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These topics provide useful information and statistics for a variety of issues. Click on a topic heading to view the full information.

Abuse...

> Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is the violation of individuals sexual boundaries.

Statistically, there is evidence that 1 woman in 4, and 1 man in 7 have been sexually abused.

It is often about power - the misuse of power.
It is about the violation of trust.

There is often fear, coercion, threat, and secrecy.
It takes great courage, for a woman to seek counselling for the events of their past. It can take even greater courage for a man.

Who can you trust, if trusting has been obliterated?
Why do you need to continue to be affected by the incident(s), when the perpetrator seems to be having an easy life?

Why should you continually need to push thoughts and feelings out of the way? - And why don't they just die with time?

Facing the un-facable in a caring, controlled experienced and supportive environment can be the only way to lay the ghosts.

The following agencies maintain lists of survivors groups and other sources of help:
Samaritans - 0345 90 90 90 - www.samaritans.org.uk
NSPCC - 0800 800 500 - www.nspcc.org.uk
Rape Crisis - 0113 244 00 58 - www.rapecrisis.co.uk
Childline - 0800 11 11 - www.childline.org.uk
Survivor Help - www.survivorheal.co.uk

> Physical Abuse

Physical abuse, the effects of betrayal of trust, the sense of powerlessness and the anticipation of fear.
Where can you go to be free?

> Emotional Abuse

"Don't be so stupid" - "Can't you do better than that?" - "You will never amount to anything" - "If you don't get a move on I'll leave you here"

These are the kind of "everyday" things that can be said without thought to the possible effects on a person's sense of self.

They can go deep - spreading into the fabric of a person's self image.

Coping can take opposite forms.
The workaholic or achiever. This person succeeds and keeps going. Never satisfied with the results - while others look and wonder at the accomplishments. But that persons feels they can never be good enough because the tape that plays unconsciously is "You'll never be good enough" - "You could do better" etc.

The person who doesn't try. What is the point of trying any more when you know the odds are stacked against you? "Mediocre" - "Failure"
Whatever, it can be a rebellion to stop trying, or it can be a giving up. There is great sadness.

> Anger Management

How to manage your own anger, how to manage the anger of another.

People can often be unhappy with their style of anger management, but think "That's me. I can never change". Some think, "That's me. Why should I change!"

Anger can feel like a difficult emotion to handle.
Explosive! Taking over! Unmanageable!

Anger is a powerful emotion. Not wrong, just powerful.

How anger is managed may result in damage to people, relationships, objects or the cat!

Anger can be a constructive and positive emotion in your life.
Power to right wrongs while having the best chance of maintaining relationships.

The power to face an issue or a person. There are ways to manage anger (your own and another's) Knowledge, Choice and Practice are key.

> Anxiety, including Phobias and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)

Anxiety issues affect a vast number of people. They are very common.

But if YOU are affected, it can feel (and be) a very isolated and fearful place.

Anxiety can "spread" what starts as a seemingly trivial dislike of one thing or situation, can all too often spread to other things and situations, and it is often at this stage that a person begins to ask for ha way out of their trap.

I can help you by the use of Cognitive and Behavioural counselling to enable you to take control back in your life.

I would also want to carefully and sensitively help you uncover the source, thus enabling you to feel confident again in your ability to live your own life.

> Alcohol (substance) Dependence

Alcohol - a very pleasant, (and legal) mind and mood altering drug.

It can be a pleasant part of life - or it can become the means by which you feel your life, and that of those you love, are being smashed and ruined.
Alcohol can affect you, even if you don't drink.

If you do drink, perhaps you are ready for a change, but would like some support.

Realistically, even when someone wants to change their drinking it is often very difficult to put that choice into action without support and tips about things like - what to do when the cravings start, how to keep firm when friends are urging "just one more" etc.

Dependence upon alcohol, caffeine, work, sex, tobacco, or any other (socially acceptable or unacceptable), external support can be harmful both to the individual doing it and all those in contact with that person (close relationships especially). I am able to work with someone affected, whether they are the people dependent or not.

> Assertiveness

The possibility is that you have already come across assertiveness.

Perhaps even been on a workshop or training programme?

So why is it this "miracle" doesn't work? Or you don't seem able to put the techniques over?

Come and find out if you already know the skills, come and discover the skills if it's new to you.

> Bereavement

Grief touches all our lives. When you hear the word "bereavement" you may immediately think of the death of a relative, and the grief that can bring.

But bereavement can come in many forms - and no one is immune.
Bereavement - when the life you had is gone.

Even if the choice was yours, there can still be a sense of loss over what was, and is no more.

Bereavement can apply to youngsters, as well as the more mature...

