Historical childhood sexual abuse Rape & Trauma
Not everybody who has experienced childhood abuse will also experience emotional or mental health difficulties. However, some people may experience the following symptoms that last into adulthood:
- Post-Traumatic Stress
- Sleep Problems
- Self-Harm and/ or suicidal thoughts
Through the process of Counselling, you may recognise how your past experiences, may be affecting you within the present moment. This maybe through;
- An inability to forming and maintain meaningful romantic relationships
- You may have a history of choosing the wrong partner
- Trust difficulties
- Low self-esteem
- Suffer with debilitating shame
- Experience Sexual Difficulties
- Anger (outwards, or turned inwards)
- Confusion over sexuality
Please know that with the right type of help and support, people really can, and do move beyond the effects of the historical abuse, and move forwards to living a more fulfilling quality of life.
Victims of Narcissistic Abuse
Many times, I have had clients walk into my office feeling suicidal, broken, emotionally crippled, feeling overwhelmed and hopeless. Narcissistic abuse unfortunately, is still not being recognised by many therapists. Being a victim of this abuse myself, I am able to spot the tell-tale signs within my clients very quickly.
People who are in these types of relationship may not even recognise what is going on, or even feel its effects, until it is way to late. The Narcissist is like a spider, drawing you slowly into his/her tangled web. You will completely trust this person, and be unaware of the emotional manipulation which has been going on in the background, until the narcissist has destroyed your character to people who know and like you, played games with your emotions, made you doubt your sanity, and left you feel totally worthless.
Other people find it difficult to believe you, as the Narcissist will portray a totally different character of him/herself to everyone else, and indeed make out to people that he/she is indeed the victim of abuse.
Your self-worth will be shattered into a thousand tiny pieces, and on the floor. Like heroin is to an addict, the Narcissists fix is to totally destroy you as a person. It is almost like they have erased your very soul. You may have been very confident, happy and bubbly when you first met – the Narcissist will leave you feeling anything but.
Unlike with domestic violence, there are no physical scars, but the emotional and mental injuries are totally crippling.
Victims of Narcissistic Abuse can suffer from CPTSD (complex post-traumatic stress disorder). However, with the right form of help and support people can and do recover.
People may experience PTSD for many reasons.
- Sexual abuse
- Witnessing a traumatic event, such as someone being killed.
- Experiencing an event in which you feared for your life
Counselling can help you to work through what happened to you. It can also help by giving you exercises that enable you to feel safe again, helping you to reduce your symptoms, and giving you a sense of control back.
Ending the People Pleasing & Finding the Real You
If you tend to avoid conflict, find you spend a lot of your time worrying about situations, have difficulties making decisions, have extreme difficulty, or a total incapability of saying the word “no” to people, then it is highly likely you are a people pleaser.
Counselling can help you to move away from the people pleasing behaviour and help you to lean forwards in line with the “real” you, rather than the you, you think others would want you to be. Leading you down the path of self-discovery & self-acceptance.
Bereavement and Loss
There are many ways in which people can experience a significant loss.
- Loss of a partner
- Loss of a child
- Loss of a family member
- Loss of a beloved pet
- The end of a relationship (the person is still alive – yet you are encompassed within the effects of crippling grief and cannot move on)
- Loss of a person as we knew them (through the effects of dementia – or brain damage)
- Loss of normality, discovering you, or someone close to you has a terminal illness.
- Loss of normality, suddenly developing schizophrenia.
Loss affects us in every single way, emotionally, mentally and physically. Talking therapy provides us with a safe and non-judgmental space, in which you free to work through your thoughts and emotions.
Grief is a process, and the only way out is through. Talking to your Counsellor helps you to move along the process. People generally experience problems when they either avoid their emotions all together, or they won’t let go of their emotions at all.
Work Related Stress
Many people suffer with work related stress. The signs can be physical, psychological and behavioural. Counselling therefore, can help you explore what has been creating your stress at work, whilst also helping you to identify all of your options. Alongside this, giving you exercises designed specifically for you as an individual, to take some form of control back, whilst helping you to gain clarity and peace of mind.
