Ann, a twenty four year old woman had suffered with depression for several years. She was finding that the times of depression were interfering with her progress at work and also in her relationship. Initially, it was a relief for her to be listened to and for her to be able to explore her thoughts and feelings. We then worked to find strategies to help her lift her depression. Ann began to understand herself and accept herself. She became aware of her strengths and learned to recognise the negative way she had spoken to herself in the past had not been helpful.
“It is a relief to realise that I can take some control of my feelings and know that I am able to change things and enjoy my life again”
Andrew – Counselling Example 2
Andrew, had been married for ten years and on the outside all looked well. He had a good job, nice home and children. Lately, he had been losing his temper at home and at work. He recognised that work colleagues were avoiding him. He was wondering if it was time to move on to another job. At home he was annoyed that his wife and family were not more understanding. As Andrew told me his story, it became clear that he felt that he had never been listened to. He had learned early in life to keep his feelings bottled up. Gradually he realised that it was safe to express all of his feelings, both happy and sad. As he learnt how to do this, his relationships improved dramatically.
“Life is so much easier now, and I feel so much closer to my wife and kids and we now have fun together. I am now enjoying my job again and think that I would like to apply for a promotion.”
Judy – Counselling Example 3
Judy came to see me and told me “I am the life and soul of the party”. I have so many friends who all tell me all their problems. I try and be the perfect mum and do everything for my family. As she told me these details she smiled a lot and told me she really didn’t know why she had come to see me. Judy was extremely over weight, and she told me her doctor thought it was a problem but that she didn’t. We agreed to work together and gradually Judy realised that she was keeping busy to feel good about herself. As she began to understand herself and what motivated her, she began to be able to value herself. Judy learnt that she could still care for others and also care for herself. She made changes in her relationship with food and started losing weight.
“I gradually realised what I was doing, and how exhausted I was. I now know that I can be loved for me and who I am, not for what I do for others. As I changed, I no longer needed to eat the way I used to do. It is such a relief”
Peter – Counselling Example 4
Peter and Allison came to counselling because they had been together many years but the love had been lost in the relationship and they now seemed to spend their time bickering with each other. Allison was fed up with being taken for granted and Peter felt he was never listened to. We considered what had happened in the recent years and it seemed that the relationship had gone adrift since several family issues demanded their time. Allison felt it was her place to care for members of both the immediate family and the extended family. She was continuously busy, she had little time for herself and even less for Peter. As a result of this, both Allison and Peter felt unloved. Counselling provided a safe place for each to tell the other how they felt and gradually they began to realise that they did in fact still like each other. A plan was made for them to find time to spend time together as a couple. We devised some ideas to help them really listen to each other. When the work was completed they were enjoying their relationship again and both were determined to make time for their own needs as well as the needs of the rest of the family.
“We had let things slip between us, we were both blaming the other. Counselling helped us realise we both needed to make some effort with our relationship. We learnt to support each other again and not be so critical. We have started being nice to each other again which has resulted in both of us being more loving and both of us now feel loved. “
David, had lost all interest in life. He could not understand what was wrong with him. He was in a good relationship, a steady job, all was OK really but he felt he was just marking time. Life seemed dreary and he thought there should be more to life than this. When we explored his life events he told me of the loss of a first child several years earlier. This had understandably been a dreadful experience. All of David’s energies had been put into taking care of his distraught partner and his grieving parents with whom they were very close. He had not been able to grieve. He had just got on with things and tried to get back to normal as soon as possible. In our sessions, he was able to work through his feelings and acknowledge that he too was distraught at his loss.
“I did not realise how much hurt and anger I had buried inside me. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time. Now I feel freed up and I am able to enjoy my time with my children and family. It’s as if I am seeing in colour again”