Anxiety Disorders (including panic attacks, OCD and post-traumatic stress disorder) Some degree of anxiety and nervousness is normal and affects every one of us. The reactions of your mind and body are part of normal functioning. Anxiety becomes problematic when it is excessive, persistent and disproportionate to the actual circumstances that exist. These problems might include: worrying thoughts; intense dislike or fear of situations (or avoidance of situations); panic episodes or panic attacks arising out of the blue conflicting feelings; unpleasant memories or intrusive thoughts. Therapy offers a warm, empathic, safe and confidential environment in which the therapist helps you understand the underlying causes and triggers of your anxiety, both conscious and unconscious.
Addiction Behaviours Addiction (dependence on a particular substance or activity), is an important and complex area of mental health. Addiction can be difficult to treat, and there is a good deal of controversy surrounding the causes of addiction and the best approaches to treatment. Drug and alcohol abuse or misuse—excessive or inappropriate use of a substance—can be difficult to define, and people’s opinions, values, and beliefs vary significantly on the topic. For some, any use of an illegal drug or any use of alcohol with the primary purpose of intoxication constitutes abuse. For others, abuse is indicated by recurring, negative consequences, including: failure to meet social, work, and academic obligations; alcohol- or drug-related legal problems, such as arrest for driving while intoxicated; relationship problems with intimate partners, friends, and family.
Bereavement and Loss Bereavement refers to the process of recovering from the death of a loved one. Grief is a reaction to any form of loss. Both encompass a range of feelings from deep sadness to anger, and the process of adapting to a significant loss can vary dramatically from one person to another, depending on his or her background, beliefs, relationship to what was lost, and other possible factors. Some people can experience a sense of meaninglessness, and others a sense of relief. Emotions are often surprising in their strength or mildness, and they can also be confusing, for instance when a person misses a painful relationship.
Low Self Esteem Self Esteem is a term used in psychology to reflect a person’s overall emotional evaluation of his or her own worth. It is a judgment as well as an attitude toward the self. If you have healthy self-esteem, your beliefs about yourself will generally be positive. You may experience difficulty times in your life, but you will generally be able to deal with these without them having too much of a long-term negative impact. If you have low self-esteem, your beliefs about yourself will often be negative. You will tend to focus on your weaknesses or mistakes that you have made, and may find it hard to recognize the positive parts of your personality. You may also blame yourself for any difficulties or failures that you have.
LGBTQ+ Mental Health With wider recognition of diverse sexual orientations and gender identifications, more and more people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender are seeking therapy. Sometimes this can be for issues related to their orientation or gender identity, and other times simply for the same issues – depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties, and so forth – for which anyone else seeks therapy.
Sexuality (Orientation/Gender Identity) Families pass on unspoken messages about sex that can cause unnecessary distress in couples. Often individuals need to explore their own sexuality away from such pressures. What feels good and what feels disappointing? Attitudes inherited from childhood or out of ignorance can cause unnecessary misery. Cultural pressure may require a detached and analytical re-examination to allow a couple to make their own rules. Sometimes traumatic sexual experiences from childhood or past relationships can emerge in a present relationship. With trust these can be explored and resolved with your therapy counsellor.
Trauma (including PTSD) Trauma occurs when the intensity of an experience is so overwhelming that we are unable to process it. It may be a physical experience such as a road accident, a sexual or physical assault or some form of violence; or it may be emotional/psychological in nature such as witnessing a shocking event, a major loss or a threat to your life which fills you with fear or horror. After a traumatic event, people often feel numb, dazed and disorientated. Talking about what has happened to them may be the last thing they want to do. Many survivors have said that what they found most useful – to begin with – was practical advice, followed by information and support with day-to-day tasks.