On the 10th September 2017, it is World Suicide Prevention Day. According to the World Health Organisation, it is estimated that over 800,000 people die by suicide each year.
We need to come together and raise awareness that suicide is preventable and decrease the stigma regarding suicide. No two suicides are the same, suicide is unique to that person who took their own life, it was their very own personal viewpoint.
If you are feeling suicidal connect with others, prevent yourself from being alone with your thoughts, reach out, there are people available, whether it is friends and family, a medical professional, the Samaritans or a counsellor. You don’t realise the impact on you for making that one contact. I understand forming the words about how you are feeling and actually vocalising them could be too much.
Let’s break it down into smaller bite size pieces; firstly write down three potential contacts you could make, I’ll help you with the first two;
1) your doctor
2) the Samaritans (Tel: 116 123 or email: email@example.com, there are also branches local to us, in Worthing, Horsham and Brighton and across the UK).
Who could be your third? You may not choose a third and that’s okay, its just about knowing that support is there for You.
Secondly, place a tick ✔ alongside the one(s) that you feel most comfortable about speaking with.
Thirdly, decide how you would prefer to communicate, would you prefer to email, write a letter, phone, send a text or face to face. Notice how you feel about each choice, because You do have a choice. You may even decide to ask someone to come with You to the Doctors for support, that’s okay too. The most important part is to know that help is out there and that no matter what, you are not on your own.
You can contact me and together we can get a support network in place for you and gradually through our counselling sessions, together we can look at what You are struggling with. I will provide a non-judgemental space, where I will listen to You.
You may be reading this Blog, because You have been affected by Suicide and are trying to come to terms with what happened, dealing with the ‘what if’s and if onlys’. Going round in circles trying to spot the signs that You feel you should have seen; there will be many different ways as to how you see this and the previously mentioned may be some of them, all of them or even more. It may be that you have started to have anxiety, or panic disorders, you are now having relationship issues, or feeling sad.
If you were to have counselling with myself, you would be met with empathy and compassion, you will have time, space and a confidential environment to unravel what is causing you distress. Sometimes being given the opportunity to talk can almost feel enough, no longer feeling it is a taboo subject and that other people wont want to hear about it. Or preventing yourself from talking about it to others so as to not upset them – but what about You? You matter, you are important.
You could try my free introductory session, which lasts around twenty minutes, this gives you the opportunity to see if counselling may be helpful to you.
My private practice, has off-road parking and is based in West Sussex.
If coming to see me feels too much, please look at my useful links page as there maybe an alternative support group which you may prefer.
Together we can Connect, Communicate and Care about what is going on for You.
It’s quite interesting when you talk to people, anyone, I am not referring to clients here, how a certain subject or situation is a taboo subject, “oh, we don’t talk about that”. As the story unfolds, it generally tends to be that it was actually someone else that censored that particular subject. This can be difficult because subconsciously you may desperately want to talk about or explore ‘the subject’ but consciously for the fear of upsetting the apple cart or the person that put that ‘rule’ in place, you hold onto it and don’t speak about it.
Wow, that’s a tough call! You may feel that you want to want to talk about the unspoken subject, or indeed feel that you will do everything to not talk about it. You could be trying to make sense of it, have unanswered questions, guilt, pain, sadness along with many other feelings.
The ‘unspoken subject’ may hang in the air at family gatherings, whether or not the person who could get upset isn’t there, it could be so ingrained not to talk about that even if you wanted to talk to a sibling or aunt or uncle, this may leave you feeling uneasy or awkward.
You may feel that in some way even the thought of talking about the ‘unspoken subject’ is betrayal or that you don’t care enough about them to not leave the ‘unspoken’ exactly that, unspoken!
Being able to come to a place, which is away from family and everyday life, a place where confidentiality is met, and importantly a place where you feel able to explore the unspoken, could be just the place for You.
There is a difference between speaking to friends about the unspoken and speaking to a counsellor. Without realising, when you speak with friends, you will probably still hold back. That is the effect that the unspoken has on you. Again there will be a sense of “am I betraying the person who this subject causes so much pain, or angst to?”
When you have the opportunity to say the unspoken with a counsellor, this can bring strong emotions and feelings that may surprise you, or may feel like a complete release, which is followed by relief. Phew, finally You have been able to say out loud your thoughts and feelings and the impact that the unspoken has had on You.
