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Welcome to blog 7 of 2022. With each blog, we focus on a topical theme of counselling therapy, which I hope will inform you in your decision to seek therapy or to become a therapist.


Statistics suggest that there has been an increase in the number of people accessing counselling over the last decade. Yet counselling and psychotherapy remain shrouded in mystery, and mental health is still stigmatised. Many people accessing counselling for the first time have little to no awareness of what counselling involves.













Due to the importance of client confidentiality, sharing what happens in the counselling room is limited. More people are voicing their experiences of counselling through media campaigns promoting the pros and cons of therapy. TV dramas centred around a therapist make popular viewing. With client consent, celebrity therapists are inviting radio and TV into their counselling rooms to observe their practice.


So we're being offered more information about the process of therapy. Yet, whilst it may feel okay to be privy to the ins and outs of a neighbour's recent knee operation, we don't anticipate hearing the highs and lows of their recent counselling session. Unless you're a therapist, asking someone about their counselling experience is still pretty much taboo. How, then, do we learn more?

If you've seen a counsellor or are currently in therapy, you may have wondered what a day in the life of your counsellor can look like.

If you've seen a counsellor or are currently in therapy, you may have wondered what a day in the life of your therapist can look like. How do they begin their day? What's their routine? How many clients do they see? What records do they keep? Fact is, without asking directly, getting the full picture is tricky. But here's where this blog can help.













Not all practitioners work 9 to 5. Many work part-time or have two or more areas of work. There may be some differences in the day-to-day routine of therapists working in the public health sector, as opposed to the charitable sector or counsellors in private practice. This may affect the number of clients a therapist will see in a day and the availability of flexible hours.


For many therapists there is a lot of work that happens outside of the therapy and behind the scenes. Generally speaking, a counsellor's daily routine will consist of admin, consultations, assessments, client contact, record-keeping (not all counsellors keep client notes), some referrals, online and in-person meetings, and research.

Therapists do have commitments outside of the therapy room, including regular one-to-one supervision and/or peer supervision, plus a commitment to continuing professional development.

A therapist will have commitments outside of the counselling room, including regular one-to-one supervision and/or peer supervision, plus a commitment to continuing professional development. This is stipulated during training and required of therapists for membership to a professional body.

Many counsellors consider therapy as essential to their own development, both personal and professional, and so continue to engage in personal therapy post qualification.

Not all therapists are required to engage in one-to-one and/or group therapy prior to and/or during their training. However, many counsellors and counselling training organisations consider therapy as essential to both personal and professional development. Many counsellors continue to engage in personal therapy post qualification. Note that it is possible for counsellors to practice without ever having been in therapy.


Counsellors who view working therapeutically as a vocation recognise that what happens in the therapy room is connected to the world at large. Consequently, they tend to dedicate time outside of the therapy room to supporting relevant causes, to training and research.

A commitment to self-care and personal development is necessary for the survival of a therapist. Due to the nature of their work, a degree of fortitude and resilience is required.


A commitment to self-care and personal development is necessary for the survival of a therapist. Due to the nature of counselling work, a degree of fortitude and resilience is required. Being witness to intense and emotive runs the risk of vicarious trauma (an empathic response to the distress, pain and suffering of others) and burnout. Therefore, it is important that therapists have the resources to sustain themselves and adequate means of support. By practising self care, a counsellor can also be a role model for their clients.


You may feel that knowing something of your counsellor's identity and history could help build a connection. However, depending on modality and personal style, some counsellors are careful to limit disclosure of their personal lives. Not just to preserve their privacy, but to avoid any distraction from the focus of the therapeutic work - namely, you.



You may find the following links to articles and videos useful:


People seeking help: statistics

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/explore-mental-health/statistics/people-seeking-help-statistics


Therapy Talks: an introduction to therapy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lOKEMYg8Jc


Annual number of therapy professionals in the United Kingdom (UK) from 2010 to 2021

https://www.statista.com/statistics/318902/numbers-of-therapy-professionals-in-the-uk/


The Monday Interview:" So, what it really like working as a... counsellor?"

https://www.momentumcareersadvice.com/the-monday-interview-so-what-it-really-like-working-as-a-counsellor/


My World of Work: Counsellor

https://www.myworldofwork.co.uk/my-career-options/job-profiles/counsellor


Dr Ali Matu: What I wish I knew before I became a psychotherapist

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neeh0Acc3j0


Dr Orna Guralnik: Couples Therapy

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/p0b8kmch/couples-therapy


Susie Orbach: In Therapy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbYBBzVPRgk









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Welcome to blog 6 of 2022. Each month we focus on a topical theme of counselling therapy, which I hope will help you in your decision to seek therapy and support you on your journey.



In order to maintain healthy relationships

it's important

to establish boundaries.

But what does this mean and what do boundaries

look like?



Well, consider the following definition: a boundary indicates the limitations of a space; there is a clear demarcation that differentiates one space from another. That demarcation reserves and protects a space, and may indicate ownership.

Personal boundaries encompass your beliefs, culture, feelings,

levels of intimacy, ownership of an area or belongings, personal space, sexuality,

your time, energy and commitment, and thought processes.


In your relationships your boundaries may vary according to the nature of a relationship or due to changes in circumstance. For example: you may be willing to share personal possessions with a partner but not with a colleague; be happy to have friends drop by unannounced, but not when you are feeling unwell.


So that's what boundaries are but what difference can they make to your relationships and how do you introduce them?



Establishing boundaries in your relationships is a healthy way to address your needs and the needs of others.


