Counselling FAQ’s

    Some common FAQ’s (frequently asked questions) about counselling:


    A counsellor is professionally trained to listen sensitively to another’s concerns with an open mind and without judging.  A counsellor won’t offer advice but will help you explore what lies behind current feelings. They will help you become more aware of your own inner resources and support you as you begin to use those resources to help cope with difficult feelings and situations.



    The sessions are generally weekly. The number of sessions depend on the type of therapy and your personal requirements.  It can take a few sessions before you notice changes and improvements in your life.



    Counselling doesn’t cure but it does help understand what lies behind your thoughts, feelings and behaviours. It is a talking therapy that allows you to talk about what distresses you in a safe and comfortable environment. Counselling can help bring closure to events that trouble you. It can help you develop healthier and more appropriate ways of managing life’s difficulties.



    There are different models of counselling such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Psychodynamic, Gestalt, Person Centred and many more. Darren Magee has been trained in using an integrative approach, drawing on different aspects of different therapy models, working collaboratively with the client to achieve a successful outcome.






    ANXIETY: Anxiety can feel like not having any control over something important. Among the many symptoms of anxiety can be disrupted sleep, irritability, palpitations and a constant dread. The anxiety may be a constant feeling of unease affecting your ability to rationalize or more intense in some situations such as phobias or panic attacks. Counselling can help explore the causes of the anxiety, manage the feelings and develop ways to deal with certain situations.


    SELF-ESTEEM: Low self-esteem often leads people to believe they are worthless and useless. Counselling can help explore how you feel and help change how you view yourself and others.


    ABUSE: Abuse can come in many different ways such as physical, emotional, financial, sexual, spiritual etc. It can be one party harming another by inflicting their will on them to control them, sometimes through bullying. Counselling can help you address how this felt and work through those feelings so that you can begin to feel better about yourself.


    SELF HARM: Self-harm can be a way of coping with intense feelings of distress. There are many different methods such as cutting, burning or risk taking behaviours. Counselling can help explore and understand the feelings that cause the self-harm and learn healthier ways to express them.


    DEPRESSION: Depression can affect your mood, your thoughts and your body. It can affect your sleeping pattern, diet and ability to function. The lower your mood the more you may want to withdraw and isolate yourself, which usually ends up leaving you feeling worse. If not addressed there may be the potential of suicidal thoughts. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommend a range of psychological interventions including CBT and psychodynamic psychotherapy.


    ANGER MANAGEMENT: Anger is a normal emotion, but sometimes we can express it impulsively and aggressively. This aggression can cause all manner of problems in our work and personal relationships. If turned inwards it can lead to other problems such as depression, self-harm, addictions etc. Counselling can help find what fuels the anger, develop more healthy ways of expressing it and turn it into a positive drive for change.


    LIFE SKILLS/ PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT: Counselling can help you identify the skills and qualities you already have and develop new ones to help you feel less stressed, feel happier, feel more at ease socially, set goals and realize your ambitions.


    BEREAVEMENT: Losing a loved one is very painful. A myriad of difficult emotions such as shock, anger, depressions and guilt can all come leaving us feeling overwhelmed. Counselling can help provide support through this difficult time as you come to terms with the loss.


    OBSESSIONS / OCD: People who suffer with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) are often troubled by repeated compulsions to perform a specific ritual a particular way, with the right thought in mind, a specific number of times in order to avoid a perceived future misfortune. The obsession is a distressing thought or image and the compulsion is a behaviour or ritual performed in order to avoid or prevent the disturbing thought happening. Counselling can help you rationalise your thinking and develop ways to cope with the triggers and obsessions.


    STRESS / WORK RELATED STRESS: Everyone reacts differently to stress as we all have different thresholds. There is a healthy level of stress which allows us to achieve goals. Too much stress however can leave us feeling overwhelmed. Most people spend more time in work than they do at home. It can give us a sense of purpose and an identity. It also provides us with finances which allows us to live a particular lifestyle. Sometimes work can become stressful, either through workload demands or difficult working relationships that it can cause stress. If unchecked that stress can lead to poor health, low self-esteem, anger and frustration. Counselling can help manage the stress more appropriately as you develop coping strategies.


    TRAUMA / POST TAUMATIC STRESS: Psychological and emotional trauma occurs when a person’s normal ways of coping and managing become overwhelmed, usually through a distressing event such as an accident, a disaster or a violent attack. It can also come from sustained stress over a period of time such as bullying, abuse or any situation where someone may feel helpless and vulnerable. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur when following a traumatic event the person often re-lives the event through flashbacks and nightmares. It can affect sleeping patterns, relationships with others, concentration etc. It can leave a feeling of detachment from others. The symptoms can be severe and impact on day to day functioning. Counselling can help address the feelings of helplessness, explore and develop healthier ways of coping and in some cases even bring closure to the trauma.


    RELATIONSHIPS:  Happy fulfilling relationships don’t always come easily. Relationships break down, people begin to feel lonely, expectations aren’t being met etc. Relationship counselling can help couples break free from old unhelpful habits and improve how they communicate and understand each other. It can help explore needs and open a level of understanding which might not have been there before.


    ….and many more of life’s difficulties and trials. For further information or an initial consultation please contact Sentient Counselling on the contacts page.