Initially, you may talk around the unspoken subject, as it may be new for you to allow this to enter your mind and stay there longer than has felt okay to do so previously. And that alone may be a new experience for You. You may not be ready to say the unspoken out loud to start with, as those words may feel difficult to form in your mouth.
One thing I will say, is you may be surprised how significant turning the unspoken into the spoken could feel for You.
When I say surprised, imagine walking around all day with a backpack filled with rocks. It will be heavy and burdensome, the rocks might stick in your back and even when you rearrange the rocks, another one will poke you somewhere else in your back. It will feel tiring and you may feel irritated that you have to carry it.
Ok, so now imagine, someone suggests you take off your back pack as it looks uncomfortable, offers you a seat and suggests that you place the back pack on the floor to the side of you. It’s still there, but You are now not the one carrying it. That to me feels a bit like carrying the ‘unspoken’, may be it isn’t yours to carry or struggle with anymore?
You could always contact me to arrange a free introductory session and don’t worry, you only have to talk about what You want to talk about. You can phone, text or email me, whatever suits you. I’m looking forward to helping you take your backpack off.
I am based in West Sussex and for ease, my private practice has off-road parking.
What would be helpful to have in your backpack?
I expect as soon as you read that, you immediately thought, ‘’I shouldn’t talk to strangers”!
I’m hoping you will keep reading, because whilst You may automatically link a stranger to danger, in counselling terms, I feel it fits really well for what I offer: “a person whom one does not know or with whom one is not familiar”.
Being able to speak to someone and being totally honest, knowing that that person has no preconceived ideas about who you are, or what has brought you to counselling. That could be just the type of stranger which is suitable for you?
People have counselling for a whole variety of reasons, sometimes people come to counselling because they are not feeling right in themselves but don’t necessarily have a name for it. Maybe it doesn’t need a name, maybe You just need the time and space to look at what is causing you distress or difficulty. I have non-critical ears and I will listen to You. You will have a confidential space in my private practice in West Sussex.
I appreciate that sometimes for men it can be difficult at first to acknowledge that they may be struggling, or to say how they are feeling. You may feel vulnerable or overwhelmed. This point I want to stress, that by speaking to me, You are suddenly not alone with your problem, that in itself can start to feel reassuring.
Talking to a professional stranger allows You to go at your pace, we can break down what is happening to You and look at it in a more manageable way that works for You We can also look at coping techniques to help you in between the sessions.
I strongly urge You to contact me now, even if it is to arrange a free introductory session, rather than wait another day, week or month. If you had toothache you might want to put it off, but the chances are you won’t due to it being uncomfortable. Whatever is troubling You is similar to toothache, in that it won’t go away, it will just keep berating you.
If coming to see me feels too much, please look at my useful links page as there maybe an alternative support group that you may prefer. There is also the Samaritans, where you can phone, email, or see someone face to face.
Maybe this You Tube clip, may help you make the choice (and no, You don’t have to have depression to see me).
My private practice, has off-road parking and is in West Sussex. Here I will offer you a safe and confidential space for You to talk about whatever You wish to talk about.
You never know, I could be the one professional stranger that helps make your life okay.
Normally when I start writing my blog, I’m not short on words or what to say, occasionally though, I find myself completely stumped! Although without wishing to appear naïve or too opinionated I thought about writing: “It’s ok for everyone to give and receive love” – enough said!
Well that would have been my shortest blog ever! BUT and it’s a big but, whilst to me that sentence is very clear, I understand that for some people it really isn’t as simple as that. In fact, it is laced with pain, anguish, shame, guilt, abandonment and the list could go on.
June is Pride Month, this is in celebration of the LGBTQIA community. This is a positive time to promote self-affirmation, gender identity, gender expression and sexual diversity. Let’s be absolutely clear here, it’s not all about the sex, but more over, we need to be mindful that actually it’s about the emotional and physical attraction to a person.
People seem to automatically start thinking about what the LGBTQIA community gets up to in bed. When two heterosexual people get together in a relationship, I’m not convinced that people start thinking about what they get up to in bed, but maybe how connected they are as a couple.