For your well-being, it is important that your physical and emotional needs are met. Establishing boundaries in your relationships is a healthy way to address your needs and the needs of others. Setting boundaries for yourself and within your relationships is part of self-care.


In order to establish and maintain boundaries in relationships some key element are required: mutual respect, communication, autonomy, acceptance and resilience.


If any of these are in short supply you may experience difficulties within your relationships. Communication is key; lack of communication will lead to misunderstanding and frustrations within a relationship.


Establishing appropriate boundaries within a relationship will encourage mutual respect and acceptance which, in turn, boost self-esteem and personal growth, and help to promote harmony.


When you set and acknowledge boundaries within your family, with a partner, within a friendship or with a colleague, you are inviting respect and acceptance of your identity.



Establishing boundaries within a relationship will encourage mutual respect and acceptance which, in turn, boost self-esteem and personal growth, and help promote harmony. That said, identifying which boundaries work for you can be a bit of a process. By reflecting on your relationships, you can identify what kind of boundaries may be helpful. In addition to your needs, consider your capacity to accept the needs and desires of others. What are your expectations of others and what do you feel able to offer?




As we move through life relationships and boundaries can change. If not addressed changes may present challenges that can lead to discord.

t's also important to remember that as we move through life relationships and boundaries can change. If not addressed changes may present challenges that can lead to discord. So it's important to be attentive. Boundaries require maintenance.


A counsellor can help you work through relationship challenges and support you in setting appropriate boundaries, through one-to-one, counselling, relationship, family, peer or group counselling.




For information on how to find a counsellor go to:


https://www.marypascallcounselling.com/post/how-do-i-find-a-good-therapist


https://www.marypascallcounselling.com/post/how-to-get-what-you-want-from-private-counselling-part-one


https://www.marypascallcounselling.com/post/how-to-get-what-you-want-from-private-counselling-part-two



You may also be interested in:


https://www.mentalhelp.net/blogs/the-importance-of-boundaries-in-romantic-relationships/


https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/setting-boundaries






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  • marypascallcounselling

Welcome to blog 5 of 2022. Each month we focus on a topical theme of counselling therapy, which I hope will help you in your decision to seek therapy and support you on your journey.


Last week (9th to 15th May) was Mental Health Awareness week in the UK and the theme was loneliness. Most of us experience feelings of loneliness from time to time. Humans as a species are social beings and many societies suggest that frequent social contact is healthy and prevents loneliness. However, we are all different: some of us thrive on frequent social contact; some prefer occasional contact and can appreciate our own company. Being alone does not necessarily mean that you will feel lonely.

So what is loneliness?

Loneliness is a feeling of isolation or separateness that leaves you feeling dissatisfied with our experience - life doesn't seem to meet your needs. This can cause low mood which, if lasting for several weeks, may be diagnosed as depression. Continuing or chronic loneliness may be detrimental to our mental and physical health, and there is research that suggests chronic loneliness can impact longevity.

Loneliness is a feeling of isolation or separateness that leaves you feeling dissatisfied with your experience.

Although there can be a direct correlation between feelings of loneliness and limited social contact, there can be other causes. For some, a change in circumstances, such as starting a new job or course of study, getting to know a new place and new people, can generate anxiety and feelings of loneliness. You may feel lonely in a relationship or within a group, or a space you inhabit where you previously felt comfortable. Relationship breakdown, ill health, broken friendship, loss of a loved one, lone parenting or caring for a relative may also lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation.



Currently, due to the change in regulations in response to Covid-19, many of us are adjusting to new ways of working and socialising. You may be feeling isolated if you are working from home. Or perhaps you are returning to on-site working and feeling alone in the process.

You may have had infrequent contact with family, friends and acquaintances, or lost touch altogether, affecting your ability to reconnect.


So what can you do to address loneliness?

Consider what it is you want to change. You may be feeling lonely but becoming part of a busy social scene may not necessarily be the solution.


You may be feeling lonely but becoming part of a busy social scene may not necessarily be the solution.

Do you want more contact with family and friends? Do you wish to be more active and have more interests? Do you want to spend time with like-minded people? Perhaps you would like to be in a relationship or see a change in your existing relationship. Maybe you need a change of routine.


There are practical ways to address all of the above, but this will require some motivation

on your part. Take the initiative and reach out to others. Join a class, group or network. Attend community events. Try dating in a way that's right for you. Set yourself a goal.


If loneliness feels debilitating, speaking with a counsellor can help you to understand your feelings and take steps to move on and enjoy your life.

If you're unable to point to reasons for feelings of loneliness, it may be that stress, anxiety or a lack of motivation is an underlying cause.


Sadly, there is a stigma around loneliness, which may prevent you from reaching out to family, friends, colleagues or neighbours. If loneliness feels debilitating, speaking with a counsellor can help you to understand your feelings and take steps to move on and enjoy your life.


For information on counselling, follow these links to my past blog posts:


https://www.marypascallcounselling.com/post/online-or-telephone-counselling


https://www.marypascallcounselling.com/post/e-counselling-the-new-face-2-face

So, how does talking therapy work?



For more information on the impact of loneliness, the following links may help:


https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/mental-health/find-an-urgent-mental-health-helpline


https://www.redcross.org.uk/get-help/get-help-with-loneliness


https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/loneliness/about-loneliness/


https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/unlock-loneliness/15-tips


https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/chronic-loneliness#when-to-see-a-doctor


https://www.bacp.co.uk/news/news-from-bacp/2020/16-july-we-welcome-new-report-on-psychology-of-loneliness/


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0hxl03JoA0








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