Areas of Expertise

Area’s of expertise

Some of my area’s of expertise when working online are:

Relationship Counselling

Relationship counselling is open to everyone. Whether you are married, living together, in a same-sex relationship, separated, divorced or single. It can be used to help you make the most of your past, present and future relationships.

Online relationship counselling provides a caring and supportive environment to help you find a way through any problems or difficulties you may be facing. It is often the first source of help people turn to when experiencing divorce or separation, affairs or conflict.

For some people, online counselling helps to transform their relationships and their lives. For others, it helps them to solve a specific problem and move forward in their lives with more confidence and less anxiety.

Physical, Emotional and Sexual Abuse Counselling

‘Abuse’ is the name given to any behaviour that is felt to be inappropriate, intrusive and damaging, which the recipient feels powerless to stop. Abuse can take many different forms. It may be physical, emotional, sexual or a mixture of all three.

Those unfortunate enough to suffer physical, emotional or sexual abuse can fall apart, numb out, withdraw or attack as a result. Sufferers often learn a very defensive approach to the world that can be difficult to alter at a later stage. It isn’t unusual for those who have experienced abuse to become afraid of others, themselves and their environment.

Undoing these patterns takes awareness and work but it can be done. Online abuse counselling can provide a safe place to share ones experiences and learn that one was not at fault. Self-esteem can be developed and self-confidence increased. Anxiety and other symptoms of post-traumatic stress can be lessened. Online abuse counselling is a proven aid in understanding, expressing, integrating and letting go of the pain and confusion that may originate from abusive experiences. By engaging in the counselling process, life can become more enjoyable and meaningful.

Loss and Bereavement Counselling

The greatest tragedy in life is losing those we love. If you have experienced the death of someone close, you may be finding it very difficult to adjust to the immense changes happening in your life right now. Grief can shake up everything, your beliefs, your personality and your sense of reality.

Bereavement is the time we spend adjusting to the loss we have suffered. Everyone must learn how to cope in their own way. There is no standard time limit and no right or wrong way to feel during the bereavement period.

Although grief is normal, it can manifest in a huge range of unexpected ways. Some individuals may become angry, others may withdraw further into themselves and some people may just feel completely numb. Sometimes, grief can turn into something more serious such as depression.

Online bereavement counselling can provide support during these very difficult times. Sharing with a counsellor about the loss one is suffering can help an individual to adjust to their new life and all its changes. Keeping things bottled up inside or denying the sadness could prolong the pain one is feeling. Any loss has to be acknowledged for us to move forward. Loss and bereavement counselling helps clients find a place for their loss so they can carry on with life and eventually find acceptance.

Depression, Anxiety and Stress Counselling

Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can have a negative effect on a person’s thoughts, behaviour, feelings and physical well-being. Depressed people may feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, worried, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, hurt or restless. They may lose interest in activities that once were pleasurable, experience loss of appetite or overeating, have problems concentrating, remembering details or making decisions and may contemplate or attempt suicide.

The good news is with the right treatment and support, most people suffering from depression can make a full recovery. Online counselling can help those suffering from depression deal with any negative thoughts and feelings they are currently experiencing.

Anxiety is a psychological and physiological state characterised by somatic, emotional, cognitive and behavioural components. It is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear that can be mild or severe. Feeling anxious is sometimes perfectly normal. However, people with an anxiety disorder find it hard to control their worries. Their feelings of anxiety are more constant and often affect their daily lives. Sharing your problems and difficulties with an online counsellor can help you to manage your feelings of anxiety much more affectively.

Stress is the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure. Pressure turns into stress when you feel unable to cope. People have different ways of reacting to stress, so a situation that feels stressful to one person may be motivating to someone else. Many of life’s demands can cause stress, particularly work, relationships and money problems. Feeling stressed can get in the way of sorting out these demands, and hence affect everything you do. Stress can affect how you feel, think, behave and how your body functions. Stress counselling can help you to identify the causes of your stress and in turn help you to develop effective coping techniques.

Addiction

Addiction has long been understood to mean an uncontrollable habit of using alcohol or other drugs. More recently we have come to realise that people can also develop addictions to behaviours such as gambling and even quite ordinary activities such as exercise, eating and sex. What these activities have in common is that the person doing them finds them pleasurable in some way.

Although the precise symptoms vary from one addiction to another, in clarifying what is an addiction, there are two aspects that all addictions have in common. Firstly, the addictive behaviour is maladaptive or counter-productive to the individual. So instead of helping the person adapt to situations or overcome problems, it tends to undermine these abilities. Secondly, the behaviour is persistent. When someone is addicted, they will continue to engage in the addictive behaviour, despite it causing them trouble.

