Adolescent Counselling

Adolescence is one of the most important stages of human development. During the teenage years, young people face many physical, psychological, identity and relationship changes on their journey to adulthood.  While adolescence is often stereotyped as a difficult and tumultuous time, it is important to remember that many adolescents move through this developmental stage of life respectfully and peacefully.

SafeSpace adolescent counselling services help teenagers and their families to identify ways to approach this time in a way that encourages their psycho-social development. Counselling helps teenagers to be safe, confident in themselves, and engage in respectful relationships. Counselling for adolescents is an invaluable opportunity that helps adolescents make sense of themselves, their behaviours and interactions with others during this critical time of development.

ADOLESCENT COUNSELLING IS SUITABLE FOR:

  • Anger management
  • Anxiety
  • Behavioural concerns
  • Body image issues
  • Bullying
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Family conflict
  • Grief and loss
  • Interpersonal conflict
  • Relationship issues
  • School refusal and disengagement
  • Self-harm and suicidal ideation
  • Self-esteem issues
  • Sexuality
  • Self-esteem issues
  • Sleep issues
  • Social isolation
  • Stress

A TYPICAL ADOLESCENT COUNSELLING SESSION WOULD LOOK LIKE:

  • Speak with both you and your teenager to gain a clear, balanced understanding of the situation
  • Clarify barriers to well being, and address them
  • Establish achievable outcomes that both you and your teenager are motivated to achieve (more peace at home, being able to go out with friends, practising honest communication)
  • Help you and your teenager define a shared understanding of what needs to happen for everyone in the family to have their needs met
  • Co-ordinate counselling sessions involving only your teenager, only yourself, and joint sessions to review progress
  • Make recommendations of ways you can support your teenager
  • Celebrate breakthroughs and successes
  • Review the plan, and maintain the improvements achieved
  • Working collaboratively through the process

The most common reason adolescents don’t want to attend a counselling session is concern about privacy and being judged particularly, they don’t feel sharing their issues and behaviours with other family members. But it is crucial that your teenager knows that their relationship with me is completely confidential, and anything they choose to disclose in counselling may only be shared with their consent.

Anger Management Counselling

We all get angry. It’s a normal, healthy response to any physical or psychological threat. Yet frequently feeling angry and frustrated is a sign that something in your life is out of balance. Anger management counselling can help you take control of your anger, and live a fulfilling, balanced life. Recent studies have shown that 76% of clients report a medium to long-term improvement after a brief course of anger management counselling. Instead of reacting aggressively to situations, you will learn how to safely release your anger. Rather than hurting or alienating your partner, family or friends, you will develop ways to process anger safely, and express yourself more effectively.

Anger management is not about denying or repressing your anger. Expressing anger appropriately can be useful: it can keep us safe, address injustice, improve our relationships and motivate healthy change. Unchecked expressions of anger – from heated arguments to full-blown rage – clouds our judgment and ability to think clearly. Anger management counselling works because it taps into the core issues that underpin inappropriate anger, helping you to identify why you are feeling angry.

Anger is often a mask for deeply vulnerable feelings such as hurt, fear, shame and grief. Identifying underlying concerns, recognising your anger triggers, and consciously choosing how you react are the keys to successful anger management.

Research shows that of all the human emotions – including sadness, fear, and anxiety – anger is the most difficult emotion to control. With the mounting pressures of daily life, we all need easy and safe ways to effectively discharge feelings of anger.

If you frequently find yourself feeling angry, some areas in your life may be in need of attention. Suppressing those angry feelings or acting out aggressively in anger – verbally or physically – is not the solution to life’s difficulties. It is important to acknowledge that anger stems from our own thoughts, feelings and behaviours rather than other people’s behaviour. Anger management counselling aims to draw your attention to your own personal traits and triggers; this awareness will help you to take back control and behave in ways that are consistent with your values.

Anger management counselling is built around the idea of ceasing to use anger as a habitual way of managing everyday feelings. The goal of anger management counselling is to establish helpful and constructive behavioural ways of managing anger when it arises, and to better regulate your emotions.

If you or someone you know is struggling with anger, SafeSpace anger management counselling will give you the tools you need to:

  • Reduce your anger and stress levels
  • Communicate effectively
  • Consistently behave in ways that get your needs met – without hurting other people in the process
  • By encouraging you to develop practical strategies to recognise your emotional triggers and modify your behavioural responses.

I can help you maintain a healthy balance between your thoughts, feelings and behaviours. With the help of anger management counselling you would be able to identify, create and maintain positive change in your life. Anger Management clients range from children and adolescents to adults, all struggling to cope with anger in their own unique ways.

