As you're here, I'm guessing that life is feeling really difficult for you right now. Maybe you're feeling incredibly sad, and are looking for someone to share the load? Perhaps you feel like you're failing in life, or as though you're trapped on the wrong path and there's no turning in sight? Or maybe a sudden life event has left you so distressed it's hard to know where to begin?
If life feels like this, or anything similar, counselling can and really does help. But you may be wondering how? I clearly remember wondering that myself. I thought about seeing a counsellor for years, but I always found a reason not to. I didn't want to seem weak, didn't see myself as mentally ill, and if I'm honest, I was scared about what counselling would be like.
Yet when I took that step, it felt such a relief. Being able to talk openly was a release. Soon I felt more hopeful, and gradually I reconnected with what I really wanted and valued. I came to understand how my past had shaped me and so became more self-acceptant, learning to treat myself more kindly and no longer negatively comparing myself to others. I also learned new ways to manage anxiety, and found myself feeling calmer and more optimistic. It wasn't always easy, but I can honestly say that my first experience of counselling was literally life-changing.
Put simply, counselling helped shift my glass from half empty to half full. By this, I don't mean being blindly optimistic. Far from it, in fact. This isn't some kind of a happy-ever-after miracle cure. It's more about developing a deep understanding that you are in fact good enough, so even when life hits you hard, you have the resources to cope, to find calm, to accept your emotions without fear, and an inner conviction that essentially you'll be ok no matter what.
Many years later, when a back injury let me to consider career change, I realised I wanted to help others make similar changes and trained as a psychotherapist / counsellor. I now offer face-to-face counselling in Stamford, Lincolnshire and online counselling to clients all over the UK. I am fully qualified with a Postgraduate Certificate in Person Centred and Experiential Psychotherapy and a Level 5 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling, plus other trainings along the way (see below). I've worked as a counsellor in a private practise in Leicester, for the mental health charity Mind, and the national bereavement charity Cruse.
Thinking back to the first time I visited a counsellor, I know the thought of counselling can seem really awkward, strange, even scary. I get that choosing to open up takes courage, but I also know it can be the first step towards healing, growth, and a calmer, more fulfilled life. So it's my priority to help you feel comfortable and safe from the moment we first speak.
Together we would work through your worries and help you rediscover your sense of direction. By helping you understand your thoughts and feelings, recognise your own strengths and consider your options - perhaps even those you've already written off as impossible - I would support you to find your own way to make change happen.
Where appropriate, I would offer information about how your mind and body interrelate. This can help you gain a greater understanding of the way that life has shaped you and how present day events might trigger you. And when needed, I would invite you to try techniques to help soothe anxiety, and relieve stress, helping you find a new sense of calm.
©2022 Andrew Brackenbury
powered by WebHealer