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  • marypascallcounselling

Updated: Apr 30, 2020

Hello and welcome once again.

In response to COVID-19 we are instructed not to visit medical centres; we are to call or email for advice. However, it would appear that, whilst we focus on the pandemic, our reporting of other medical issues to the NHS is in decline. In response to this. messages are being sent from doctors' surgeries and via the mediia; we're being encouraged not to ignore or to put off seeking medical advice for serious symptoms.

Whether the decline is because we feel COVID-19 is a priority and therefore don't want to take up NHS resources or because we are anxious that our condition may require hospital admission, and we fear that this will put us at risk, is unclear.

To what extent these concerns are based in reality is debatable. But something that stands out from all of this is the day-to-day anxiety we are all experiencing, which is different for each of us and has an impact on our well-being, at whatever level.

Just how many of us are ignoring signs that we need to attend to our mental health or put off seeking help during the pandemic?

Common thoughts may be:
No-one can see a counsellor face-to-face right now. I'll wait until this is all over.
Telephone and online counselling is what's on offer now. I'd prefer face-to-face.
What's the point of me seeking counselling for this? This is the new normal.
With everything's that happened, how can I afford counselling?
If it wasn't for the pandemic I think I'd be okay.

These are all valid thoughts and it is, of course, up to you whether or not you seek counselling. But take care that you're not allowing your mental health to become secondary. And remember, you may be able to find answers to the questions you're asking yourself by contacting a counsellor and making enquiries.

The following link and video may also be of help:

  • marypascallcounselling

Updated: Apr 20, 2020

Hello and welcome once again.

We all have to live with a degree of uncertainty and, at times, the process of waiting for an outcome or resolution can feel unbearable. But some of us really struggle with 'not knowing', even for short periods of time. We may find it hard to recover from a sudden turn of events or feel uncomfortable if we are required to change our routine. This is anxiety.

Anxiety is a sense of unease, tension, feeling out of control or overwhelmed

It can affect your emotional and physical well-being, causing loss of concentration, mood swings, a change in energy,

your sleep or libido. Physical symptoms such as headaches, dry mouth, sweats, increased pulse, shortness of breath, trembling, stomach and skin problems are common. Both feelings and symptoms of anxiety can develop quickly, making it a frightening experience - a panic attack.

Due to the current situation with COVID-19, feelings of anxiety may be heightened.

We are all required to make considerable adjustments to the way we live, we are concerned for our health; home life, work and leisure are restricted. Many have financial concerns; those already challenged are facing further hardship.

It is possible to find help for anxiety. Talking things through with a therapist can help you understand what triggers anxiety for you and help you consider how best to manage it.

During the current situation with COVID-19, talking therapies are being offered online and by telephone. For information on how to find a therapist, scroll down and take a look at 'How do I find a good therapist?'

For more information about anxiety, take a look at the links below.

  • marypascallcounselling

We live in an age of online communications. So it is, perhaps, not surprising that 75% of therapists offer telephone and online services* . Video call apps, including What's App, Skype, Zoom amongst others, are being utilised by many counsellors, making counselling more accessible, particularly during this difficult time.

You can have video counselling in the comfort of almost any space...

as long as you are safe, cannot be overheard, overlooked or interrupted. There's no need to travel, so no travel costs, which makes the overall cost of accessing therapy more affordable. Appointments can be fitted into almost any schedule.

But what if you're uncomfortable with the idea of video?

If using a video call app seems like virtual reality to you, then perhaps you'd prefer telephone counselling. It may seem like stating the obvious but a counsellor uses their skills differently when counselling via the telephone.

Video counselling can feel more private than conventional counselling, partly because you do not have to venture out into public in order to meet with your counsellor. Instead, your counsellor is conveniently 'beamed' directly into your personal space. To begin with, you may feel self-conscious. But this may change as you relax into the comfort of your chosen space.

Telephone counselling also offers privacy and convenience. But a loss of inhibition may be more the case with telephone counselling. Inhibition and our sense of privacy are usually affected by whether or not we can be seen. If you have any qualms about how you sound on the telephone, you may find that you soon get used to being heard by your counsellor in this way.

According to the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP)**, 'disinhibition' can affect the process of therapy in several ways. Part of your counsellor's role will be to monitor and maintain a balance.

Finally, you may find it useful to know that telephone counselling is sometimes more affordable than other counselling services.

Please note: this blog is meant to be helpful and is not promoting any single method of counselling above another.

(*European Association for Counselling, 2020/**BACP 2020)


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