Counselling doesn’t give you advice on what to do, however it does help you to take a look inwards and find all of your own answers. Afterall, how many times have our friends given us advice, and we never seem to take that advice on board. This is simply because our friends have never walked in our shoes.
Whilst counselling can generally help you to identify why you are depressed, sometimes we don’t need to know why we fell into a hole, in order to climb back out. Counselling can generally help you to see how the past is affecting the present moment. It can also help you to see how your thoughts are working for you, or against you. And it can provide you with tools in order for you to control your depression as opposed to your depression controlling you, and help you move towards a better quality of life.
Anxiety is a bully and it will control us – if we allow it too. If your anxiety prevents you from doing things, then you can learn how to control your anxiety, as opposed to it controlling you. Counselling can help you to scratch the record on the thoughts and behaviours that are getting in-between you, and a meaningful quality of life. Helping you to gain control, take your life back, and to live your life on your terms.
Anger gets some bad press, but it can be a healthy emotion as it allows us to recognise when we, or someone we care about is being violated. Anger creates problems for us when it is either turned outwards onto others, or inwards onto ourselves.
If your anger is costing you your relationships, or preventing you from working properly, then you maybe stuck in a loop of reacting, as opposed to responding to events.
Counselling can help you to work through your emotional storm, and help you to express your thoughts and emotions safely. It can also provide you with exercises in order for you to control your emotions, as opposed to your emotions controlling you.
Quieting the Inner Critic
If you are highly critical of yourself, or f yourself & equally of others, then your inner critic maybe left in the driver’s seat of your life. This cruel and berating inner critic, left to its own devices, can lead you to spiral into the depths of depression, as one negative story after another pulls you further and further down into the rabbit hole.
You may feel the world is a dangerous place and people can’t be trusted. Emotionally you have a built a high wall around yourself in order to keep yourself safe, however the wall you have built also serves to block out the other things in life that you need, like meaningful relationships, love, happiness, joy and connection.
Counselling can help you understand why the wall was built, and help you to take it apart, slowly, brick by brick, at your own pace, and guide you to a more fulfilling quality of life.
Self-loathing is a lot more common than you think. If we were to see someone in our street, or within our own homes getting beaten severely with a stick, I assume we would all want to prevent this if we could. Yet self-loathing is exactly that – only we are beating ourselves emotionally with a stick, within our minds, over and over again, causing catastrophic harm.
We are always view ourselves as less than, in some way. Never enough, never good enough, smart enough, successful enough, thin enough, rich enough. We have low self-worth and a total lack of confidence, and deny ourselves from the opportunity to having the life we deserve, through buying into the stories that we tell ourselves, that are life limiting, and constantly have on stuck on repeat
Counselling can help you to identify the stories you have stuck on repeat, that prevent you from a living the life you truly desire. Helping you to move forwards into the footsteps of your ideal future self, living your life, your way.
Low Self Esteem
Low self esteem maybe a result of many things. It could be due to an unhappy childhood, where parents or teachers were exceptionally critical. It is directly related to how we feel about ourselves; We often carry around things from our childhood that don’t simply never belonged to us, such as shame and blame. It could also be the result of an ongoing stressful event ,such as a relationship breakdown, or possibly financial struggle.
Counselling helps you to look through the telescope of time, back at your life, and helps you to discover how the past shaped you into who you have become today. It can also help you to get rid of the things that never were yours to carry as a child, such as toxic shame & blame that never belonged to you.
Talking therapy may also take you on a journey of self-acceptance, a place in which the distorted image of yourself can no longer exist. This may eventually help you to lead on and improve your life in many other areas – such as giving you more confidence to apply for a job, or enter into a romantic relationship.
Please note counselling is offered for a wide range of client issues.
While these are areas of counselling that I specialise in, the list is not exhaustive. Please get in touch with me if you’d like to discuss your needs.
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