Counselling is a conversational process that can be instrumental in the development of skills that help to effectively confront and cope with uncertainties and conflicts. Counselling is often mistaken to be done only at times of crisis. But the fact is, it can be taken at any point or juncture in life. Counselling is not only for us when in depression, or deep down crisis, it is also for the times when we are courageously facing our fears, want more from our life, want to expand and achieve our goals at the professional as well as personal level. Counselling helps one to change or give a new direction to the own thought process.
Counselling can be done in a one- on – one sitting or with advancing technology, it can be done over telephone, video conferencing or voice chats also. Counselling does not mean advice giving or psychotherapy, rather it is the means by which one person helps another person through purposeful conversation and it is a method of identifying practical solution to an identified problem or issue.
The counselling process involves the following steps:
Getting started Introductory Talk Identifying the Issues Coping with Feelings
Identifying possible solutions Agreeing a plan Implementing the Plan Review
Trauma is defined as “severe emotional shock and pain caused by an extremely upsetting experience” (The Cambridge Dictionary)
Trauma counselling is a short-term intervention, which is appropriate when a person has suffered a traumatic incident. Trauma comes in all shapes and sizes; events such as divorce, job loss, death, mugging, armed robbery, rape, car accident, illness, failing an exam, losing your car or house – in fact any event that you regard as negative and that changes your view of yourself and your world.
Most people will suffer a traumatic experience at least once in their life.
Causes of trauma
As previously mentioned, trauma is subjective and can have a multitude of causes. The common factor for events that lead to trauma is that they are not anticipated and are outside the realms of what we deem to be acceptable - physically, emotionally or socially. Below are some examples of events that could lead to psychological trauma.
This can refer to physical, emotional, sexual or verbal abuse. Anything that can be described as improper treatment that leads you to feel violated in some way constitutes abuse. The traumatic event could be a one-off attack or a recurring form of abuse that takes place over long periods of time.
Experiencing violence in any way can be traumatic. Whether you have been the victim of physical violence, threatened with violence or even witnessed violence - you could find yourself suffering from symptoms of psychological trauma.
Being involved in an accident can lead to a traumatic response. Examples include car accidents, a bad fall and accidentally harming someone else. Even if you were not physically harmed by the accident in question, being involved and experiencing the event can still lead to traumatic feelings.
This can relate to natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes as well as man-made events like war and bombings. Being involved in these kinds of events can affect you both directly and indirectly.
Whether it's yourself or someone close to you who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, traumatic symptoms are often experienced. Equally, when someone close to you passes away (whether it's expected or unexpected) you can start to question your belief system and shut down emotionally.
Trauma counseling supports you in identifying and coming to terms with the feelings and emotions you may feel during and after a traumatic experience. These emotions will vary from individual to individual, but the most commonly experienced emotions are anger and fear.
A person in trauma or a traumatic situation goes through a host of emotions. But most important emotions that they feel are anger and fear. These are two very powerful emotions and if they are suppressed, it affects the physical, mental and emotional health of the person. We often misinterpret or misunderstand such individuals as there venting out of emotions is not channelized. They throw fits of rage and anger. Of course, the responses are not limited to anger or fear, they could also feel shock, hopelessness, numbness, self-pity, feeling of being a victim and many such more emotions.
An effect of these powerful emotions is the activation of the “fight or flight” response. Your adrenal glands dump adrenaline into your bloodstream and you are poised either to fight for your life or to run for your life. While this was an appropriate response for our ancestors when faced with a saber-toothed tiger, it is not effective when faced with a thug holding a gun to your head – fighting or running is likely to get you shot!
As this stored energy generally has no physical outlet, it can manifest in a host of physical symptoms such as headaches, pain in the neck and shoulders, chest pain, stomach pain, diarrhoea, yawning and sighing, absent mindedness, nausea, tearfulness, disturbed sleeping patterns and short-temperedness or aggression.
Trauma counselling differs from traditional counseling and analysis in that it is typically short-term and often limited to one or two sessions. It is a fact that trauma counseling often uncovers other issues from the past that have never been dealt with and in this case, longer-term therapy may be indicated.
Trauma Counselling can help you with the following:
- Help you to understand your coping mechanisms;
- Validate your feelings and emotions;
- Stop using suppression and avoidance as a form of defence;
- Help you to make sense of what has happened to you;
- Integrate the event meaningfully into your life.
- Begin to live in the present rather than constantly being retriggered by the past
Anger is a natural emotion that we all experience. Mild forms of anger may include displeasure, irritation or dislike. When we react to criticism, threat or frustration we may become angry - and usually this is a healthy response. Anger may be a secondary response to feeling sad, lonely or frightened. When anger becomes a full-blown rage our judgment and thinking can become impaired and we are more likely to do and say unreasonable and irrational things.
According to the American Psychological Association, "Anger is a completely normal, usually healthy, human emotion." However, when it gets out of control it can become destructive. Uncontrollable anger can lead to serious problems at work and in personal relationships, and may undermine the individual's overall quality of life.
There is nothing more destructive than anger. It destroys our peace and happiness in this life, and impels us to engage in negative actions that lead to untold suffering in future lives. Anger is by nature a painful state of mind. Whenever we develop anger, our inner peace immediately disappears and even our body becomes tense and uncomfortable. We are so restless that we find it nearly impossible to fall asleep, and whatever sleep we do manage to get is fitful and unrefreshing. It is impossible to enjoy our self when we are angry, and even the food we eat seems unpalatable. Anger transforms even a normally attractive person into an ugly red-faced demon. We grow more and more miserable, and, no matter how hard we try, we cannot control our emotions.
