An Innate Need to Soothe Distress

In many ways Counselling aims to alleviate distress even when right now, the underlying cause can't be given some tangible name. It could be as if to say, if only the distress could be soothed, it just may be possible to explore the experiences and gain more insight. Equally to put a name to the experience and call it something, may at least quell the feelings of isolation and aloneness. Wherever you may sit in relation to these different ways of expressing your needs, I will strive to meet you. I will try to understand you as an individual. I will respond to your needs.

So if you are reading this and it is not possible to identify with the reasons below, that doesn't mean Counselling wont help. If something below resonates and you want to work with that, Counselling can work too. Counselling is flexible, it aims to honour and respect your humanity and acknowledge your uniqueness.

A Note About Psychological Language

Language is a powerful influencer and it is common in pyschological circles to characterise mental health conditions as "disorders". This term is not subtle in its framing of distress as some sort of diminishment. Whilst a diagnosis can be a truly liberating and enabling experience, it may carry with it an implication of diminishment for some. This framing of distress as some kind of deficit does not fit with the way I feel about Humanity. I prefer to see us as just trying to cope in a difficult world and in the far majority of cases, mental ill health is a result of this and not something that is inherently wrong with us. The following examples of why people seek counselling tries to honour my morals as much as possible.


Many people suffer the debilitating effects of depression which can leave a person feeling de-motivated and unable to contemplate many aspects of their life that may have once seemed effortless and pleasurable. Just living may feel so challenging that thoughts of hopelessness may come in to our minds. Coping with the day to day tasks we need to do in life can feel utterly impossible. It can often feel like there is no end to feeling like this and seem to feel imprisoned in our own thoughts and feelings.

How counselling can help with Depression

Just having a space to talk to someone can be the difference we need in life that gives us new hope. Talking with a person who just accepts who you are without trying to judge or fix you may be just what you need. Being able to voice your own feelings in the company of someone who will listen to you can allow you to process whatever you feel you need to.



When we lose a loved one it may feel like our world has come to an end. For many people adjusting to life without someone who may have been very special can feel like climbing a mountain. Sometimes the circumstances of the loss can make the process of grieving so much more difficult. Where someone has died in tragic or traumatic circumstances the feelings of grief may be very difficult to deal with. This can be especially difficult when someone has taken their own life or is of relatively young age.

How counselling can help you deal with a bereavement

When we first experience the loss of a person we can feel very numb and in shock. Often after a while we start to get a sense of the more subtle impact of the death. This is when talking to a Counsellor could really help. Talking about bereavement and grief can help us alleviate the pain of the loss and help us adapt to life without that person. This process can bring about a palpable sense of relief and help us regain our place in the world. Having the space to talk freely about bereavement can feel liberating and help to ease us through the difficult process of grief, so intrinsic to our lives.


Traumatic Experiences

Sometimes we are exposed to events so out of our sphere of experience that adjusting to life afterwards can feel impossible. Traumatic events can have the effect of totally changing our world view such that it's difficult to function as we were once well used to doing. Where the trauma is severe the nature of the aftermath can be very debilitating indeed. Severe trauma work in Counselling can be a specialist field. Working with it may need a specific approach to fully effect a sense of relief from the day to day difficulties you may be experiencing.

How Counselling can help with Trauma

Talking with a Counsellor can really help you to process many of the feelings associated with a traumatic experience. Very often, this is sufficient to allow a noticeable relief from many of the difficulties of dealing with trauma. A Counsellor will be able to listen as you talk about the event its self and the experiences of dealing with the aftermath. They will pace the work to enable you to be in control of the space with the aim of you not feeling like you are back in the traumatic situation.

Specialist techniques can sometimes be beneficial, especially where the trauma is very recent or the effects are very debilitating. If you feel that this may be the case it may be a good idea to look into specialist techniques specifically crafted to work with trauma. This can really help with some of its more intrusive aspects. However, it is possible to process what you need to in most cases by having Counselling. It may take quite a while, but bit by bit the work can proceed and possibly bring about a sense of relief.


