Tel: 07930 155 347


Anxiety, phobias and panic attacks

12904824_mAnxiety is usually felt as an unpleasant state of inner unsettling feelings of dread and a generalised and unfocused fear of the future. People feel anxious about a wide range of situations and issues, rather than one specific event. Sometimes, having undergone a significant life event such as moving houses, getting divorced, changing jobs, physical illness, having children, can trigger anxiety. Anxiety usually does not have an identifiable source and it can cause great distress upon individuals.

People might experience physical and psychological symptoms of anxiety such as: increased heart rate, palpitations, chest tightness and pain, increased muscle tension, hands and feet tingling, “jelly legs”, dizziness, hyperventilation, difficulty in breathing, often wanting to use the toilet, feeling sick, hot flushes, sweating, dry mouth, shaking and choking sensations.

Panic attacks are a sudden blast of these psychological and physical symptoms. They can be frightening and often happen for no clear reason. The physical symptoms of a panic attack are caused by a response of your body to something perceived as a threat. As you try to take in more oxygen your breathing quickens. During a panic attack your body releases adrenaline, causing your heart to beat faster and your muscles to tense up, amongst other symptoms listed above.

Phobias are usually experienced as a debilitating and overwhelming fear of a situation, object or animal. They are generally more accentuated than fears and appear as an exaggerated or unrealistic sense of danger about a situation or object, restricting people’s day-to-day life.

Agoraphobia is a fear of being in situations and places where escape might be difficult, such as shops, crowds, public places, travelling in trains, buses, or planes, being in a lift, cinema or in a restaurant. Ultimately people who suffer from severe agoraphobia are afraid of being anywhere far from home. In a stressful situation agoraphobia can trigger symptoms of a panic attack.

Counselling and Psychotherapy can help you to explore and engage with these unpleasant and unsettling feelings of fear and anguish, offering a safe and trusting environment, allowing you to find ways of facing and dealing with these fears in a constructive and fruitful manner, improving the quality of your life.


Bereavement, loss & loneliness

When you lose someone you love or something important to you (your job, health, marriage, financial security, freedom) you might find difficult to cope and need some time to adjust to the changes in your life. Grief can alter your beliefs and your felt sense of reality. It can manifest in different ways such as sorrow, anger, longing to see the person or the situation again, numbness, guilt, hopelessness, loneliness and despair.
The process of adjusting to loss is known as bereavement. Accepting the loss, experiencing the pain from grieving, and adjusting to life by putting less energy into grief are some of the steps of this process.

Bereavement counselling services can support you during these difficult times. Talking about the loss often allows a person to adjust to their new life with its changes. Keeping feelings and thoughts to oneself or denying the sorrow can prolong the pain. Losses need to be acknowledged for people to move forward. Bereavement counselling can help individuals to come to terms with their loss so they can carry on with life and eventually find acceptance.



Capture YellowDepression is usually the result of negative views of the self, the world and the future. It may affect each person differently with a wide variety of symptoms and causes. It usually appears as an absence of positive affects and low mood most of the time. Sometimes, it shows as the loss of interest and enjoyment in ordinary things and experiences and a range of emotional, cognitive and physical symptoms. The symptoms can also become severe enough to interfere with normal day-to-day activities.

Disturbances in appetite, weight and sleep, decreased energy, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, difficulty in concentrating or thinking, hopelessness and thoughts of death or suicide and suicidal attempts, are some of the accompanying symptoms of depression. People with depression sometimes may find it harder to make decisions and that they can’t cope with things as they used to. They may feel restless, irritable and agitated, lose interest in sex and lose self-confidence. For others it might bring feelings of uselessness, inadequateness and hopelessness.

Living with depression can be difficult not only for sufferers, but also for those around them. However, many people wait a long time before seeking for help, mainly for fear of being rejected, ridiculed or deprived of a sense of control over their lives. Talking about your feelings to a trained psychotherapist can be helpful. Sometimes it can be hard to express your real feelings but it can help you to be clearer about how you feel about your life and other people.

