A practical approach supporting children’s emotional development.
Leah came to Wellspring earlier this year and here she shares about her counselling journey.
(Client and counsellor name have been changed to maintain confidentiality.)
I decided to access Wellspring’s service when I started experiencing sudden, intermittent bouts of depression. Sometimes, I would feel very tearful, and although it would pass, these bouts continued for about twice a month for a few months. I wasn’t sure if it was the result of being in lockdown. I also knew that I had some issues from my childhood that were constantly on my mind.
The counselling sessions at Wellspring were absolutely excellent. I was relieved that there was a service that I could access. I’d had some counselling many years ago, but I got a much better outcome this time than I had before.
My counsellor reassured me that my thoughts and feelings were normal and that lots of people have these problems. I was able to accept my past and to stop thinking about it all the time. Since my counselling sessions, I feel completely positive. The past is dealt with and it’s no longer on my mind.
I have already told a couple of friends about my great experience at Wellspring. The counselling has been very helpful.
If you would like to help us support more people like Leah, you can set up a regular donation over on our Donate Page. Thank you.
And if you are interested in exploring the possibility of counselling for yourself, please find out more about the Counselling Services we offer here .
We are looking to appoint a counsellor for 26 hours per week to work in a local secondary school for the 2021/22 academic year. You will need a qualification in counselling/psychotherapy and experience of working with young people. You will offer counselling sessions to students and support to staff. You will work alongside the staff team to facilitate a whole school approach to good mental health and wellbeing.
The deadline for applications is 21 June 2021 (midnight).
Interviews will take place at the school on 16 July 2021.
If you would like more information please contact our office on 01423 881 881 and ask to speak to Sarah James (Therapeutic Lead).
Matt * came to Wellspring last year and here he shares about his counselling journey and how it has helped him through the lockdowns of the past year.
My Counselling Journey – by Matt (Client name has been changed to maintain confidentiality.)
I contacted Wellspring to talk about my mum’s death when I was younger, and my reluctant journey into parenthood. I loved my kids, but I also loved my own time and freedom, and the stuff that came with being a dad was frequently a source of resentment. It was causing some serious relationship issues for me and my wife too, although I didn’t twig how deep those were when I began.
Over the course of a year, my counsellor helped me to chip away at some firmly entrenched behavioural traits. We tried a range of different approaches – sometimes using props, often just talking around an issue from various angles. I found the sessions enjoyable, challenging at points, and occasionally revelatory and exhilarating.
The centre was a huge support. A very safe and calm atmosphere on entering, and the donation-based costs are really a remarkable thing. It’s what made me decide to attend; otherwise it would have been too expensive.
Over the course of that year, I became quite a lot closer to my memories of my mum, which I had sealed off. I’ve taken quite a few steps to making her memory an active part of my life – something I’ll be working on for a long time, I’m sure, but the counselling kicked that process off.
Much more significant is the progress I made with being a dad: my counsellor suggested some baby steps in this area, and bit by bit, everything has become much more natural and instinctive, and my relationship with my children has gone from strength to strength. I love them more now. I’ve actually felt my love for them grow tangibly, feeling more tender and protective and kindly, feeling the happiness and joy that can come from simply being with them.
It also paved the way for my wife and I to embark upon relationship counselling. She’s had her own individual counselling too, and the time we’d both spent opening up individually gave us a language and a framework which created enough of a sense of safety to broach some deeply buried unspoken subjects.
Now many months into a Coronavirus lockdown with two toddlers – which must be the most intense of situations for an unhappy family – it’s really dawning on us just how valuable Wellspring has been for our lives.
We’re in a truly different place because of the work done there.
We feel much closer together as a couple and as a family, with plenty still to resolve and build on but an increasingly strong foundation from which to do it.
If you would like to help us support more people like Matt, you can set up a regular donation over on our Donate Page. Thank you.
Stress Awareness Month has been held every April, since 1992 to increase public awareness about both the causes and cures for our modern stress epidemic. In today’s blog post, Alex helps us to understand what stress is and how it can lead to burnout.
Stress is a bodily reaction to threat. It is hardwired into all of us. In other words, it involves automatic, ancient programming over which we have little control. If a predator is chasing us we don’t have time to think about our reaction, we experience the stress response in our bodies. We recognise the flight/fight/freeze response in a change to our physical state. The rise of adrenaline and cortisol is programmed to stimulate our muscles to move, our blood supply to surge energy to those muscles and any prospect of resting or digesting food is temporarily halted. We are primed for our best response.
So far so good, in survival terms. However, this is more problematic when we find ourselves stuck here, on a constant loop of these hormonal surges, and no respite to be found. This is chronic stress. Stress that is never given a chance to leave our bodies before the next threat is recognised. It’s like the story of the frog in boiling water. You may be able to cope in the moment, like the frog in warm water but if you gradually increase the temperature eventually the frog will die as it didn’t notice the gradual build up of heat. Our bodies still respond with the automatic programming. The causes of stress may often be personal, but they are universal in the stress response they trigger.
This is burnout.
Resting and healing from burnout needs to address both the immediate distress and the longer term chronic problems of pressure. We need to learn to complete the stress cycle (see previous blog post on this) so all our stresses do not build together over time. Counselling can help with this, and with addressing any overwhelming stress that has been hanging around too long.