People of all ages, both women, men and, increasingly, young people are suffering from anxiety and depression, manifesting itself in obsessive, negative and suicidal thought patterns and resultant disturbing physical symptoms and behaviour.

The mental, emotional and physical symptoms of anxiety can be a blight on people’s lives, exerting a restrictive control on both themselves and their relationships.

Accompanying these feelings and symptoms can be a raft of issues such as low self-esteem, lack of assertiveness, conflict avoidance and control or abuse issues. Bullying affects many children and young people and if not addressed, can have deep and life-long consequences on mood and self-confidence.

Anxiety can happen suddenly because of an incident or situation, or it can creep up on you, becoming a generalised anxiety state, affecting both daytime thoughts and behaviour and night time sleep patterns. When mild anxiety which is manageable, becomes acute and disturbing symptoms become evident, then the person suffering, their family, friends and work can all be detrimentally affected. At this point, many people consider seeking help.

In my counselling practice, I have an increasing number of clients coming for help because they recognise that their anxiety is generating symptoms which are inhibiting them from living a fully confident and outgoing life. Distressed parents are organising counselling for their teenagers because they feel unable to help them deal with or improve their levels of anxiety or depression. Low self-esteem and lack of confidence can be a cause or result of anxiety. Symptoms of OCD can be hugely debilitating, and obsessive thoughts can generate emotions and behaviour which can spiral out of control.

During my 23 years of counselling experience, I have developed techniques and strategies which can relatively quickly bring back control for the sufferer and relief of their symptoms – a major transformation back to normality and being able to get on with their lives.

My approach is a three-part strategy, the first part of which is using counselling therapy to explore and understand issues which have caused anxiety, either past or present. The second part is coming to a recognition of what action needs to be taken, if any, to improve the person’s situation i.e. what can be changed and what can’t and both the difference between the two and the complexities arising from this, including assertiveness issues, low self-esteem and anger management. The third strategy is looking at, and changing, negative and controlling thoughts which become obsessive or dominating and which generate painful and inhibitive emotions and behaviour. This is a form of brain training which is both simple and extremely effective.

Many of my clients have seen much success with this approach and the transformation in their lives is wonderful to behold. The only requirement is that a person has a real willingness and ability to reflect on their lives and present circumstances and to accept help to take the steps towards changing them.


Counselling South West