  • Leaving mum for the first time
  • Going to senior school
  • Leaving an area
  • Getting that first job (loss of freedom)
  • The first permanent relationship (loss of freedom)
  • disintegration of a relationship
  • Redundancy
  • And much more

Often, because we experience loss and bereavement throughout our lives, we deal with them without being aware that this is what we are doing.
But occasionally we can get "stuck" in the process.
Alternatively it may be we would like an impartial and non-condemning stranger to pour out any unspoken things for a time.

> Depression

"Always winter, and never Christmas" C. S. Lewis. "The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe".

"Depression" is an umbrella term for a vast array of feelings (or deadness of feelings!)

Depression can vary from "having a bad day" to a grinding paralysing numbness, a fog where getting up is too difficult and sleeping is impossible. impossible. Bi-polar, Uni-polar, manic, S.A.D. (Seasonal Affected Disorder) Reactive, Endogenous, primary, secondary. Do anti-depressants work? Are they addictive? Will they help me?

I can provide a safe place to talk.

> Eating Disorders (Overeating, Bulimia, Anorexia)

Currently being updated...

> Emotional Blackmail

(With thanks to Susan Forward, author of "Emotional blackmail: when the people in your life use fear, obligation and guilt to manipulate")

"If you really loved me..."

"After all I've done for you..."

"How can you be so selfish..."

"But it's just a little thing..."

"Did I hear you say you're doing nothing tonight? I need a sitter..."

"Well, alright, I suppose I'll have to do it myself (sigh), you know I'm not well / haven't been out for weeks / I was really looking forward to getting out / was so hurt when Jenny said she had more important things to do, and I know she was only going to..."

Sound familiar?
Emotional blackmail, a powerful form of manipulation. It leaves you in a FOG when there is haze of F = Fear, O = Obligation, G = Guilt.

Parents, Partners, Children, Lovers, Colleagues, Bosses, Friends. Anyone can use Emotional blackmail to try and get us to do what he or she wants.

Often the Emotional blackmailer is not a deliberate tactic on the others' part.
Occasionally you meet a person who calculates exactly what they are doing.

A test to tell if you have been emotionally blackmailed.

To tell whether you have ever been Emotionally Blackmailed compare a time when you were asked to do something.
You said didn't want to do it.
But you ended up doing it anyway.

The Process
An Example
1. A demand
"Will you do x for me today?"
2. Your Resistance
"I can't manage that at 6, have other things on/I hate doing that/.."
3. Under Pressure
"Oh go on, I wouldn't ask if it weren't important"
4. Threats*
"How could we ever go on together if you won't do this for me"
5. Your Compliance
"Oh OK"
6. Repetition
The Emotional blackmailer has got what they wanted.

They are reinforced in the belief that their way works - They do it again.*Threats come in many guises, with 4 main pushes, The Punisher. The Sufferer, The Self Punisher, The Tantaliser.

A key barometer of whether Emotional blackmail was used is "How Did You End Up Feeling?"
If you ended up Confused, Bemused, Irritated, Angry... any NEGATIVE feeling, then it's possible that you have just been Emotionally Blackmailed.

I can be there for you as you express how it feels to have this in your life.
I can aid you in identifying it, and give you strategies and support to readjust the relationship if that is what you decide on.

> Interview Skills

What is the best way to present yourself and your skills at an interview?

How do you come over at present?

I can provide an independent place for you to discuss your situation, and a place to gain fresh insight into maximising the possibility of gaining the position you want.

> Life Skills

We can leave school, college, university, with different sheets of paper that say we can add up, programme a computer, tell someone about the history of art, diagnose what's wrong with the car and so on...

We all assume the skills and knowledge of living effectively (and happily) are acquired along the way.

That they seep in somehow.

But that is not always the case.

People with the good fortune to have effective models in their early years, (usually parents), have assimilated life skills before the age of 7.

But what about the rest of us?

People with parents who had no role models.
Young folk who had broken homes.
Or just "disjointed", with lots of change.

What if the "blueprint" on how to live life was dog-eared and inaccurate?

We can feel programmed to fail or condemned to repeat endless cycles of pain and confusion.

Until we consciously decide to assess our ways of coping and behaving.

Sometimes what we do alerts us to a place that needs attention; sometimes it is our feelings.

As we mature in years and experience, we can decide to change.
Sometimes the decision alone is enough.

Sometimes it can feel like torture - knowing how you want to think/act/feel, and yet never achieving it. Being in your own "Hell"

I can help you out of that cycle of torment, and show you ways of erasing the negative effects of the past - without erasing "you"

> Relationship Enhancement

Relationships. With partner, children, neighbours, friends, family, work colleagues, people we meet and have to deal with (shop assistant, taxi driver, telephone engineer When they work well, relationships can be the most satisfying, fulfilling, and life affirming areas of our lives.

