much like leaving a physical medical condition untreated and having it turn into a much more serious life threating illness, emotional and mental health conditions also need treatment before they too become  serious and life debilitating. Life challenges that are left unchecked and unresolved create problems with our emotional and mental wellbeing which present as emotional overwhelm, stress, anxiety and depression, along with a raft of other mental health issues. Unchecked, these unresolved challenges will impact on our physical health causing illness and conditions such as high blood pressure resulting in heart conditions, strokes and other life threatening illnesses.

Counselling and psychotherapy offers a safe and confidential space where support and guidance is offered and where the tools and skills needed to resolve the underlying issues driving dissatisfaction and frustration with life in general are taught. Effective counselling taps into the individual’s inherent personal resources and strengths required for empowerment and change.

Counselling and psychotherapy is excellent for overcoming the fears and anxieties we may experience in relationships with others, the world around us and ourselves.

The process of counselling and psychotherapy empowers people of all ages to gain new insights and fresh perspectives on old habits and patterns. Counselling and psychotherapy assists individuals to build healthy relationships with self and others through relational skill development and allows for a deeper sense of self, and the ability for greater empathy and compassion towards self and others.

If you would like to make positive change and improve your relational well-being or would like to find out how counselling and psychotherapy can help you then contact me now.

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Recovery Coaching and Family Recovery

It’s a scary world out there. We are bombarded with media reports of drug and alcohol fueled violence on our streets, in our entertainment venues, businesses and break addiction blog imagehomes. Domestic and family violence is on the increase. We are told society is engaged in a war against drugs and that the war is coming to a city, suburb, town, street or family near you. We hear of the horror stories of how our society is being invaded by addiction, which is producing unprecedented levels of mental illness. Our health and criminal systems are overloaded and reaching breaking point. The casualties of this invasion are our families and our loved ones. We all know of someone who knows someone who is caught up in this self-destructive and devastating cycle. We watch helplessly, as families are ripped apart by a loved one’s addiction.

Addictions come in many colours and flavours, which include drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex and power to name just a few. Addiction comes with social judgements and stigma combined with the shame of having a family member or loved one struggle with this condition.  How do we find help and what is this thing called addiction anyway?

What works and don’t work?

A search of the internet produces more questions then answers as we explore the raft of conflicting information about the cause of addiction and its treatment. There is a school of thought that suggests that addiction is an incurable disease only treatable by total abstinence. The counter school of thought argues addiction is a habit which needs to be broken and managed by better self-control. More recently neuroscience has waded in suggesting addiction is a result of an imbalance in brain chemistry brought about by the overuse of the substance or behaviour. Then there is the argument about the best way to treat addiction: Long term versus short-term rehabilitation; hospital versus health farm; therapy versus coaching; abstinence versus control: 12 step programs versus psychology; pharmaceuticals versus nutrition and the list goes on and on.

Families are confused and report spending tens of thousands of dollars as they attempt to find a solution that works for their loved one’s addiction. Others do what is called the rehab shuffle as they move in and out of the publicly funded system looking for answers. What is a common experience in all of this is the pain and misery experienced by the person struggling with addiction and their family.  I offer practical solutions that work! I work with you and your family to create a personalised plan to address your concerns. I support families to beat addictions even if their love.

If you would like to make positive change and beat your addiction or would like to find out how addiction coaching can help you or your family then please contact me now.

Relational Awareness

Relational awareness is an acquired skill integral to building authentic relationships and deeper connections. Relational awareness can enhance our intimatecounselling blog image interactions and connections with our partners, family, colleagues, casual acquaintances and the world around us. Healthy authentic relationships require us to be fully present and clear in all our relational interactions and accept the other person for who they truly are and not to attempt to change them to who they are not. Through building relational awareness we can develop the art of mindful relating.

