Work related stress counselling
If you are currently suffering from high levels of work-related stress then you are not alone. About 1/2 million people in the UK describe feeling so stressed they believe it is making them ill. Stress is also linked to 6 million days of sick leave a year and is a contributory factor in other illnesses.
The word ‘stress’ is often confused with ‘pressure’ even though they are very different. A certain amount of pressure can be good for us in that it motivates us to be productive and to stay focussed. Stress, on the other hand, is described by the HSE as ‘the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed on them.’ Over time, stress can become debilitating and can produce a range of physical and emotional health problems.
Physical symptoms include – headaches, raised heart rate, increased sweating, excessive tiredness, difficulty sleeping, loss of libido, muscular tension, menstrual problems in women, asthma attacks in asthma sufferers, back pain and gastrointestinal problems.
Emotional symptoms include – feeling tearful, feeling irritable and short-tempered, comfort eating, feeling you can’t cope, anxiety, panic attacks, loss of appetite, depression and poor relationships with those around you.
There is no single cause of stress and how it is experienced varies from person-to-person. However, ‘excessive’ pressure is often an accumulation of smaller pressures that may be linked to all areas of your life.
Lifestyle changes can have a significant impact on reducing your levels of stress. Taking up regular exercise, eating more healthily, reducing your intake of caffeine and alcohol can all have a positive effect on the way you feel. However, for some people these steps aren’t enough to bring about the changes they desire and so they decide to come for counselling.
If you feel you would like to talk to someone who is not directly involved in your workplace and who is trained to listen then you may wish to arrange a consultation with Positive Press. If you then decide to proceed, we can explore whatever issues you choose to bring. This may include work-life balance, prioritising your workload, your relationships with other employees, maybe even how to be assertive and say ‘no’ to excessive demands on your time.
In the course of therapy, you may find yourself exploring other personal issues that may have been weighing heavily on you and may or may not have contributed to your overall feelings of stress. This can include but not limited to; debts, work and personal life. I saw a client recently who had been racked with phone calls and hassle from companies pursuing her over her unpaid emergency payday loans, of course this was the first thing we address duting our sessions. By increasing your awareness of how you think, feel and behave at work and at home, you should gain new insights that change the way you approach your work-life in the future and significantly reduce your levels of stress.
Bereavement & loss counselling
Bereavement, loss and grief are all highly emotive words and describe life events which all of us experience at some time in our lives. Bereavement has been defined as ‘the loss of something valued’. Grieving is the process we go through in adjusting to that loss, a process that is as individual as the person who is experiencing it.
Most often we talk about grieving in relation to death but it is also used to describe the process we go through in dealing with the loss of a loved one through divorce or separation. It is also applied to other life events which you may recognise as part of your own life experience and which you may want to talk about with someone who will listen without judgement in a caring, supportive relationship.
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If you are currently suffering a loss of any kind, you may be feeling confused about your reactions and your feelings so it’s important to remember that how you respond to bereavement and loss will be very personal.
- You may never have experienced the loss of someone close to you before and are worried that your reaction is not ‘normal’. Sharing your feelings with a counsellor can be very helpful in understanding the process you are going through.
- People may be telling you it’s ‘time you moved on’ and ‘you should be over it by now’ which totally contradicts the way you are feeling.
- You may be supporting someone who is dying and need to put on a brave face for those around you whilst all you want is a safe place to ‘offload’ your own worries, fears and emotions.
- Your feelings may be affected by the kind of relationship you had with the person who has died and may be complicated by the circumstances of their death particularly in the case of murder or suicide in which case you may be bewildered or angry.
- You may be struggling with the ‘what ‘if’s’ and going over and over things again in your mind.
- You may be gripped by a terrible depression leaving you wondering whether you will ever enjoy life again.
Grieving, though undeniably very painful, is a natural process that must be worked through in order for us to rebuild our lives. There is no set time scale and, at times, you may feel that it’s getting harder, not easier.
Talking about how you are feeling, reminiscing about the person, expressing regrets, fear and anger is often a part of that process. However, it can be difficult to find someone to share your feelings with for any number of reasons.
You may want to protect those closest to you because they may be grieving too or you may simply feel that they won’t understand. Whatever, the reasons, you may find yourself feeling very alone. In these circumstances, it can be helpful to talk to someone who is not directly involved and can help you recognise and experience your emotions.
As a counsellor, I am trained to help and to be with people who are expressing strong emotions. Arranging an initial appointment would give you the chance to establish whether counselling could be helpful to you.