Counselling and psychotherapy may help sufferers to understand their depression and its triggers. The work includes assisting clients to uncover and explore the underlying reasons that have contributed to the development of depression, whilst helping them to change their feelings learning to manage them more effectively. Counselling for depression is also useful for tackling low self-esteem, relationship issues or persistent negative thinking that may be aggravating the condition.


Relationship problems

Relationships are an important part of life. They can bring feelings of happiness and fulfilment but also a great deal of pain and suffering. Mainly because through our intimate relationships we get in touch with some internal affective and cognitive processes that are not easily comprehended. It is sometimes hard to comprehend why we have such intense and disruptive episodes with our loved ones.
Some of the most common problems that surface in relationships are related to poor communication,
parenting, fertility, sexuality, infidelity, financial pressures, loss or bereavement, working struggles, life transitions, cultural differences including core values and beliefs, traumatic events, prolonged periods of stress, domestic violence, unrealistic expectations about marriage and life in general, addictions, lack of support at difficult times, long term depression, amongst others.

In this scenario, counselling can be helpful to assist couples to explore they needs and expectations from their relationship in a supportive and safe environment, encouraging an open and honest dialogue between the parts, helping them to uncover what might be at the bottom of their negative and disruptive patterns of relating.


Eating disorders

iStock_000030324516XscaledWe all have our unique ways of relating to food and eating patterns and these may change over the time. You might eat compulsively or restrict food intake when under stress, anxiety, depression and any other problems that you might be facing. Either way, eating distortions are usually a sign of some struggle in your life and most of times, a way of relieving anxiety or stress, alleviating unpleasant feelings or keeping in control. Distorted eating patterns are particular to individuals, and must be understood in order to find ways of working through it.
Counselling can help you to understand the causes of your food-related problems by examining the underlining feelings, thoughts and behaviours that maintain the cycle, identifying the main triggers and assisting you to improve your self-image and psychological strength. It can also support you to replace compensatory behaviours such as vomiting and laxatives by healthier and balanced eating patterns.


Self-harm & low self-esteem

Self-harming behaviour is usually a response painful and difficult previous experiences and unhappy emotions. Problems and pressures of life such as bullying and discrimination, loss of a loved one and peer pressure can also trigger self-harm behaviour. When feelings of extreme anger, shame, helplessness, self-hatred, guilt and despair become unbearable and problems appear to be insuperable, self-harm may seem to be a way of coping.

Self-harm behaviours such as cutting, burning, punching, pulling out of hair and eyelashes, overdosing on medicines and any other strategies to cause pain and discomfort may temporarily relieve feelings of pressure or anxiety offering a sense of being real and alive and breaking emotional numbness. It may also serve as a punishment for having strong feelings, usually not allowed to be expressed in childhood, and for being bad and undeserving of positive caring. In this sense it can be a way to express self-care and self-nurturing, for someone who never learned how to do that in a more reassuring and positive way. Self-harm can also be a call for help and assistance for others to make them care or go away.

The main causes of self-harm usually comes from poor physical self-image, low self-esteem, bullying and discrimination, parental neglect and physical, emotional or sexual abuse. Counselling and psychotherapy can be appropriate to help to tackle these unfortunate and painful circumstances that may have caused the self-harming behaviour by giving clients the support and care they need to move to more positive patterns of self-care and self-nurture behaviours.



13088613_mAddiction usually comes from an urge for certain activities that  gives a sense of “feeling good” such as drinking alcohol, taking drugs, eating, gambling, having sex or using the Internet, most of the times, to escape from upsetting and unpleasant situations and emotions. These impulses may trigger an ongoing process of compulsive and overpowering desire to engage with the activity, regardless of the negative and harmful effects it brings to your life. Addictions frequently cause pain and suffering not only for those addicted, but also for their family and friends.
Psychotherapy and Counselling can help you to identify addictive behaviours and patterns, assisting you to examine the main causes underneath the vicious cycle and identify possible triggers for relapsing. It may also support you to deal with other difficulties that may be related to the addicted patterns, such as anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.