When you leave therapy

I am often asked by clients ‘how will I know when I am ready to leave therapy?’
My reply is ‘you will know, we will work together to find out.’

Businessman running to the exit door

Your therapy journey is unique to you and you will find your own path through to your own unique destination.

Once you find that your counsellor will work with you to find a way to leave therapy that is comfortable for you. Counsellors will often review with a client when they feel progress has been made, ask the client how they feel they are doing. Maybe discuss sessions becoming less frequent and seeing if you still feel better. Often therapists will review your initial goals with you and see how you feel progress has been made towards them or if they have now changed. Some therapist use a questionnaire to help you and them judge these changes.

People often ask ‘what if I get bad again?’
We can’t be sure we won’t feel like we need therapy again, like we’re slipping back into depression, anxiety, OCD, etc but usually we are aware of the feelings and warning signs much sooner because we’ve explored them and can now recognised them which we may not have been able to do before. This will answer your own question. 

After this you have the choice to return to therapy whenever you choose to, for a top up session, for a whole new reason, because an issue has returned or something has triggered you. You can return to your previous therapist of find a new one if you’d like to try a new approach.

If you’d like some face to face counselling in the Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme or Staffordshire area please do contact Wright Minds on laura@wrightminds.co.uk or 07598810304

Sleep Divorce

The concept is separate rooms, or at least separate beds.

LBC have recently debated this idea and Metro have discussed it.

This isn’t always a feasible solution but it just might be the right one for you.

Twin bed room and faceless people

Couples worry that it will lead to lack of intimacy or affection, that it will lead to the breakdown in the relationship, some people worry they will miss cuddles and it’s true, it’s not the solution for everyone. However, if you have ever spent the night waking up every time your partner turns over, lying awake convincing yourself smothering them for snoring isn’t the right plan, or that they stolen the covers for the 12th time that night, or that they’re star fished and you have been pushed to the floor, or they want to sleep hours before you but complain when you disturb them coming to bed.

Maybe a sleep divorce might just help you maintain a good relationship. It will mean a better nights sleep for you and your partner, it will mean less to be irked at them for, you will wake up and they won’t be the enemy.

Have a think about it.

If you’d like some face to face counselling in the Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme or Staffordshire area please do contact Wright Minds on laura@wrightminds.co.uk or 07598810304

Worries

So I have several metaphors for stress and anxiety and I thought I’d share the overall idea with you.

Imagine a glass and water. at the start of the day it has a small amount of water in it, its not heavy and it holds the water easily without spilling. By the time you get to lunchtime its starting to get about half full, by the end of work its almost completely full, it gets fuller and fuller on the journey home and when you get in. Eventually its hard to keep it from spilling out, its getting heavy and difficult to carry. Solution is easy – just tip out some water. Unfortunately its not that easy. When you see each worry that got added has combined with the others and you are not sure how to tip any out at all.

A glass of water macro shot

You can do the same with a bag of rocks, or marbles. Each conversation, each email, each piece of news, the commute, etc all add to the bag, along with some long term members such as bills and family etc. by the end of the day the bag is overflowing and heavy but you have no way to put it down or leave it.

How do you deal with this?

My way – I make a list of all of those things that have filled up my bag. I decide who’s worry they are – are they mine or do they belong to someone else? If they’re someone else’s then can I give them back? If its mine do I need to carry it around now? Can I put it down until I need it? eg that really important meeting next week – put it in the diary and plan time to plan it, then let it go, you can do no more to it right now.  Hopefully you should now have released several of your worries. We will always have a few that take time to put down, or share but we don’t need all of them. We don’t need to hold onto the stress of the person who cut us up on the way home etc.

If you’re left feeling overwhelmed still can you go for a run, a walk, a swim, a coffee with a friend, try some meditation to see if you can shake off any emotional weight collected over the day? 

These are the things I do. What works for you? 

If you’d like some face to face counselling in the Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme or Staffordshire area please do contact Wright Minds on laura@wrightminds.co.uk or 07598810304

Being You – Easy Right?

You hear people talk about the importance of being yourself, being true to who you are, but how is that achieved? How do we even start to find out who we are?

Obviously I’m going to say therapy, because I’m a therapist? Not necessarily. We can find ourselves through introspection and self awareness, but I will admit these are often easier if we have someone to explore the ideas with. It doesn’t have to be a therapist it can be a trusted friend, or even a journal or blog. 

The trick? There isn’t one. Or at least not one I’ve found. Many people will offer advice, remember that’s just advice, take it – leave it – adapt it to yourself, only you know whats best for you.

See you just started. You just made your first ‘being yourself’ choice.

I found myself bit by bit; sometimes in small bits, sometimes in big bits and sometimes without noticing, often through making wrong choices or uncontrollable life events. I learnt to listen to me, not others, I felt my gut reaction, I felt the pleasure or sadness something brought. 

An example? I’m a nerd. I used to hide it, be ashamed of it, try to fit in.  Then I realised that it just made me feel unhappy. I got no pleasure age 21 of wearing uncomfortable clothes that revealed (what I felt to be) too much of me, of painting my face and dancing to music I didn’t like, while drinking cheap alco-pops that made me feel sick, I hated staying out late. I am not saying these are bad things, but they were bad things for me. So I did what I felt right? No because I had no idea what was right yet. I did over time, I found reading fun, I found board games, I found live role-play, I found counselling, I found university, I found computer games, I found sci-fi TV and films, I have watched every Star Trek episode, I learnt bit by bit, trial and error, what I liked and didn’t like. In the process I learnt I’m a nerd and I am proud of it.