ANGER AND BEHAVIOUR

Anger is often a red flag, a storm warning on our emotional barometer. For some people, anger is a feeling that can quickly spiral out of control. If left unchecked or allowed to build over time, feelings of anger can erupt in a sudden rage of words and/or actions. We all know the feeling of doing or saying something in the heat of the moment that we bitterly regret afterwards. Incidents that may seem trivial in retrospect often trigger uncontrollable anger being expressed in unsafe ways, with harmful, long lasting consequences.

Below are some examples of common ways that internal feelings of anger manifest as outward behaviour:

  • Arguments
  • Passive-aggressive behaviour (internalised anger)
  • Road rage
  • Workplace conflict
  • Sporting incidents
  • Public violence
  • Destruction of objects and property
  • Domestic violence: emotional, psychological, and physical

These expressions of anger vary in degrees of intensity and aggression, but they all have one thing in common: they have the potential to destroy our reputation, damage professional relationships and deeply hurt the loved ones.

A TYPICAL ANGER MANAGEMENT COUNSELLING SESSION WOULD LOOK LIKE:

Your initial session with SafeSpace is often used to establish a clear understanding of your personal situation and formulate an individualised treatment plan. Together, you and your counsellor will:

  • Identify your habitual anger ‘triggers’ – these may involve certain people, situations, or feelings
  • Determine how your thought patterns affect your behaviour, and show you how adopting new patterns can work to your advantage
  • Identify new ways to manage stressors in your life, including lifestyle adjustments
  • Work towards improving your relationship with yourself and others

I would use evidence-based interventions such as solutions-focused therapy and stress reduction techniques to help our clients address anger management concerns. By far, the most effective evidence-based treatment for anger management is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Research shows that CBT is an incredibly useful anger management tool. In a recent analysis of multiple CBT trials, 76% of clients reported a medium to long-term improvement in anger management capabilities compared to control groups. These results show there is real hope for those struggling with anger management. I can help you reduce your anger levels and regain control of your emotions and behaviour.

Anxiety Counselling

Anxiety is characterised by feelings of uneasiness and heightened worry. It can niggle at the edges of your mind, sometimes flooding in to overwhelm your senses with intense dread, fear or panic. Whenever you’re being threatened – or feeling pressured or vulnerable – anxiety is a completely normal response to stress.

Often your body and mind will respond automatically to a challenging situation – your heart rate increases, breathing quickens, and your sympathetic nervous system releases a surge of stress hormones. Also known as the ‘fight, freeze or flight’ response, anxiety is a red flag that something is amiss. Once the stressful situation has passed, physical symptoms of anxiety usually subside.

Yet for many people, anxiety lingers on long past the time it’s needed. A prolonged bout of anxiety can seriously interfere with your ability to function in day-to-day life, and also take a toll on your relationships. Some people describe anxiety as being held hostage by your mind, like a prisoner in your own body. Counselling can help you to regain control by harnessing your body-mind inner calm, and confidently start living on your own terms again.

GENERALISED ANXIETY AND PANIC

Anxiety can be a general response to feeling stressed, or it can be triggered by specific situations or events. Catastrophic thinking frequently occurs with anxiety, leaving you feeling like something awful may happen, or anticipating the worst case scenario in any given situation. You may feel preoccupied with everyday matters such as finances, work or your relationships, and experience compulsive worry and tension.

Common physical symptoms of anxiety and panic:

  • Muscle tension
  • Easily startled
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Elevated breathing and heart rate
  • Hot flushes and/or cold chills
  • Trembling
  • Feeling dizzy or faint
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Excessive sweating
  • Chest and abdominal pains

Other symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Frequent feelings of tension and uneasiness
  • Feeling overwhelmed by thoughts and feelings
  • Worrying about feeling anxious (rumination)
  • Catastrophising about ‘what if’s’
  • Issues with memory and concentration
  • Dread and unease
  • Unwanted, intrusive thoughts and images
  • Fear of losing control, passing out or dying

Generalised anxiety consistently interferes with your mood and stress levels, triggering dramatic emotional highs and lows. Although it is common to feel tense or fearful from time to time, anxiety can result in these feelings occurring intensely, and over a substantial period of time. Sometimes it is difficult to explain the way you are feeling to others; anxiety often leads to social withdrawal and isolation if left untreated.

SOCIAL ANXIETY

It is an extremely debilitating form of anxiety. The fear of doing something to embarrass or humiliate yourself in public or online can override your ability to enjoy life and your interactions with other people. Common social phobias include public speaking, performing, eating and drinking, using public restrooms, dating, and general social encounters.

