Counselling

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ALISON MATTHEWS

BA(Hons), PGCE, MBACP

Counsellor

07908 399 781

  • Family Support

  • Divorce

  • Bereavement

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

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•Bereavement

 

Losing a loved one can be one of the most traumatic life experiences.  Many people think that they should "get over it" or put on a "brave face” when inside they are shocked, confused, angry, lost or hurt; all of these being natural responses to death and bereavement.  Counselling helps people work through and accept these stages, as a normal, helpful response to death, providing a safe place to feel held and work through feelings.

 

Different types of death provoke different responses, a slow passing, for example through cancer, where loved ones may have to watch a person endure a long period of great pain and suffering can bring up intense feelings of anger and powerlessness.  Sudden death through accident, illness, murder or suicide can leave the friends/family disorientated and with many unanswered questions. Counselling can help provide space to reflect and process these feelings, leading to eventual peace.

 

The death of a child can be particularly harrowing and a feeling of disbelief is natural. Family members may not know how to support others as they are dealing with their own intense grief. Counselling can provide a safe way to vent feelings of anger and eventually bring acceptance.

 

Any death can bring up intense feelings about a variety of things from childhood to the past, or previous losses.  The death of a beloved pet can provoke intense, unexpected feelings and counselling can help a client come to terms with these.  If a relationship with the deceased was difficult, people can often feel guilt, which can become overwhelming.  Counselling can help "normalise" these thoughts and bring acceptance of previous pain.

 

 

•Anxiety and Depression

 

Feelings of anxiety or depression can be overwhelming and scary, especially if they happen suddenly, panic attacks can be terrifying.  People who feel anxious, depressed and/or are experiencing panic attacks often stop wanting to go out, the world can seem an overwhelming place.  This is quite common after a traumatic experience be it the loss of a loved one, an accident or a redundancy for example.

 

People can be afraid of visiting their GP, fearing they may not get the right advice, but seeking counselling is the first step to helping them to help themselves.  Counselling helps people to accept their feelings as natural, to realise that it is "normal" and they will feel better.  It is intensely powerful and moving to help people to overcome these feelings.

 

 

•Life Stages

 

Certain stages of life bring particular stresses and challenges. These include giving birth, getting married, or divorced, changing career, leaving home, "empty nests", merging step-families, retirement and illness.  Counselling can help people face these challenges confidently.

 

 

•Food Issues

 

I am currently studying for a course in health and nutrition, which is deepening my understanding of physical health issues and their impact on emotional wellbeing.  There is a clear link between ill health and anxiety and depression.  Additionally this will strengthen my understanding of food issues including, anorexia, bulimia and body dysmorphia, enabling me to work empathically with people who have them.

 

 

•Family issues

 

Counselling helps families to sort through problems and conflict.  It brings clarity and  a way forward when family issues seem impossible.  I am a parent of teens and have first-hand experience of the challenges this brings.  Counselling can help improve family relationships, working through issues in a non-judgemental way to help bring peace and harmony.

 

 

•Alcohol and drug use

 

Addiction is a self-perpetuating cycle which needs to be interrupted in order for a person to regain control of their lifestyle.  Counselling can provide an effective approach for people with addiction issues allowing them to think and feel differently.  This does not only apply to alcohol and drug addictions this can also help with gambling, food, sex and smoking addictions to name but a few.

 

I have had many years experience of helping people to work through reasons for substance misuse or addiction, which helps them to take control and turn their lives around.

 

 

•Relationships

 

Counselling can help with relationship issues, from newly married, to stepfamily issues and family breakdown.  I have particular training and experience, both professionally and personally in divorce support.  Counselling offers safety, warmth and peace in these times of discord and pain.

 

 

•Divorce

 

Getting divorced is one of the most stressful life events and challenging.  Counselling brings space, clarity and peace, helping client's to move forward happily and obtain closure.

 

 

Counselling sessions are one hour, by appointment, charged at £30.00 per hour.  Sessions are on a one to one basis, although couple or family sessions can be arranged.

 

 

I can help you to help yourself, building a happier life.

 

More about counselling.