Counselling is a conventional process which can be instrumental in the development of skills that can help to bring about an effective change in dealing with the conflicts of the mind. It is an interpersonal relationship between the counsellor and the client, where the counsellor helps the client to get in touch with the root of the problem, understand the reasons and thereby take effective steps towards achieving a resolution. This is achieved in a clearly defined and drafted principled relationship between the counsellor and the client. Counselling activities are not just limited to dealing with depression, crisis situations or relationship issues, rather it can help one to face their fears courageously and gracefully achieve their goals at both personal as well as professional levels.

A typical counselling session involves the following steps:

  • Deciding for going for a counselling session and getting started.
  • Introductory talk between the counsellor and the client.
  • Identifying the issues to be addressed.
  • Coping with the feelings associated with the issues.
  • Identifying the possible solutions.
  • Mapping a plan to achieve the solution.
  • Implementation of the plan.
  • Reviewing the Success of the Plan.

Counselling can be done in a one-to-one setting or taking advantage of the advanced technology, it can be done via telephone, skype, voice chats or any other form of video conferencing. 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.

Types Of Counselling

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 Counselling helps you to identify and come to terms with feelings and emotions you may experience during or after a traumatic event. These emotions will vary from individual to individual. Trauma can involve single incidents such as a rape, car accident, witnessing a robbery, divorce, loss of job, business losses or being involved in a natural disaster. Most people undergo at least one traumatic incident in their entire 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.

  • Abuse :

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.

  • Violence :

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.

  • Accidents :

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.

  • Catastrophic events :

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.

  • Terminal illness/bereavement :

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 counselling 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 counselling and analysis in that it is typically short-term and often limited to one or two sessions. It is a fact that trauma counselling 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 defense.
  • 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 one of the most common emotion that we all experience in our day-to-day lives, but still it is one of the destructive emotions as it most painful and destroys the peace and happiness from within keeping our state of mind in most negative shape possible. Mild forms of anger may include displeasure, irritation, crankiness or dislike over something or someone. 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.

Unresolved or uncontrolled anger can make us a host to an array of physical, emotional and mental problems in our life. To name a few are:

  • Hypertension (High Blood Pressure).
  • Constant backache.
  • Depression.
  • Eating Disorders.
  • Insomnia.
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
  • Alcohol Abuse or Drug Abuse.
  • Low Self Esteem.
  • Anxiety Panic Attacks.

What is Anger Management?

Anger management is the process of learning to recognize signs that you're becoming angry, and taking action to calm down and deal with the situation in a positive way. Anger management doesn't try to keep you from feeling anger or encourage you to hold it in. Anger is a normal, healthy emotion when you know how to express it appropriately — anger management is about learning how to do this.

The primary goal of anger management is to help reduce both emotional and physiological arousal that anger causes. One cannot get rid of, or avoid things that enrage them, but certainly one can learn how to control their reactions. Anger Management helps the person to understand the possible triggers of anger on a physical, mental and emotional level.

Anger management classes and/or anger management counselling 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 bring yourself back to a state of calm and peace when you feel the anger surging.
  • 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 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 focused form of counselling on building long-lasting relationships by identifying the key conflict areas. This form of counselling can be for strengthening any kind of relationships like with parents, spouse, children or any other form of relationships. The major aim of relationship counselling is to identify the potential areas for strengthening the relationship and also the key points of conflicts. It is used to explore the areas of tension and also deal with all those issues that come up in the interpersonal interactions.

The most important point here is that relationship counselling is completely confidential. In the past, the role of the relationship counsellor was played by a neighbor, a friend or a family member with varying degrees of confidentiality and at times some degrees of judgments involved too. But a professional relationship counsellor offers complete confidentiality and zero degree of judgments while offering their advice. It is done in a safe place and all the necessary guidance and assistance is provided to strengthen the relationship.

The Need for Relationship Counselling:

Leading a busy life filled with day-to-day chaos and little time left for self-contemplation, relationship issues are very common today. Moreover, our entire space is covered with relationships all around like our co-workers, family members, friends, relatives, professional relationships which can be demanding at times and take a toll on us leaving us confused on how to deal and tackle them at the same time. Each relationship varies in their degree of closeness to us. For example, our family is the closest to us while our professional relationships and co-workers are limited to the extent of our professional lives.

There are times when one of these relationships starts taking your energy mentally due to a conflict or a misunderstanding or perhaps due to lack of communication. This is when the feeling of frustration starts building within and also affects the other relationships. Hence, it is complicating your feelings and emotions leaving confused on how to deal with it. This is where relationship counselling can help you explore the key areas affecting your life and look at the possible solutions to combat the issues.

Relationship Conflicts:

Each person and each relationship in our life holds a certain position in our life and hence they are important to us and there is something at stake. There is an investment of our energy and emotions in these relationships and hence they are close to us. Hence, when there is something upsetting in the relationship, we feel our emotions and feeling in that relationship are at stake. The major issue in any relationship or the beginning of any conflict is based on a simple principle of expectations not being met. Both the parties can feel that expectations are not being met or there is something missing. This is what creates conflicts and we feel our position or feelings are unaddressed. It is absolutely humane to feel this, but it is also important to address this orelse the anger remains stuffed within blowing the relationship and its essence apart.

Marriage Counselling which is also known as Couples Therapy is a process of identifying and resolving issues that a couple is facing whether married or not. The aim of marriage counselling is to help the couple identify the key areas of conflict, but also to understand each other in a different light where there is compassion and love towards each other’s needs. Marriage Counselling empowers the couple by giving them the necessary tools to communicate better with each other, negotiate their differences, work out an effective way of understanding each other’s demands and expectations, thereby moving forward towards building a stable and a happy relationship.

Signs that you’re having relationship problems are:

  • Communication breaks down.
  • Sex has ended or causes problems.
  • Arguments continue without reaching any resolution.
  • Violence erupts.
  • Depression or health problems are recurring.
  • The bond of trust is eroded or broken.

In a relationship or marriage, there are two different people coming together from different backgrounds and upbringing. Hence, there will be differences of opinions as well as thanks to our busy schedules and limited time we get to spend with each other, communication to resolve these differences cannot happen at all times. So, we see that love is soon replaced with buried anger and unspoken resentments. Marriage counselling can help open new doorways to see each other differently as well as understand the importance of each other’s core beliefs and values.

Signs that you’re having relationship problems are:

  • Open new effective doorways of communication with each other.
  • Identifying the destructive patterns and address them.
  • Learning new relationship building skills.
  • Examining the impact of change
  • Acknowledging abusive relationships and domestic violence
  • The bond of trust is eroded or broken.
  • Learning to draw a boundary of expectations from each other.

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