SYMPTOMS OF SOCIAL ANXIETY INCLUDE:

  • Hypervigilance: feeling nervous, constantly on high alert and unable to relax
  • Quick to interpret and react to social stimuli, often using a negative lens
  • Persistent worry about social interactions (eg conversations, meeting people, being in public).
  • Avoidance of social situations (including time off work or school)
  • Intense self-consciousness: highly self-critical
  • Preoccupied with other people’s responses to you: heightened anxiety about being watched, judged or criticised by others
  • Dislike and avoidance of communication with others (in person and online)
  • Apprehension about physical proximity to others, avoiding eye contact

Counselling for social anxiety can be extremely effective in reducing feelings of self-consciousness, worry and tension. Avoiding social events and interactions with other people can take a serious toll on your wellbeing, and ability to function in daily life. Professional therapeutic support can help you recover from social anxiety and start living life to the fullest again.

POST TRAUMATIC STRESS

Anxiety often arises after traumatic events, such as experiencing a death, injury or abuse. Experiencing a traumatic event may lead to feelings of extreme fear or helplessness. Sometimes these feelings continue long after the traumatic event has passed. If everyday events start triggering unwanted flashbacks and involuntary stress responses, counselling is the recommended course of action to treat the symptoms of PTSD. Around 10% of people will experience PTSD at some point in their life, with an exceptional recovery rate of 95% amongst those who seek treatment.

Common symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Increased, frequent stress arousal
  • Hypervigilance: constantly on high alert
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Disturbing thoughts and feelings
  • Intrusive flashbacks and memories
  • Sleep disturbance, including nightmares
  • Exaggerated startle response
  • Irritability
  • Amnesia around the event

Child Counselling

Childhood is a period of rapid development and intense transition. Young ones are confronted with a bewildering array of physical, emotional, social and psychological developmental changes – growing up is a tricky business! For some kids, this can be a relatively smooth, or even exciting process of transitions on their journey to adulthood. Yet for others, the challenges encountered can seem overwhelming.

The childhood years present a unique set of challenges, for children and parents alike.

Young children frequently find it difficult to regulate their emotions and articulate the complexity of what they are feeling. From temper tantrums to social withdrawal, and concerning behavioural issues such as hitting, biting and bedwetting, young children regularly express their distress in worrying ways.

As older children develop, they may struggle with interpersonal conflicts such as sibling rivalry, or social problems as a result of being bullied. Isolation, anger, anxiety and depression are commonly reported issues that pre-teens face as they navigate their way into adolescence amongst their peer group.

Child Counselling is suitable for:

  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness and hyperactivity
  • Inattentiveness
  • Peer relationships
  • Instruction following
  • Bedwetting
  • Behavioural problems (Aggression, Lying, Stealing, temper tantrums, risk taking behaviour)
  • Bullying at school
  • Coping with separation and divorce
  • Grief and loss
  • School refusal
  • Separation anxiety
  • Sibling conflict
  • Isolation and social issues
  • Sleep issues

The common bond that links all children is their need for loving adult guidance as they develop, learn and grow. Yet even when parents and carers provide a nurturing home environment, sometimes children still need extra support. I can help your son or daughter to successfully overcome childhood challenges by developing their resilience, self-esteem and psychosocial skills.

Depression Counselling

Depression doesn’t discriminate. A depressed mood is something most of us will experience at some point in our lives. We all feel low sometimes, often in response to different stressors. If you’ve been feeling a bit numb or disconnected, and a low mood has clouded your sense of self, purpose and joy in life, it’s important to find a different way forward. Despite how depression makes you feel, you’re not alone.

Over one million people in India are experiencing depression right now. Yet many people feel apprehensive talking about depression – especially if there’s no particular reason for them to be feeling depressed.

Life might look fine on the surface – great job, relationships, family life – but depression can still cloud our view and darken our mood. Many people experiencing this type of depression become harshly self-critical, incorrectly assuming they are flawed, abnormal or damaged in some way because everything should be fine, but something just doesn’t seem right. It can feel hard to share what you’re going through with others, as often the response is “What have you got to be depressed about?” This may lead to feelings of guilt, embarrassment or shame, and isolation, which only intensifies the depressive episode.

THE IMPACT OF DEPRESSION

A depressed mood can descend like a dark cloud, affecting the way you think, feel and behave. If it lasts a while, a depressive episode can also have invasive impacts on your personal and professional life. Depression can wreak havoc with your sense of self, your motivation, and your relationships with others.

