Stress is an emotion which can often be dismissed as a 'given' in our lives and many endure it because they feel they have to or because they feel it is somehow part of their daily existence. This need not be the case.
It is important to understand the different types of stress we experience and the ways in which they are affecting you personally. A healthy adrenalin rush? or paralysed with fear and despair?. Understanding your stress limitations is crucial to preventing you from being consumed by it.
Perhaps you are encountering problems in your work, health, relationships, sex life or are struggling financially; whatever the reason may be, addressing it and owning it is the first step to beating it.
Many struggle alone with stress which very often serves to exacerbate it. Sharing your concerns and learning ways in which to manage your problems can help you to gain persepective and think beyond the feelings that overwhelm you.
- Purus Therapy
When we consider the term 'addiction', gambling addiction is perhaps the last addiction that may come to mind.
Whilst the impact of a gambling addiction may not always be as rapid or obvious as other better known addictions, the scars it can leave behind may be equally devastating.
In today's society, with the accessibility to online gambling increasing all the time, the problem is escalating and it is not only the gambler who is suffering. I work not only with the gamblers themselves but with the 'affected others'; the friends, the family of the gambling client who are living with the daily consequences of the destructive behaviour. Often these people are the forgotten ones but this doesn't need to be the case.
Gambling affects not only the gambler, the ripples can extend much further.
- Purus Therapy
For most people, our relationships say a lot about who we are and how we feel, and an inability to form a healthy and nurturing relationship can have profound implictions upon our emotional health.
Difficulty in relationships can be for a number of reasons. Perhaps there have been issues forming attachments as a child or during adolescence, experience of abandonment, abuse of trust, sexual or physical abuse, low self-esteem. Taking steps to confront your fears around relationships is not easy but is necessary if you wish to establish and maintain a mutually respectful and trusting reationship.
In a therapeutic alliance, the relationship is key to success and as such, can serve as the reparative relationship that is needed where before this has not been experienced by the client. The therapy room can be the forum for looking at the role we take on in relationships and what this says about us. We can look at what needs changing and what perhaps needs leaving behind.
- Purus Therapy
How we define ourselves sexually can have a major impact on our lives in lots of different ways and for some, to deny who we feel we really are, can have distressing consequences.
Whatever your sexual orientation, whether Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or Transgender, it is important that it is met with acceptance and tolerance; be it by ourselves or others. Very often we find this is not always achievable.
I will work with you in a non-judgmental and safe way to explore your feelings towards your sexuality and what it means for you. My aim is to help you to arrive at a place where self-acceptance and confidence can enable you to embrace the person you are and the person you want to be.
- Purus Therapy
Depression comes in many guises. It may by characterised by an all-encompassing low mood, low self-steem or a loss of interest in activities or day to day living which would normally give you pleasure. There will be varying degrees to which you may find yourself impacted by depression and the extent to which it is impinging upon different areas of your everyday funtioning.
You may experience problematic changes in your sleeping and eating habits, work or school life functioning, sexual functioning, relationships and general health. Depression can become a vicious circle. It may be extremely difficult to find motivation to do anything and this can in itself lead you back to feeling more depressed or seeking to withdraw. One of the keys to beating depression is to take steps to break this cycle.
Therapy can help to free you from the overwhelming sense of feeling 'stuck' and hopeless. Feeling heard, understood and supported can provide you with a framework in which you can begin to face up to what is happening to you and give you the impetus to challenge your depression.
- Purus Therapy
Often referred to as OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), is a disorder typified by intrusive thoughts which induce anxiety. This anxiety may then cause you to engage in behaviour intended to reduce or combat the anxiety, which can result in often more heightened and intense anxiety.
OCD or phobias can be very debilitating physically and emotionally and can often result in social alienation. Significant time-consumption and extreme distress can also be consequences.
Implementing Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) when working with people living with OCD or behavioural issues, can be helpful in managing the day to day symptoms of this disorder. Applying these techniques whilst simultaneously seeking to understand the root causes of the behaviour, can help to reduce or eradicate the cycles of erroneous behaviour.
For more information on CBT and its application, please refer to the page entitled CBT.
- Purus Therapy
PTSD is a severe anxiety disorder which can come about as a consequence of exposure to or experience of of a traumatic event/s, which can result in a severe psychological trauma.
