Grief and loss is often not well-understood or well-supported by professionals or the wider community. People experiencing grief can often feel alone and misunderstood. Grief is a normal response to a major traumatic event or loss. Grief is unique to each person however there are some shared elements of the grieving experience informing grief counselling.
Grief and loss can also relate to relationship breakdown, job loss, feelings of loss of safety, illness, and in fact anything that is important to you that is taken away, including dreams and plans for the future. I can assist you in validating your experience, provide a supportive space to express and explore the many emotions associated with grief and loss such as anger, guilt, despair, fear and confusion. I can also assist with ways to manage your grief and experience peace and hope.
Grief is not meant be 'fixed' or 'cured' and this is because it is not a disorder, it is the normal response to the loss of someone or something that is important to us. I have the sensitivity and professionalism to support and guide you in your grief.
Trauma occurs when an event or series of events overwhelms our capacity to cope. It can result from assault or abuse, accidents, witnessing a traumatic event, the death or injury of someone we love, serious illness or exposure to traumatic material in the workplace.
Trauma can also relate to a prolonged series of events such as neglect or emotional abuse in childhood, or being exposed to violence in the home. Many adults seek trauma counselling in relation to experiences that occurred as they were growing up; which may now be impacting on their lives.
Any event or series of events that exceed what is manageable can bring about a trauma response. Like grief, trauma is highly individual and unique to each person and the impact of an event will differ for individuals depending on a variety of factors such as previous trauma, the availability of support and the nature of the event.
When trauma occurs our normal coping mechanisms can be become overloaded. Counselling can help you with education and strategies to manage this overload and the painful memories and emotions that can come from triggers (such as feelings, bodily sensations, images and events that remind you of the trauma). Trauma counselling can help you make sense of the emotional impact of what has happened. It can help you identify feelings and emotions in a safe and supportive space, at a pace that ensures your emotional safety.
I have specialist training in relationship therapy and believe that couples can benefit from working with an ethical and experienced counsellor who can assist them with an extensive range of issues that impact on relationships. Common reasons people attend relationship counselling are resentment and frustration within the relationship, poor communication, conflict or concerns about parenting, blended families, conflict with extended family, infidelity, addictions, grief, trauma, workplace stress, concerns relating to their sex life, anxiety and depression. Couples who have made the decision to separate can also gain great benefit from counselling.
Relationship counselling is not suitable where family violence exists as it can increase risk and potentially jeopardize safety.
If you have experienced the trauma of family violence, individual counselling can assist you. If family violence is occurring there are also specialist services available to support you in relation to safety planning and advice. Please see Resources.
There are many and varied reasons people seek counselling. Any issue that is causing you distress or worry to the point where it is impacting your daily life can be made more manageable by talking to a skilled and empathic listener.
Counselling can help you to make sense of your experience, alleviate confusion and provide you with strategies to improve your mental wellbeing.