Individual Counselling is aimed at helping you to cope with the ups and downs of everyday life, with stresses that can cause anxiety and depression. Individual Counselling can assist in coping with stressful life situations, work problems, grief, emotional distress or relationship difficulties; all of which affect our emotional health.
Our goal is to provide an open, supportive, and confidential environment for you to work collaboratively with a counsellor.
Do you worry excessively about things that are unlikely to happen, or feel tense and anxious all day long—sometimes with no real reason? Everyone gets anxious sometimes, but if your worries and fears are so constant that they interfere with your ability to function and relax, you may have generalized anxiety disorder. GAD is mentally and physically exhausting. It drains your energy, interferes with sleep, and wears your body out. But you can learn strategies to break free from chronic worry and calm your anxious mind.
If you have GAD you may worry about the same things that other people do, but you take these worries to a new level. A co-worker’s careless comment about the economy becomes a vision of an imminent pink slip; a phone call to a friend that isn’t immediately returned becomes anxiety that the relationship is in trouble. Sometimes just the thought of getting through the day produces anxiety. You go about your activities filled with exaggerated worry and tension, even when there is little or nothing to provoke them. Anxiety is less intense than a panic attack, but much longer lasting, making normal life difficult and relaxation impossible.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by uncontrollable, unwanted thoughts and repetitive, ritualized behaviors you feel compelled to perform. If you have OCD, you probably recognize that your obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors are irrational—but even so, you feel unable to resist them and break free. These obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors can become so excessive they interfere with your daily life. With treatment, you can learn techniques to that may reduce unwanted thoughts and irrational urges.
Panic disorder is diagnosed in people who experience spontaneous seemingly out-of-the-blue panic attacks and are preoccupied with the fear of a recurring attack. Panic attacks occur unexpectedly, sometimes even during sleep. Symptoms such as an increased heart rate, shortness of breath, dizziness, numbness, and changes in body temperature are overwhelming. Individuals with panic disorder have recurring panic attacks and often the fear of the attacks themselves become the focus. Left untreated, panic attacks can lead to panic disorder and other problems. They may even cause you to withdraw from normal activities. With treatment, you can learn strategies that may help you reduce symptoms.
Depression is a common and debilitating mood disorder that is affecting a growing number of people. Feeling down from time to time is a normal part of life, but when you feel hopelessness and despair that won't go away, you may have depression. Depression makes it tough to function and enjoy life, just getting through the day can be overwhelming. While some people describe depression as “living in a black hole” or having a feeling of impending doom, others feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic. Men in particular may feel angry and restless. Depression is different from normal sadness in that it dominates your day-to-day life, interfering with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and have fun. When you’re trapped in depression, it feels like nothing will ever change. But it’s important to remember that feelings of helplessness and hopelessness are symptoms of depression—not the reality of your situation. But no matter how hopeless you feel, you can learn ways that may help you feel better. Learning about depression—and the many things you can do to help yourself is the first step.
Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, involves intense fear of certain social situations. It can be frightening, creating anxiety just thinking about it and go to great lengths to avoid it. Many people get nervous or self-conscious on occasion, like when giving a speech or interviewing for a new job. But social anxiety, or social phobia, is more than just shyness. Underlying social anxiety is often the fear of being scrutinized, judged, or embarrassed in public. You may be afraid that people will think badly of you or that you won’t measure up in comparison to others. And even though you probably realize that your fears of being judged are at least somewhat irrational, you still can’t help feeling anxious. The fear of embarrassment can be so intense that you avoid situations that can trigger it. No matter how painfully shy you may be, you can learn techniques that may help you to be comfortable in social situations.
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. There are four basic types of bipolar disorder; all of them involve clear changes in mood, energy, and activity levels. These moods range from periods of extremely “up,” elated, and energized behavior (known as manic episodes) to very sad, “down,” or hopeless periods (known as depressive episodes). Less severe manic periods are known as hypomanic episodes. People with bipolar disorder experience periods of unusually intense emotion, changes in sleep patterns and activity levels, and unusual behaviors. These distinct periods are called “mood episodes.” Mood episodes are drastically different from the moods and behaviors that are typical for the person. Extreme changes in energy, activity, and sleep go along with mood episodes. Bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression) causes serious shifts in mood, energy, thinking, and behavior—from the highs of mania on one extreme, to the lows of depression on the other. More than just a fleeting good or bad mood, the cycles of bipolar disorder last for days, weeks, or months. And unlike ordinary mood swings, the mood changes of bipolar disorder are so intense that they interfere with your ability to function. During a manic episode, a person might impulsively quit a job, charge up huge amounts on credit cards, or feel rested after sleeping two hours. During a depressive episode, the same person might be too tired to get out of bed, and full of self-loathing and hopelessness over being unemployed and in debt.
Losing someone or something you love or care deeply about is very painful. You may experience all kinds of difficult emotions and it may feel like the pain and sadness you're experiencing will never let up. These are normal reactions to a significant loss. But while there is no right or wrong way to grieve, there are healthy ways to cope with the pain that, in time, can renew you and permit you to move on. Grief is a natural response to loss. It’s the emotional suffering you feel when something or someone you love is taken away. The more significant the loss, the more intense the grief will be. You may associate grief with the death of a loved one—which is often the cause of the most intense type of grief—but any loss can cause grief, including: divorce or relationship breakup, loss of health, losing a job, loss of financial stability, a miscarriage, retirement, death of a pet to name a few. Grief encompasses a range of feelings from deep sadness to anger, and the process of adapting to a significant loss can vary dramatically from one person to another, depending on his or her background, beliefs, relationship to what was lost, and other factors.
Almost everyone has an irrational fear or two—such as snakes or the dentist. For most people, these fears are minor. But when fears become so severe that they cause tremendous anxiety and interfere with your normal life, they’re called phobias. A phobia is an intense fear of something that, in reality, poses little or no actual danger. You probably realize that your fear is unreasonable, yet you are unable to control your feelings. Just thinking about the feared object or situation may make you anxious. And when you’re actually exposed to the thing you fear, the terror is automatic and overwhelming. Common phobias and fears include closed-in places, heights, highway driving, flying insects, snakes, and needles. However, we can develop phobias of virtually anything. The good news is that we can learn techniques that may help us manage phobias.
Anger management therapy is based around the belief that knowledge is power – arming yourself with knowledge about your anger (understanding it more fully) can give you the power to recognize and control how you feel in any given circumstance. Learn strategies that may help you manage excessive anger and make better life choices, directing the energy of anger into productive and prosocial activities.