Issues and Symptoms 

Example issues 

Relationship issues/breakdown 
Bereavement/loss 
Work issues 
Identity issues 
Parenting challenges 
Lack of confidence 
Social/friendship challenges 
Low self esteem 
Lack of assertiveness 
Sibling issues 
Change of life situation 
Supporting elderly parents 

Example symptoms 

These are some of the symptoms which may be linked to issues and life events: 
Panic attacks 
Anxiety 
Phobias 
Low mood 
Suicidal thoughts/intents 
Compulsive behaviours 
Headaches 
Stomach problems 
Body pain 
Sleepless nights 
Angry outbursts 
Irritability 
Chronic fatigue 
Palpitations 
Eating issues 
Feeling on edge 
General malaise 
 
It is often a symptom which brings people to therapy, for example sleepless nights or panic attacks. It is usually the symptoms which people find difficult to live with, and which negatively impact their functioning in their lives. In brief counselling, I can help you to find strategies to manage these symptoms, for example the use of mindfulness and breathing techniques, or thinking about sleep 'hygiene'. Talking about these symptoms in counselling can help you to understand a little more about what issues may be causing these symptoms right now in your life. Symptoms usually, but not always, link to some kind of life event, like prolonged periods of stress or bereavement. 
 
Sometimes symptoms can also be an indication of longer term or core issues, which have been a part of you for some time, but which have never really come to the surface. A current situation in your life can 'trigger' a longer term issue, for example a breakdown in relationship in the present can trigger issues of difficult relationships from the past or from childhood. 
Sometimes, as we begin to understand the symptom, we begin to hear what it has to tell us about longer term patterns in ourselves which may need to be worked through in longer term psychotherapy. For example, low self worth which has been triggered by a difficult situation with work colleagues. Sometimes it is necessary to combine short term coping strategies with longer term therapy in order to get to the underlying issues whilst still managing everyday symptoms. 
 
In creative arts psychotherapy, we can explore the issues you bring in detail, getting a felt sense of what it is like to be you and live the life you live. Sometimes I invite you to do creative exercises which help to deepen our shared understanding of a particular situation or set of emotions. 
Creative, embodied, relational 
 
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