Adult Counselling in Cornwall
Anxiety, Stress, Trauma, Self Worth
A non-judgemental space to explore thoughts and feelings about issues that matter to you.
Sometimes we find it difficult to cope with our day-to-day lives, which may be due to current circumstances or issues from our past. Counselling is a chance to explore issues in a safe and confidential environment. We can work together, at your own pace, towards your goals. I listen with empathy (by putting myself in your shoes), whilst allowing you the space to reflect and explore your thoughts and feelings. Through counselling you can gain perspective about the issue(s) troubling you. Together we will explore these issues and consider what might be stopping you from reaching your full potential. The aim of the counselling process is to enable you to understand and accept yourself, to change your behaviour to that which is more productive and rewarding for you, and to help you move towards becoming the kind of person you want to be.
Trauma is the physical, emotional and psychological response when a person experiences high levels of fear or stress without having the chance to escape or mobilise (move away).
Trauma is a stress response that remains frozen in time within the person.
The symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
PTSD arises when a person experiences a threat involving high levels of stress, but they are unable to move through the stress response, meaning they are frozen in the stress response and unable to recognise that the danger has now ceased. PTSD can be recognised by the following symptoms:
Flashbacks (reliving the trauma as if it were happening now)
High levels of anxiety and fear
Avoiding the place where the trauma occurred
Emotional numbness/disconnection from emotions
Unexplained physical problems
Negative self-beliefs such as “I am to blame” or “I am not valuable” or “I am worthless"
Suicidal thoughts or behaviours
How your childhood affects your response to trauma
A person’s ability to come through experiencing a trauma can be grounded in how they learnt to manage their emotions in early childhood. If a person was soothed as a baby, and reassured when they were fearful, this child learns that even though bad things happen, they have the ability to get through them with the support of their parents/guardians. However, if the child does not have a good enough care giving environment, they may not learn how to regulate emotions and it may be more difficult to overcome the emotions that occur when a threat arises. This does not mean that if you had a good enough care giver, then you will escape PTSD, but it does make prolonged PTSD or complex PTSD less likely.
Coping with trauma
A survivor of a traumatic event (or series of events) may turn to coping mechanisms in order to deal with the PTSD symptoms. These may include self-harm, alcohol or drug use and other risky behaviours, and withdrawal. These are used as a way of regulating emotions that feel too difficult to tolerate. These can be extremely useful as a way of coping with trauma. Coping mechanisms may subside if the trauma begins to be processed.
How trauma counselling can help
It is important to recognise that if you are experiencing trauma or PTSD symptoms, this is your brain’s way of coping with what happened to you. The mind is an amazing tool. However, if you are effected by trauma symptoms, trauma counselling enables you to talk through your experience and the issues that have become 'stuck'.
What is trauma counselling?
I aim to provide a grounded presence where you can begin to explore your trauma while feeling safe, listened to and emotionally held. You will learn how to come down from hyper-arousal and to be more grounded in the present, to recognise your resources and skills, and to build on these. You may be able to learn how to regulate emotions and feel safer in the present. Trauma therapy can help you to understand trauma symptoms, and to start to work through your experiences.
You are not on your own
Counselling in Falmouth & Truro, Cornwall
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. In counselling together we can help you to regain control by awareness of triggers, exploring the beliefs that may be fuelling the anxiety, harnessing your body-mind inner calm, and confidently start living on your own terms again.