Do you know what else? I found some of the most amazing friends. Because I was being me, they could get to know me, feel comfortable around me because my reactions were honest and didn’t change because they were real rather than fitting for the moment. This meant they could be themselves around me and I didn’t judge them. We grew to know one another. 

So Being You – its not easy, its not fast and I don’t think you ever stop learning but I find its worth it.

If you’d like some face to face counselling in the Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme or Staffordshire area please do contact Wright Minds on laura@wrightminds.co.uk or 07598810304

Worse before Better?

I always discuss with my clients during our initial session and our contracting that counselling can make you feel worse before you feel better.

It appears I am not the only person who has noticed this

It is not unusual that talking about the hard times, the difficult memories and the painful emotions will make us feel worse. It is hoped that by unpacking the overflowing closet of our memories, throwing away if we can things we don’t need, reorganising the things we want or need to keep, figuring out how to feel differently about things and storing them away neatly and under our control will help us feel better in our day to day lives.

A little bit like panning for gold, you have to work hard and make a lot of mess but what you are left with at the end is a beautiful thing.

If you’d like some face to face counselling in the Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme or Staffordshire area please do contact Wright Minds on laura@wrightminds.co.uk or 07598810304

What is Therapy 101

So I have recently been asked to write some information for a company I am working with to provide mental health support. They were wondering how to explain therapy or counselling to potential clients. This is the response I gave:

  • Counselling is a one to one conversation between a counsellor and a client.
  • Anything can be discussed in the conversation.
  • The counsellor is there to listen.
  • Each conversation is called a session and last up to an hour.
  • The things said in the session are private or confidential.
  • Unless you tell the counsellor about an illegal activity such as money laundering, drug trafficking, terrorism, human trafficking, child abuse or serious risk of harm to someone.
  • Confidentiality will be explained to you in the first session.
  • You get to choose if you want to go to counselling or not – if you don’t want to just let us know.
  • Remember your counsellor will respect you, remember to respect them.
  • Over the sessions you and your counsellor can discuss anything you wish to. The aim is to help you feel better and think differently about your situation.
  • Sometimes the counsellor may offer you a technique to help you – it is always your choice to try these, they don’t always work as everyone is different.
  • Your counsellor will work with you to try to find the best way for you to feel better.
  • Everyone is an individual and thus every therapeutic relationship formed is individual.
  • Some things clients talk to counsellors about are: grief, loss, anxiety, depression, sadness, illness, health, families, work, money, abuse, rape, children, stress, difficult choices, divorce, relationships, sexuality, gender, addictions, self-harm, eating issues, and many more.
  • Counselling usually takes place once a week. It can be the same time each week or different days or times to suit you (within reason).
  • Things can start to feel worse before they feel better as emotions are talked about. This is very normal.
  • Counselling helps most people but there is no guarantee it will fix everything.
  • You have to want to talk to your counsellor and make a change, counselling is something you do, not something that is done to you.

If you’d like some face to face counselling in the Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme or Staffordshire area please do contact Wright Minds on laura@wrightminds.co.uk or 07598810304

ADHD and Autism

This week I’ve been updating my knowledge with some CPD (continuous professional development) on Autism and ADHD.

I thought it might be nice to review it here for you.

Firstly I have learnt the basic signs or symptoms of ADHD – inattention, hyperactivity, impulsive, emotional, lots of constant intrusive thoughts, overwhelmed, lack of detail focus/orientation, lack of order, relational difficulties, impulsive behaviour, outgoing, confident, sport/physically active, in attentive.

This is usually treated with medication and person centred integrated care services to tailor the interventions to the individual and their family.

And the basic signs or symptoms of Autism (which now includes Asperger’s syndrome – they are no longer classified as separate) – various degrees of impairment, verbal and nonverbal, social, educational, resistant to change, sensory overload, distant, inner focus, highly intelligent, hyper focused, repetitive activities, tics/repetitive movements, compulsive behaviours, struggles with social interaction and non-verbal communication, creativity, innovative.

This is usually treated without medication and person centred integrated care services to tailor the interventions to the individual and their family.

Some really useful link I have found are the NICE guidelines for ADHD NICE guideline NG87

NICE guideline NG87
NICE guideline QS39

And Autism

NICE guideline QS51
NICE guideline CG142
NICE guideline CG170

Finally I found the Government autism review really useful. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/think-autism-an-update-to-the-government-adult-autism-strategy

Suicide Prevention

I have often posted about suicide, and the final video I want to share for now is this one, it is very powerful and moving. Remember you are all able to save a life.

You could help save a life.

If you watch one thing today, make it this ❤️️

Posted by Eagle Radio on Thursday, 16 November 2017

If you’d like some face to face counselling in the Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme or Staffordshire area please do contact Wright Minds on laura@wrightminds.co.uk or 07598810304

What is perfect?

Again a slightly unusual post for a counselling site but I just really like what this gentleman is trying to say. Have a listen and make up your own mind.

If you want to learn how to love yourself then maybe counselling can help you find yourself

If you’d like some face to face counselling in the Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme or Staffordshire area please do contact Wright Minds on laura@wrightminds.co.uk or 07598810304

Talk about it!

Now this isn’t the usual type of video I share but I just thought the humour made a powerful message. If you are worried about anything to do with your health mental or physical talk about it to someone. 

Embarrassment at going to the doctors

This clip could save your life. And contains the most embarrassing moment of my life ever.

Posted by Russell Howard on Friday, 9 November 2018

If you’d like some face to face counselling in the Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme or Staffordshire area please do contact Wright Minds on laura@wrightminds.co.uk or 07598810304