Counselling, Psychotherapy and Psychology Blog
Bad news, witnessing conflict in Government and sensing uncertainty are having a very bad impact on some peoples wellbeing at the moment. Are you struggling?
This article looks at the difference between online and face to face counselling and gives a first hand experience of changing from face to face to online psychotherapy.
Having seen articles and then written myself about #coronanxiety I wasn’t surprised to start seeing articles about #coronaphobia. Personally I think it is too early for the term Coronaphobia to be useful and here’s why.
As people consider the impacts of COVID-19, the coronavirus and the lockdown on our psychological wellbeing a new term is trending #coronanxiety. But what is it?
Our experienced team of UK based counsellors and psychotherapists are able to offer private online counselling and psychotherapy using zoom, skype and facetime to children, adolescents, young people, adults, couples and families.
The pandemic and lockdown restrictions in the UK have meant that counselling and psychotherapy has had to move completely online for the time being - however online counselling and psychotherapy is nothing new for the UK. But how do you find an online counsellor and psychotherapist?
Today’s news that the UK’s lockdown will be extended for a further three weeks may well be very bad news for some relationships. In this article, relationship psychotherapist Nicholas Rose writes about how relationships are being affected, how to know if your relationship is struggling and importantly, what to do about it.
At the present time our work with all clients is being conducted either by telephone or using video applications such as Skype, Zoom or FaceTime. Our page for our Onlline Counselling and Therapy has been updated and now includes a short video with Nicholas.
Our latest article for The Chiswick Herald and Hounslow Herald offering a daily fifteen minute psychological workout to help you cope during the pandemic.
This article written for the Hounslow Chamber of Commerce considers some psychological perspectives in the context of how to manage and approach business during the pandemic.
We want to continue to support you and our local community through the pandemic and are introducing a scheme offering free counselling to the NHS identified extremely vulnerable.
Information on our services for existing and new clients.
We know that many of our clients want and / or need to continue with their sessions so we are doing everything we can to ensure sessions continue.
We take the health and welfare of our therapists and clients very seriously and are carefully following current NHS and government advice. We are also taking extra steps to ensure any impact on your sessions with us can be minimised. Please read below.
Information on our services for existing and new clients.
We take the health and welfare of our therapists and clients very seriously and are carefully following current NHS and government advice. We are also taking steps to ensure any impact on your sessions with us can be minimised. Please read below.
Nicholas was interviewed for the October edition of the Chiswick Magazine.
Our latest article on therapy for relationships was published in the Chiswick Herald on the 27th September.
This article on how to identify your biases and predjudices publishes in the `Chiswick Herald on Friday the 21st June.
In this article to be published in the Chiswick Herald on Friday 7th June I explore what can happen in therapy when a couple come who say they no longer feel in love.
I’ve noticed that many of the couples who come to see me have moved to the UK - usually for work. In therapy we often talking through the impacts on each other and their relationship of having made the move. In this article I share the thoughts of other Therapists working in Tenerife (where many people move to from the UK in search of a more relaxed way of life) and my experiences in working with couples here in London.
Latest research shows the impact of Brexit on mental health and wellbeing in the UK.
Our article on Depression was published today in the Chiswick Herald.
The following article published in the Chiswick Herald on Friday the 29th March.
The following article was published in the Chiswick Herald on Friday the 15th March.
The following article appeared in the Chiswick Herald on the 1st February.
Sometimes people with anxiety start to withdraw and avoid things, people and situations where they experience heightened anxiety. Avoidance is a valid coping mechanism and a tool that can facilitate recovery from trauma but if you or someone you know is gradually withdrawing with no decrease in anxiety then maybe its not the most helpful one!
In fact this might be considered as “colluding” with anxiety, and collusion ultimately leads to greater anxiety.
Anxiety is a heightened state that is identifiable through a combination of physical, psychological and behavioural experiences. Anxiety is different to stress in that it is a longer term condition and it is for this very reason that it can be harder to identify and therefore to treat.
It is not uncommon for people to be unaware that they suffer from anxiety until they realise that other people do not feel like them and again, being able to identify anxiety can depend upon its cause. Where there has been a significant life event it can be easier to spot than if someone has been anxious since a very early age. Again it is common for people to not recognise anxiety because the way they experience life has never been any different. For people who have this type of anxiety it can be helpful to think about a persons early years and any childhood traumas.
And of course anxiety is linked to a wide range of other unpleasant experiences such as panic attacks, agoraphobia, other phobia’s, obsessive compulsive disorder etc. Long term anxiety may also result in clinical depression or other mental health conditions - so once recognised it is really important to start developing ways to manage and hopefully recover from anxiety.
Returning to colluding with anxiety, a common experience is for sufferers to be anxious about being anxious and this is contrary to how anxiety can be alleviated. This cycle which can only result in an escalation of the anxiety must first be broken. We need to recognise that the anxiety has a message for us - one that we need to understand and to do this we must adopt a “kindly curiosity” towards the experience of the anxiety.
Imagine someone who cannot travel on the Underground, how might you apply the idea of kindly curiosity? Here are a list of questions that might be helpfully worked through.
- What is the impact on the person of not being able to travel on the Underground? Answers may be practical for example the cost of having to get taxis or more personal for example feeling unhappy with oneself or a combination.
