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Counsellor & Client - Psychotherapy session
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What You can Expect From Your First 3 Therapy Sessions

Your first session is a chance for you to make sure you feel comfortable with me and for me to check that I have the skills and expertise to support you. It will include a proper introduction following on from the compatibility session. We also look at and discuss the client/counsellor contract which is agreed terms and expectations for all the future sessions, such has dates and times of future sessions, privacy and what happens should there be any safeguarding concerns. It is also a chance for you to tell your story and explain the problems you're experiencing. You may not expect it but you might find that the first session is emotionally draining. Therapy often involves digging up parts of your life that your brain has chosen to bury. These can be painful feelings and memories that you have felt unable to explore by yourself and as you begin therapy for the first time, whether or not you mean to, the floodgates may spill open. I will be expecting this. It is a natural response to be expected but it can still be surprising for you. Especially as you realise that you are spilling your everything to a complete stranger in ways you haven’t been able to open up to even those closest to you in your life. Don’t let it scare you. Being open and candid with your therapist is one of the best things you can do for yourself so please do not let this worry you. Not every session will be so intense. Not everyone will experience the first session in this way. We are all different. But it does often happen that the initial therapy sessions can take a lot out of you. This is ok. The next few sessions are important for creating a good therapeutic relationship between us as quickly as possible. I will be working to try and make sure that you start to feel comfortable and safe talking to me by trying my best to read your verbal and non verbal signals. But do remember that you are the client and it is important that you understand that you can be our guide and decide how you would like the sessions to go. It’s also perfectly ok to ask me to the guide the sessions. So, if you want the sessions to begin with something specific, I would like you to feel free to speak up. If you feel uncomfortable talking about something specific or it feel too awkward or vulnerable, then you can change the subject at any pint and ask to put a pin in it. Equally, if you do not know what to talk about or where to begin then I am more than happy to take the lead.

10 Signs You are in a Codependent Relationship

The term "codependency" was first identified when researchers looking at interpersonal relationships, observed that codependency occurred in families that had substance use or a history of toxic behavior. Relationships and attachments that we see as children and throughout our adolescence will influence and impact our own adult relationships. Once people start to create relationships, our own ability to connect and reflect on how our attachment affects prioritising our needs and our partners. However, this does not mean that if you grow up in a toxic home you cannot maintain a healthy relationship. Our styles of attaching are affected by how we are encouraged (or discouraged) to communicate our feelings and our emotions. Codependency prevents us from having healthy, balanced relationships where the needs of both people are recognized and met. A codependent relationship will leave you frustrated, exhausted, and unfulfilled. And it reinforces a belief that you’re defective or unworthy. So, if you want to break free from codependency, it’s important to recognize when you’re in a codependent relationship. Codependency can occur in virtually any relationship—with your parents, children, spouse, friends, even co-workers. Some of the telltale signs of a codependent relationship include: 1. You’re overly concerned about what the other person is doing, thinking, and feeling—and you want to fix or rescue them from their problems. You worry that if you don’t take care of them, something bad will happen. 2. Your relationship is consistently one-sided; one person is hardworking and responsible and the other is allowed to be irresponsible or avoid the consequences of their actions. You may enable and make excuses for the other person’s poor choices. 3. You sacrifice yourself to make the other person happy. This can include your health, time, energy, money, values, goals, or friendships. Your life revolves around the other person—making them happy, taking care of them, doing what they want to do. 4. You “walk on eggshells” around the other person, afraid of doing or saying something that will displease or anger them. As a result, you may not express your opinions, share your feelings, or ask for what you want. And, to avoid conflict, you may say yes to things that you don’t want to do or that don’t align with your values or goals. 5. You act like a martyr, taking care of everyone and everything, but resentful that no one helps or seems to care for you. 6. Your need to fix or rescue becomes controlling. You attempt to control the other person’s behavior through criticism, ultimatums, nagging, or giving unsolicited advice. 7. You continue the relationship even after the other person has repeatedly hurt you (physically, emotionally, financially, etc.). 8. You spend more time taking care of others than taking care of yourself. And when you do something for yourself, like rest, enjoy a hobby, or practice self-care, you feel guilty or selfish. 9. You’re afraid of being rejected, criticized, or abandoned. 10. You often feel resentful, frustrated, taken advantage of, or unfulfilled. While there’s no definitive test or checklist for codependency, this list gives you an idea of what a codependent relationship looks and feels like. And if you recognise some or all of these signs of a codependent relationship, the most important thing to know is that you can start to change them.

Undertanding Panic Attacks

Understanding Panic Attacks & Self Help

The panic attacks you are experiencing are really frightening and distressing and it can feel like you are dying when you are going through them. They can range from a sudden surge of fear that only lasts a few minutes to heart palpitations and shortness of breath that mimic a heart attack . And they often come on very quickly and for no apparent reason. But the "good" news is that while panic attacks can be terrifying, they are not dangerous and cannot cause death. Whilst the symptoms of a panic attack make it feel unbearable, so too does the feeling of losing control. The not knowing why you’re having them or when they will strike can make your day-to-day task challenging. If you are experiencing regular panic attacks, you may have a type of anxiety disorder called panic disorder and it is advised that you see your GP for help managing it. This help may include seeing a mental health practitioner to help you understand why you are experiencing and find ways to remove the cause as well as medication for anxiety. Here are also some quick tips to help you to get over the panic attack as you are experiencing it: Breathe! We forget to breathe properly when we have anxiety and the reduction in oxygen can be a reason for the panic attack. Breathe deeply, in through your nose into your stomach, keeping your mouth closed, then slowly breathe out through your mouth making this breath longer than the breath in. Repeat this until you feel calm again. Aromatherapy: Carry a soothing scented essential oil wherever you go and try holding this oil under your nose and inhaling gently, or dabbing a little onto a handkerchief to smell. A soothing scent such as lavender, bergamot orange, chamomile, or lemon, can help relieve anxiety by tapping into the senses, helping the person stay grounded and giving them something to focus on. These oils can be found at a low cost in places like the pound shop or you can order them online. However, people should only purchase it from trusted retailers. Count: Slowly count out loud. The focus on the numbers and breathing at the same time will help to stop the panic attack. Each time you have an attack, try this method and see if you get to the same number or your time counting is getting less.

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