Many people with addictions do not believe they are addicted as long as they are enjoying themselves and are holding their lives together. Often people’s addictions become ingrained in their lifestyle, to the point where they never or rarely feel withdrawal symptoms. Or they may not recognise their withdrawal symptoms for what they are, putting them down to aging, working too hard or to just not liking mornings. People can go for years without realising how dependent they are on their addiction. When people are addicted, their enjoyment often becomes focused on carrying out the addictive behaviour and relieving withdrawal, rather than the full range of experiences which form the person’s full potential for happiness.

Addictions are harmful both to the person with the addiction, and to the people around them. The biggest problem is the addicted person’s failure to recognise the harm their addiction is doing. They may be in denial about the negative aspects of their addiction, choosing to ignore the effects on their health, life patterns and relationships. Or they may blame outside circumstances or other people in their lives for their difficulties. Some people who get addicted to substances or activities are very aware of their addictions, and even the harms caused by the addiction, but keep doing the addictive behaviour anyway. This can be because they don’t feel they can cope without the addiction, because they are avoiding dealing with some other issue that the addiction distracts them from, or because they do not know how to enjoy life any other way. The harm of the addiction may only be recognised when the addicted person goes through a crisis. This can happen when the addictive substance or behaviour is taken away completely, and the person goes into withdrawal and cannot cope. Or it can occur as a consequence of the addiction, such as a serious illness, a partner leaving or the loss of a job.

Online addiction counselling can help you to understand your emotional needs and address the underlying problems attached to your addiction. It may be that you have currently decided to make some positive changes to your life, are experiencing difficulties and need support, or are waiting for a place on a treatment programme.

Eating Disorder Counselling

Eating disorders are often described as an outward expression of internal emotional pain and confusion. Obsessive thoughts about, and the behaviour associated with food, are maladaptive means of dealing with emotional distress which cannot be expressed in any other satisfactory way. The emotional distress is often to do with a negative perception of self, a feeling of being unable to change “bad” things about one self. Food is used as an inappropriate way of taking control.

Perhaps due to cultural ideas of what constitutes perfection, people often feel a strong desire to be thinner than their bodies naturally tend to be. They confuse who they are with what they look like. As a result, they change their eating patterns and may as a consequence be at risk of developing an eating disorder.

An eating disorder involves a distorted pattern of thinking about food, size and weight. There is a preoccupation and obsession with food as well as an issue of control or lack of control around food and its consumption.

There are several recognised eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and compulsive eating. Online counselling can assist those suffering from such a disorder by helping those to acknowledge an eating problem exists, identify what the eating disorder is helping them to avoid or disguise, challenge their distorted thinking and help them to accept/respect themselves and their bodies.

Sexual Issues Counselling

Sometimes, no matter how much you love someone, there are issues that cause problems. The key is to not sweep it under the rug but to address it as soon as possible. However, many couples resist seeking therapy for their challenges, particularly when it comes to sex therapy. However, a happy sex life is crucial for a happy relationship, which is why sexual issues counselling can be a very useful treatment for couples who are grappling with sexual difficulties.

Understandably, many people are daunted by the idea of discussing their most intimate desires with a stranger. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that sexual issues counsellors are professionals.

Many couples have different libidos (he wants sex all the time, she wants it only occasionally, he wants it in the morning, she wants it at night). One partner’s sexual needs are not being met, while the other partner feels pressured and harried into having sex when she is not in the mood. Not only does the bedroom become a battlefield, but couples become emotionally distant, refusing to talk about the situation and allowing resentments and bitterness to fester. In therapy, I help couples confront these hidden resentments.

When I am working with couples who are dealing with infidelity, I give them a safe place to channel their rage and hurt, and I also help them to examine why the infidelity occurred in the first place. I also help them to rebuild trust and communication.

Most people barely have time for a date night, let alone sex. As the passion dies, so do the sparks, and couples find themselves treating each other like platonic room mates rather than lovers. While some loss of excitement is a natural part of a long-term relationship, it is very important to make sure that you and your partner still keep that sexual part of your love life alive.

In therapy, I help couples find ways to recommit to their sexuality, whether that means trying something new and erotic like role-playing, or simply tossing out those old sweatpants and pulling out the lingerie. I also get them talking about their sexual fantasies and discussing their desires. All these steps can pave the way to an exciting, fulfilling sexual relationship.

Useful Links

BACP

ACTO Uk

OTI

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