Uncontrolled or unresolved anger can lead to the following physical, emotional and mental problems. These are just to name a few of them
- Hypertension (High Blood pressure)
- Eating Disorders
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Alcohol Abuse or Drugs
- Low Self Esteem
- Anxiety and panic attack
What is anger management?
Anger management is a procedure of acquiring the skills to recognize signs that you are becoming angry, and taking action to deal with the situation in a positive way. In no way does anger management mean holding the anger in or trying to keep from feeling anger. Anger is a normal human emotion, a healthy one when it is expressed appropriately.
Anger management helps you to understand yourself on a physical, mental and emotional level as to why and what triggers your anger, what are the indications you get while you’re in anger. Anger management teaches you to recognize your frustration and anger at a very early stage so that you are empowered to curb it and rather reacting, you respond to the situation.
Anger management classes and/or anger management counseling has the following aims:
- Help you identify your anger triggers - things that make you angry.
- Help you respond in a non-aggressive way to these triggers before you lose your temper.
- Learn how to acquire and utilize specific skills for handling your anger triggers.
- Learn to effectively identify moments when your thought processes are not leading to logical and rational conclusions, and to correct your thinking.
- Learn how to bring yourself back to a state of calm and peace when you feel the anger surging.
- Learn how to express your feelings and needs assertively in situations that make you feel angry or frustrated. Doing so in a non-aggressive way. Assertiveness has nothing to do with aggressiveness. Assertiveness includes respect for yourself, and respect for others.
- Learning how to redirect your energies and resources into problem solving rather than fury in situations which may trigger anger and frustration.
Relationship counselling is a form of counselling which focuses on addressing various types of relationships. It can be used to strengthen an existing relationship, to explore areas of tension in a relationship, and to deal with a variety of issues that come up in interpersonal interactions. There are a number of approaches to relationship counselling, and many communities offer several resources for people who seek this type of counselling.
One of the key aspects of relationship counselling is that it is confidential. Historically, the role of relationship counsellor was often filled by a friend, neighbour, or family member, with varying degrees of confidentiality. In the late 20th century, some people began to seek professional help with relationships to get a more informed perspective, and to ensure confidentiality, so that they could feel comfortable discussing a range of issues. Relationship counselling is also non-judgmental, conducted in a safe space where people will be supported and assisted with whatever they need.
Why do we need Relationship Counselling?
Every day we are involved in a variety of relationships, each differing in the intensity and degree of closeness they provide us. We may have professional or business relationships with coworkers, the gardener, or our pharmacist at the local drugstore. We can also have more informal relationships with people like neighbors or fellow churchgoers. Personal relationships however are those that involve some degree of intimacy, sharing, and emotional attachment, like family members, friends, and romantic partners.
If someone in your life is over complicating things, perhaps a friend, co-worker, spouse, child...whoever it is, when it starts to affect your own energy, happiness, or other relationships, it may be time to get help. Here, relationship counseling can help you explore a variety of ways to look at the complicating relationships and the emotions lying beneath them.
Whether we know it or not, each person involved in a personal relationship has something at stake. If we didn’t, the relationship wouldn’t be important to us and we wouldn’t react to or become upset with each other. When there is something at stake, ultimately, there is something to lose, whether it’s our pride, the feeling of being loved or any other number of unconscious agendas we bring to the table. Even if you feel you are an unconditional friend or mate, if there are problems in your relationship, guaranteed, there are expectations not being met. For the most part, the majority of problems we encounter in personal relationships revolve around two specific areas — our expectations of the relationship and the people involved and/or a lack of personal boundaries.
Marriage counselling, also called couples therapy, helps couples — married or not — understand and resolve conflicts and improve their relationship. Marriage counselling gives couples the tools to communicate better, negotiate differences, problem solve and even argue in a healthier way. It is a type of relationship therapy that focuses on building and maintaining a strong, healthy marriage. The goals sought through marriage counselling are as different and varied as the individuals who seek them. In some cases, couples who have suffered a trauma in their relationship, such as infidelity or unemployment, seek marriage counselling in order to repair broken bonds. Other couples whose marriages are minimally stressed use counselling as a way to deepen communication and further strengthen their relationship. In still other situations, couples who are engaged to be married choose to attend marriage counselling as a way to start off on the right foot, so to speak.
Signs you have relationship problems:
- Communication breaks down
- Sex has ended or causes problems
- Arguments continue without resolution
- Violence erupts
- Depression or other health problems recur
- The bond of trust is eroded or broken
It is normal for relationships to suffer as the pressure and strains of everyday life mount. Love may disappear, replaced by resentment and anger. Each partner can view this differently depending on their own experience of family life. One may despair, while the other may view it as a temporary blip. Where a couple has attached hastily - in response to a passion, pregnancy or other need, disappointments can surface and fester when the excitement subsides. Renegotiating, in a counseling set up can help build a more realistic and deeper relationship.
How can marriage counseling help?
- Destructive patterns of relating can be recognized and addressed.
- Conflict and communication can be improved.
- New relationship skills can be learned.
- The impact of change and loss can be examined.
- Relationships can be more successful.
- Abusive relationships and domestic violence can be acknowledge