Sometimes depression feels heavy and bleak – like life has lost its joy and meaning, even when there’s no particular reason for you to be feeling that way. If you’ve been feeling down, stressed, emotionally numb or overwhelmed for more than a couple of weeks, you may be experiencing depression.

MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION:

  • Feeling stressed and overwhelmed
  • Loss of interest in everyday activities
  • Difficulties with decision-making
  • Impaired concentration and memory
  • Feeling numb and disconnected
  • Frequent, repetitive negative thoughts (rumination)
  • Increased irritability
  • Critical self-talk
  • Sense of despair, hopelessness or worthlessness
  • Intense sadness, crying
  • Recurrent, intrusive thoughts of death, suicide or self-harm

PHYSICAL AND BEHAVIOURAL SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION:

  • Insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping)
  • Fatigue despite adequate sleep
  • Changes in appetite and eating habits
  • Increased use of alcohol or substance or other drugs
  • Social withdrawal
  • Reduced libido

Feelings of sadness and low mood are quite common throughout the lifespan, and usually resolve with time. Untreated depression is different – it doesn’t go away. A depressive episode can feel relentless and incredibly hard to live with. It may last for weeks or months, sometimes years, and have unwanted long-term impacts on your physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.

EFFECTIVE TREATMENT FOR DEPRESSION

Depression is common, and it is treatable. Symptoms may vary from person to person, but all types of depression – from mild to severe – can be effectively treated with mood management strategies. Depression is particularly responsive to counselling treatment. Research shows that counselling combined with physical exercise, healthy eating, and sleeping well can dramatically improve wellbeing and reduce the symptoms of depression.

Counselling targets the underlying causes of depression. You’ll learn strategies to help regulate your mood, and ways to manage stress effectively. An experienced therapist can help you to figure out how to get your mind to work for you, not against you.

Effective counselling is also the key to long-term recovery and the prevention of relapse. Decades of clinical research suggest that for relief from depression, counselling is a more effective treatment than taking medication. Those same studies also report that a course of therapy is just as effective as medication combined with counselling. Evidence-based interventions used to treat depression include Mindfulness-Based Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy.

Marriage and Relationship Counselling

Create positive and lasting change in your relationship

Being in a relationship can have a profoundly positive effect on your sense of self and wellbeing. The benefits of sustaining good relationships are well documented: people in healthy relationships tend to live longer and experience less physical, emotional and mental health issues. Conversely, being in a relationship beset by problems can have a crippling effect on one’s self-esteem, and capacity to live life to the fullest.

Relationship counselling works

The good news is that there is hope for those struggling with relationship issues. A growing body of evidence – based on decades of couples counselling research – suggests that with appropriate therapeutic support, couples can overcome relationship issues and live happy, fulfilling lives together. Closeness, communication and commitment are the keys to authentic intimacy. I can help you unlock the doors to relationship success.

Common relationship issues

If you’re experiencing difficulties in any of the areas listed below, you’re not alone. When problems arise in these areas, couples often seek help. Rest assured that all of these concerns may be addressed and resolved with effective relationship counselling:

  • Communication issues
  • Financial problems
  • Loss of intimacy
  • Lack of honesty
  • Loss of trust
  • Infidelity
  • Sexual difficulties
  • Controlling or abusive behaviour
  • Blended and extended family issues
  • Perceiving the relationship as one-sided

HOW RELATIONSHIP COUNSELLING CAN HELP YOU

Relationships are as individual as the people in them. Each relationship presents unique circumstances and challenges, particularly when there are different backgrounds, personalities and value systems involved. Together, we will identify key areas for change and learn practical tools to help you and your partner create a mutually beneficial, rewarding relationship.

I can help you and your partner to:

  • Improve communication
  • Manage conflict
  • Cope with stressors
  • Increase emotional and sexual intimacy
  • Minimise criticism and blaming behaviours
  • Identify and nurture relationship strengths

With the help of therapeutic techniques such as Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy (EFT-C) and Integrative Behavioural Couples Therapy (IBCT) I can help you to create a successful and happy relationship.

Often couples that are new to the counselling experience are worried that relationship therapy may be biased towards one partner, emotionally confrontational, or that it simply won’t work. To ensure this is not the case, each session is:

  • tailored to be inclusive of both partners
  • a discreet, nonjudgmental space to unpack your relationship concerns
  • focused upon giving you an insightful understanding of your individual situation
  • designed to give you practical tools to address problems and create long-lasting, positive changes

I cannot provide emergency crisis care! If you feel that yourself or others may be at immediate risk of harm, please call the concerned authorities here