If we have experienced life changing events, it can be really difficult to trust the world once again. We may feel anxious about doing tasks that we were once more than capable of doing without feeling afraid or insecure. It may also be that anxiety colours our life experience and we don't really know why and maybe accepted that it won’t go away.

How Counselling can Help with Anxiety

Being able to talk about anxiety in a safe non judgemental space can help us to become aware of the feelings underlying our experiences. It may be that some life event can be seen as a trigger for anxiety, but it may also seem like it just comes from nowhere. Exploring this with a Counsellor may open up some meaning underneath the anxiety and lead to awareness and relief. Counselling can bring with it a sense of being able to control anxiety and to not let it control you.


The day to day pressures of life can sometimes get on top of us and whilst it seems like we are coping we have a perception that something feels different. The effects of stress can creep up on us with such stealth that it often feels like we did not see it coming. Before we know it we can feel like life is suddenly too much and we have to vastly lower our expectations of what we can do or achieve

How Counselling can Help with Stress

Stress seems endemic to the modern world and by the time we realise we are under its effect it may have already had an impact on our lives. Sometimes just talking about our day to day experiences is sufficient to alleviate the major effects of a stressful life. A Counsellor will be able to listen to you without judging or trying to direct you in a course of action that is not suited to you. Counselling can be really effective in that the space created empowers you to find your own sense of control over your life in a way that is all about your skills and expertise.


How we view ourselves and identify with others are important parts of our character and personality. The people we are attracted to can form a large part of our identity and can signify our sexual orientation. The process of dealing with our sexual orientation and sexuality can be a really tough experience and take a huge toll on our sense of wellbeing as an individual. We may be very aware that we feel different and have to come to terms with how we can express our sexuality and obtain the fulfilment we need as people. This process, sometimes associated with 'coming out' can be a life changing development in our whole identity. It can be fraught with misunderstanding, conflict and tough dilemmas. Often, the experience of growing up and living may have been very hard to cope with especially if a person has experienced bullying or prejudice.

How counselling can help with Sexuality

Very often the impact of questioning our sexuality can be fraught with really hard dilemmas. Sometimes coming out can result in us experiencing unfounded prejudice and may result in feelings of alienation and depression. Counselling can create a space to talk safely about how we feel and give meaning to some tough experiences. The support of another person during these times can be part of some really crucial processes. In my Counselling practice I will continually strive to meet you where you actually are in terms of your sexuality or sexual orientation. Counselling above all is not about seeking to change a person’s sexuality to conform to heterosexual values. Counselling is about celebrating each person for who they are and meeting them as far as possible where they are right now.

Neuro Divergence (ND) and Distress

Neurodivergence is a term used to encompass many naturally occurring Human features such as Autism. However, it covers so many other features of Human experience and identity too. These range from personality and behaviour to physical, thinking and sensory differences. The way others characterise these features can have a detrimental effect on an individual's life experiences. Distress can be caused when the individual's environment is not set up in an understanding and affirmative way. To avoid distress, many people mask to just try and fit in. The effort involved in coping and masking for an Autistic Person, for instance can lead to experiences of extreme exhaustion or just feeling burnt out.

How Counselling Can Help ND and Distress

When we feel burnt out, we may just need to stop and find a safe space that does not put any demands on us. It may feel like we don't have any capacity to engage with any kind of interaction. Given time and the right environment we can start to get our sense of agency back. When this happens, counselling can provide an accepting and affirming environment in which to explore our experiences. The stresses and harm brought to us as a result of continual judgement and misunderstanding can be explored in a way that can help us process these experiences. Very often these experiences involve many of the reasons I state above as to why people seek counselling, as do the ways counselling can help too.

This list is not Exhaustive

In some ways any list attempting to tie down why people come to Counselling will always be incomplete. There are potentially as many reasons to come to Counselling as there are people on this Earth. Likewise the way we deal with our experiences is unique to each and every one of us. So if what's above does not match your experience, it doesn't mean Counselling wont help. It may just mean that the list is incomplete.

What do YOU need at the moment?

I will work with you whatever you need from me in any way I can. If I sound like the person that you feel could help you, please get in touch here and I will strive to do my absolute best for you.