The art of mindful relating has been described as a two-person meditation. Mindful relating shifts the focus from reflecting on what is happening within me to what is happening between us. This concept may seem foreign to most of us as we live in a world of individuals going about the business of living. This individualistic way of life has most of us living detached lives, emotionally isolated from each other. We seem to have lost contact with our authentic self and our intimate connections with others.
In today’s world the focus seems to be on a win at all cost mentality resulting in our interpersonal conflicts remaining unresolved as we shirk any responsibility for what is happening between us or the other. Attempts to re-connect are met with statements like “That is your problem, deal with it”. This way of being in the world and being in our relationships in general leaves us feeling isolated and disconnected within our relationships. The stonewalling that takes place within relationships is designed to protect us from being hurt and feeling the hurt of others. These inauthentic ways of relating are usually automatic, spontaneous and happen outside of our awareness.

The art of mindful relating re-builds intimate connections and heals our relational hurts. The focus is on how we do relationship with others and how our resistance and defenses play out in our relationships. The aim of mindful relating is to bring our creative and unique ways of relating with others into our awareness. Once we become more relationally aware and accepting of our unique relating style we can then begin the process of co-creating authentic relationships and intimate connections with ourselves, others, the world around us and beyond. In practicing relational awareness and developing a mindful relating practice we become more real and authentic in our relationships. We meet people as they truly are with greater clarity, empathy and compassion. We create greater freedom and creativity in expressing ourselves in a more whole-hearted and authentic way and forge deeper spiritual connections.

If you would like to make positive change and improve your relational well-being or would like to find out how mindful relating can help you then please contact me now.

Family Relationships – An example of change

Family relationships can become tricky at times. Recently, I had a conversation with a client who I have seen regularly over the years. She was reflecting on herfamily relationships blog image experience on how her relationships with her family and herself had changed for the positive. I will call the client Sally and present this article as a case study to protect her identity and confidentiality.

Sally came wanting to address family and personal issues and looking to heal her “wounds from the past”. Sally also wanted to learn the best strategies and tools to address the negative behaviours being acted out within her family which were impacting on the whole family. Sally told me she was feeling bewildered and at a loss as to how to best address these behaviours.

An exploration of the family dynamics revealed that Sally had been a single parent for many years with little or no support from her ex-partner. The marriage was difficult and a subsequent breakdown and separation even more so. The impact of living in an emotionally and psychologically abusive and unstable environment took its toll on the whole family in different ways.

As her three children moved through adolescence to young adulthood, they each struggled in their own way on their journey to try and make sense of the past, to grieve and come to terms with events of the past and to create a path for themselves in order to live a full and satisfying life. She reported the children had experienced varying degrees of anger, anxiety and depression and had reacted to challenging situations in varying ways – violence, anger outbursts, abusive relationships, alcohol and/or marijuana dependency. The whole family struggled with the events and breakdown of the marriage and in dealing with life’s rocky road highlighted within the children’s journey into adulthood. This was mirrored by Sally’s own struggle with depression, anxiety and anger which played out through over-compensation issues relating to her parenting style, and in enabling the children in their negative choices.

We worked together to gain insight and awareness around her unique parenting style and how aspects of her style of parenting had not been helpful. Through the learning of relational awareness practices she gained insight into the relational dynamics that had driven the family’s way of interacting between themselves and others and how these dynamics were born out of different perspectives of the same shared hurts, traumas and abuse. By developing relational intelligence and increasing relational awareness Sally was able to be more mindful of her interactions with her children. This brought about positive change within the family dynamics, which has in turn flowed out in their interactions with the world around them. This has been highlighted by a positive change in negative behaviour that has included a marked improvement in emotional literacy and mental wellbeing with a decrease in negative behaviours such as substance misuse.

If you would like to make positive change and improve your emotional well-being or would like to out how relational counselling could help you or your family then please contact me now.

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Bridging The Barriers
Gestalt Therapy and Counselling

0413653396

Locations We Cover:

Coolangatta - Tweed Heads - Gold Coast - Banora Point - Online