This is just one of the many challenges that you as part of the LGBTQIA community face as being part of a sexual minority and the impact on your mental health can be very real. Lack of understanding from others including discrimination can lead to depression, anxiety, and/or low self-esteem that may affect your well-being.
You may be trying to understand and make sense of who You are, you may feel confused and not know who to talk to, because you don’t really know what to say. Maybe saying ‘it’ out loud could suddenly feel very real and you may not feel ready for that, or indeed ready to say ‘it’ whatever ‘it’ is for you out loud. To be able to talk to someone who is not a friend or family member, may make it easier for you.
Maybe you have come out and yet you still feel like you have a weight on your shoulders, or are bewildered by the reactions that you received from others. You know how life is impacting on You! To do this on your own can feel very lonely.
It may be that as a family member or friend, You may be finding it hard to support a loved one who is part of the LGBTQIA community. You may not know what to say for fear of getting it wrong or appearing to lack understanding. There are lots of books and the internet has ample information but it may be, that you would like to talk to someone about how You are feeling. Being able to talk to me in my confidential private practice enables you to speak openly, process and make sense of what is going on for You.
To ensure I am the right person to talk to I offer a free introductory session in my private practice in West Sussex. Why not contact me and see where it takes you.
“To give and receive love, is a right – not a privilege!”
Who are you? Now that may feel like a big question, or even intrusive.
Ok, breathe… and smile!
This month’s blog is aiming to link in with May being ‘Self-Discovery’ month.
To try and keep this user friendly and keep you engaged, ‘Who Are You?’ is really time for you to think about You. To give yourself some time to consider yourself, no-one else just You. Self-discovery, is You thinking about what makes you tick, try not to confuse this with, “oh so-and-so likes it when I do x”, because this is about You, not how others like to see you behave, etc.
Sometimes life becomes busy, challenging and generally leans towards routine, we can become ‘absorbed’ in the form of a wife, husband, partner, mum, dad and take on that role. I’m not saying discard your role(s) or abandon routine, but what I am encouraging is how about turning up the volume a little bit to our inner voice?
Our inner voice may be barely a whisper, but it’s still there cheering us on to do things that we may have always liked the idea of doing. This could be absolutely anything like starting a new hobby, going back to an old one that you used to enjoy. Basically, ‘Who Are You?’ is about reconnecting with yourself, dusting yourself down and having a bit of a spring clean to decide what you want to keep and maybe what you would like to change or introduce.
I feel this also links really well with counselling too. Your inner voice may be prompting you about concerns that you have and the impact that this is having on You. You may have anxiety or panic disorder and feel beholden to these feelings and have surrendered to ‘that’s how it is for you’ – but it doesn’t have to be. Together we can look at the anxiety/panic disorder and work towards you being in control and not feeling that it is the other way round.
You may have relationship issues that you feel are holding you back from being You but don’t know where to start or, even that you want to. The concept of change and potential upheaval may feel overwhelming. Yet when you have the time and space to talk it through in a confidential setting, this may seem a little easier for You.
Try this; first of all, make sure you are sitting comfortably and have approximately 5-10 minutes available with potentially no interruptions, oh and turn your mobile off – actually off, not on vibrate.
Ok, here goes… close your eyes, concentrate on being aware of your breathing, you don’t need to change it, just become aware. Your mind will wander, acknowledge where your mind wandered off to and come back to your breath.
Now as you start to relax, I would like You to think about where you are now in your life and then imagine where you would like to be, if you could change one thing that your future self would thank you for, what would that be?
Now return your mind back to your breath, slowly open your eyes and stay seated for another minute or two.
So, how was that for you? Did you know, even before you closed your eyes, what your future self would be like, were you surprised with what came up?
Sometimes it can be hard to imagine to not live with ‘a thing’ that may have hampered us for quite some time, it may feel that it has almost become part of who you are, but I am sure you may be able to remember a time before you had ‘the thing’, so I feel that it could be possible for your future self to not have ‘the thing’ too.
I will offer you a safe and confidential space for You to talk about whatever You wish.
I absolutely believe your future self deserves to know “Who You Are”.
“I was apprehensive at first but Sophie made me feel at ease and comfortable and throughout she helped me believe in myself again and get the confidence and strength back. My time with Sophie was invaluable.”
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Your Space Today is a private counselling service providing a confidential, supportive and safe place to talk.