Often a person's response to such an event or events can feel utterly overwhelming and we may feel powerless to help ourselves. PTSD can manifest itself in a variety of different ways such as a reliving of experiences through flashbacks, nightmares or a feeling of hypervigilance amongst other affected areas of functioning, just to name a few.You may find you are experiencing difficulties in your close relationships and/or sexual and everyday life. You may feel depressed and worthless or consumed by fear.
Cognitive therapy can be highly successful in the treatment of PTSD by helping clients to confront what terrorises and paralyses them. Avoidance of our fears will often serve to feed them. Our attempts to try and block our thoughts and feelings out can help us only in the short term but ultimately compound the problem for ourselves later on.
I can help you to confront whatever trauma you have experienced and lived through at a gentle pace of your choosing. In the safety of a boundaried therapy framework, we can work together to confront and overcome your feelings of trauma and stress, helping you to move forward to a positive future.
- Purus Therapy
Bereavement is our emotional and often multi-layered response to the loss of someone or something we have formed an attachment with.
Personal responses to loss can be overwhelming and all consuming, impacting us physically, socially, and behaviourally, leaving us feeling unable to cope with what has happened to us.
By sharing with me your experience of pain and loss, I will work with you and alongside you, to help you come to terms with what has happened to you. I will support you in your journey of grief to come to a place of acceptance which, allows you to move on with your life and let go of the painful emotions which are holding you back and preventing you from moving forward.
- Purus Therapy
Panic attacks in whatever form they come, can be terrifying and devastating. They can hit us out of the blue when we least expect it and paralyse us. Characterised often by a pounding heart, nausea, dizziness, disassociation and breathlessness, panic attacks can make us believe something terrible is happening to us and we may even feel that we are dying.
Panic disorder and social anxiety disorder exist along the same spectrum and share a common denominator, fear. Attempts to avoid and resist these conditions, may only serve to fuel them; facing up to what is happening and why it is happening, is the first step to freeing ourselves from panic attacks.
I work directively with these disorders and will help you to identify the source and triggers for your attacks/anxiety whilst also working with you to manage the anxiety on a daily basis. Our aim will be to gradually reduce the frequency and intensity of your attacks until you are in a place where you feel able to cope.
Some practical tips for dealing with a panic attack are:
When you are experiencing an attack, it is extremely important to breathe properly. This may seem impossible whilst in the throes of a panic attack but will really help to bring the episode to a swift end. When I say breathing properly, this means breathing from your stomach and not your chest and taking short breaths in and long breaths out. So often we breath from our chest which is not the natural way to breathe and can result in shallow breaths which may also lead to hyperventilation.
Visualisation is also a powerful tool. Using your imagination to take you out of the moment of panic and to a place of calm and serenity. Use music or a good book to help you if you need to.
Use rational thinking to bring yourself down from the runaway thoughts of panic in your head. "what is the worst that can happen?" "where is the evidence to say I am going to die?"
Instead of dwelling on "what if" statements, begin the sentence with "so"......."so what if I have a panic attack?" "so what if I forget what to say in this meeting?"
Another very important factor in the prevention of panic disorder is to do with good physical health, taking care of your diet and lifestyle. Whilst many may see this as irrelevant to their emotional/mental health, this could not be further from the truth. Keeping the body free from toxin overload, keeping active and ensuring hormonal balance are just some areas which can help with anxiety.
These are just some of the many tips to coping with panic attacks. What can be seen as insurmountable does not have to be, it's just a case of learning new and improved ways to deal with your body's reaction to fear or imbalance.
I am always struck by the large numbers of clients who come to see me with issues around low self-esteem. Presenting in many different forms and to different degrees, it is a problem that appears to pervade many people's lives and can leave you facing much deeper issues later on in life if it isn't dealt with at the time.
For many, low self-esteem or lack of confidence, is extremely common and something most people suffer from at some point or other throughout their lives. Very often, the problem can be dealt with at face value and may not worsen. For a lot of people however, the problem can present itself in a far greater and more debilitating form, serving to hold them back in the workplace or in forging meaningful relationships.
Facing up to the fears and emotions that constrict and hold you back, can alter your entire way of being and prevent what may be a minor issue around self-perception from becoming an all consuming negative personal and world view. Cognitive therapy is particularly useful in addressing problems with self-perception and can be employed to help change the way you perceive yourself and how other's perceive you.
It is so very often our own distorted beliefs about how other's see us that creates bigger problems than actually really exist. Cognitive therapy can help to dispel these misinterpretations and replace them with realistic and more helpful thoughts based on fact and not on what we simply want to believe.