If our close relationships are ok we feel we can cope with the rest. We can take on the trials and difficulties of our lives - and win! However, along with being the most life enhancing, relationships can be the most difficult thing in our world.

The pain we can experience (in so many ways), can cause bloody wounds that can weep into every area of our life.

Relationship difficulties can be rooted in the past events of our lives, or they can be about relating to one type of personality right now.

When we experience relationship difficulties it can be hard to move on positively. If they affect our close ties, we can be too close to be objective. I can help. A place to listen to the fears, anger, sadness, hopes and all the colours of your feelings. No judgement. No being told to do X and it will be ok. But a place to explore what you want, to receive input about new (or familiar) skills to try IF It's your decision to try it.

A place of support, empathy and enabling.

> Stress

The effects on a person when the body goes into a "fight or flight" response, but does not fight or flee. The unwanted personal reaction to circumstances we believe we will be unable to cope with...

STRESS: "Pressure from the outside, causes us to feel an inward sense of strain"

ACUTE STRESS: "Inward strain causes us to become dysfunctional"

Not all stress is bad, some stress is essential for our functioning (motivation)
Without stress we tend to flop, it is excessive stress that is bad for us.

STRESS is related to CHANGE. How many changes at any one time. Are the changes desirable? (Do I want them?). Am I in control of them?

SOME of the SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF STRESS (these are not linked in any order)

EMOTIONAL BEHAVIOURAL PHYSICAL
     
Tense Constantly questioning own action High blood pressure
Anxiety Not Eating Heart pressure
Depression Taking tranquillisers Skin disease
Screwed up inside Insomnia Backache
Tied up in knots Freezing Coughs & colds
Panicky Distancing Arthritis
Tearful Unrealistic expectations of others Breathlessness
Pressured Running around in circles Muscle tension
Stewing over difficulties Reacting too quickly Headaches
Woozy feeling Switching off Migraine
Unable to relax Escaping Eye infections
Frustrated Impatient Asthma
Overwhelmed Jumping from problem to problem Nausea
Loss of confidence Under-performing Gastric upsets
Self doubt Short-tempered Fatigue/Exhaustion

We can experience stress even with pleasant actions or situations.

72% of women experienced an increase in their stress levels when they moved in with their partner
52% of women found their lives more stressful after losing their job
61% of women found their lives more stressful after starting a new job

I can help you to learn strategies proven to reduce your symptoms, (including how to delegate effectively), Along with possible ways of reducing the source of the stress.

> Teenagers memo to Adults

Don't spoil me. I know quite well that ought not to have all I ask for: I'm only testing you.

Don't be afraid to be firm with me I prefer it. lt lets me know where l stand.

Don't use force with me; It teaches me that power is all that counts. I will respond more readily to being "led".

Don't make promises. You may not be able to keep them. That will discourage my trust in you.

Don't fall for my provocations when I say and do things just to upset you. If you do, I'll try for more such "victories".

Don't be too upset when l say, "I hate you" l don't mean it, it's just a way of trying to make you feel sorry for what you've done to me.

Don't make me feel smaller than I am. If you do, l will make up for it by behaving like a "big shot".

Don't do things for me that I can do for myself. It makes me feel like a baby and I will therefore act helpless like one, and put you in my service.

Don't let my "bad habits" get me a lot of attention. It only encourages me to continue them.

Don't correct me in front of people. I'll take much more notice if you talk quietly with me in private.

Don't try to discuss my behaviour in the heat of the conflict. For some reason my hearing is not very good at this time, and my co-operation is even worse. It's all right to take the action required, but lets not talk about it until later.

Don't preach to me. You'd be surprised how well I know what's right and wrong.

Don't make me feel that my mistakes are sins; l have to learn to make mistakes without feeling that l am no good.

Don't nag me. If you do, I shall protect myself by developing temporary deafness.

Don't demand explanations for my wrong behaviour:

I really don't know why I did it!

> Work Issues

Work - Labour, Enterprise, Profession, Career, Accomplishment, Challenge, Satisfaction, Drudgery, Grind, Toil, Exertion, Fear, Overwork, Bullying, Over-Stretched, Undervalued. Stress, Depression, Anger, Exhaustion, a myriad of feelings from what can seem like a trivial or enormous source, WORK.

I can help an individual or an organisation in several ways.

This is a confidential Counselling service and I have training and experienced in assisting individuals with issues that affect them through work. E.G. coping with the flirt or the bully. A safe place to talk.

I can advise individuals and organisations in how they might deal with some of the issues relating to life at work in the new millennium. In-house training can be tailored to suit company requirements.

The facilitation service enables the members of the workforce to tap into their existing skills, and provides supplementary skills where applicable.

BACP Registered