- Has something happened on the Underground? If yes then traumas that have resulted in an unwanted change are something that people take to counselling.
- When did this anxiety first appear?
- Was there anything else going on in life at the time?
- What has been tried to manage or treat the anxiety?
- What hasn’t been tried?
- Have you looked for information on using the underground, anxiety and how other people cope?
- What do you think and feel about what you have found out?
- What would you like to do about it?
- What might you find supportive / helpful?
- Who might you find helpful / supportive?
- Is there any reason why you do not try to deal with this or why it is hard to get help?
- If a person you cared for was in your situation what would you say to them, or how would you help them?
In therapy, one of the approaches to overcome an anxiety linked to a specific situation is firstly to talk it through, secondly to talk about information that might be helpful and then thirdly to draw up a plan of action.
A plan of action in terms of travelling on the Underground will be tailored to the specific person, based upon what they want to do, what has worked for other people and what the therapist and the person senses to be manageable.
For example, the sufferer might first of all watch videos of underground journeys, they might then go to visit an Underground station, then they might take a train just one stop on an overground section before taking longer journeys. They might have a therapist or friend / relative travel with them the first few times, drop them at the station or meet them at the other end. They might take their mobile phone with them and have someone lined up who they can call. They might take a book or listen to music, carry food or water….. As you can see so many options.
The important thing is to be kind, take small steps and listen to what feels manageable.
The Underground is a fairly common example and one that can cause anything from mild to debilitating anxiety. If either yourself or someone you know is struggling with anxiety remember this is a very common problem and it is treatable.
This article appeared in the Chiswick Herald on the 21st December:
Someone upsetting you? Here’s what to do about it.
In this article we will look at getting upset with other people, how we can usefully think about what is happening and what are some of the options available to stop this from happening.
Before getting into the main part of the article it is really important to acknowledge the times when relationship problems are serious and have serious consequences for the health and safety of ourselves and/or others. Some people find almost everyone else difficult and they can find therapy really useful in understanding how their own expectations are causing conflict and find new ways to improve their relationships. And some people are in abusive relationships and they need to get out of them. If you think you might be in an abusive relationship, and abuse can take physical, sexual and emotional forms, there is lots of really helpful information available. For example this page of the NHS website https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/getting-help-for-domestic-violence/. If you are in either of these terrible situations there is a lot of help out there and whilst it might feel hard to take the first step to get help you will be glad you did. Finally, particular in close relationships patterns of destructive and painful behaviour can really put a relationship under strain and often people can find couples therapy helpful. In all these situations the important thing is not to suffer in silence.
Now back to the main part of this article. Most people have difficult relationships with others at some point or another. Sometimes it is something a partner, family member, colleague or friend does that annoys on a regular basis or it might be something that has happened that you are really shocked or stunned by and can’t find a way to deal with it.
Step One - Relax
Relax - this is something that happens to everyone. And it is not all bad - it means your psychological defences, designed to keep you safe, are functioning.
Step Two - Look at this objectively
Sounds easy and it is likely that your hurt feelings will not want you to do this but being able to be objective will enable you to find a way through. Think of an area of your life where you are strongest at being objective - for some people its work, others with their children, for others with authority - identify yours.
Step Three - Own your feelings
In the spirit of being objective it is valuable to remember this fact. Other people do not make us feel bad, we feel bad as a reaction to others - we make ourselves feel bad!
Step Four - Review the facts
Recall exactly what happened and write it down. Then edit what you have written to remove all interpretation and subjective wording. For example a friend is late - you might write:
They are so annoying. They were late as always, they knew how important it was to me, we missed the train and they couldn’t even be bothered to apologise - they said nothing. It is so typical, never take responsibility for anything and doesn’t care about anyones feelings except their own. They ruined my day.
To rewrite this factually:
They were 20 minutes late and we missed the train. I had said not to be late, they said nothing when they arrived. They have been late before. My thoughts were that they don’t care about anyone else’s feelings. My day was ruined and in my thoughts I held them responsible.
Step Five - Review your interpretations and subjective responses.
And question them as follows:
Are they always annoying?
They are always late?
You told them not to be late but how can you know they understood it was important to you - did you use those words?
When people do not apologise does that always mean they do not care? Isn’t there another explanation?
Do they really never take responsibility for anything? How can you be certain? Also how can you be certain they do not care about anyone else’s feelings? If so how do they manage in life?
If they don’t manage in life then why are you taking this personally when you could have anticipated this happening?
You think they ruined your day - does that mean you were powerless to salvage your day - how come?
Step Six - Decide what to do.
By now three things will have happened:
- You will feel calmer - you are taking back control of the situation and your feelings
- You will be starting to think about what happened differently
- You may now want to just forget about what happened or maybe you will want to talk to the person about what happened
- When you replay things in your mind you might now find that the other person was even upset that you were upset - so maybe they are feeling bad too now?
Step Seven - If you decide to talk to them
If you decide you would like to speak to the person then use this simple framework:
State the facts - “you were late and I had asked you not to be so we missed our train and I did not enjoy the rest of the day”
Say how you felt - “I felt angry and upset”
Say what thoughts you had - “I was thinking it means you do not care about me and I remembered when you were late before”
Say what you would like - “I would like you to be on time in future”