My approach to counselling . . .

  • Short-term counselling or longer
  • Focused on the presenting issues and the client’s goals
  • Crisis and trauma counselling
  • Relational and holistic
  • Person-centred
  • Transpersonal and integrative
  • Objective and non-judgmental
  • Major influences include: Crisis theory, trauma theory, Babette Rothschild, C.R. Rogers, C.G. Jung, S.W. Porges and polyvagal theory, A.N. Schore’s affect regulation theory, transpersonal psychology, psychodynamics, the evidence base from research and clinical practice

Counselling for Stress and Personal Crisis

What often makes people think of seeking counselling is that they are experiencing a crisis in their lives. This means that their usual way of managing things, or of coping with difficult emotions, events or circumstances, isn’t working for them. They may be struggling to cope, or feel that they and/or their life are out of control and that they are no longer able to handle things.

Common symptoms in this kind of stress-related or emotional crisis include anxiety, depression, emotional overwhelm or emotional outbursts, social withdrawal, physical aches and pains, and disturbances to sleep, appetite, digestion, memory and general cognitive functioning. Life’s normal routine is disrupted and dysfunctional coping mechanisms, such as dissociation, alcohol and drug use or other uncharacteristic behaviours, may come to the fore. For some people there may also be thoughts of self-harm or even suicide.

Crises may be precipitated by a traumatic event such as an accident, or physical or sexual assault. In the immediate aftermath of trauma, you may feel emotionally raw, confused or angry, or perhaps numbing is keeping you from feeling anything very much at all. Other life events can also be experienced as crises, such as relationship breakup, a medical diagnosis, loss of one’s job or home, or the loss of a loved one. Sometimes crises can develop just through the accumulation of stress over time and a diminution of one’s normal ability to cope, but there is usually an event of some kind that triggers the crisis reaction. People who are already sensitive due to pre-existing circumstances may be especially vulnerable to experiencing events and negative emotions as crises.

Whatever your situation, finding a way to stabilise, feel safe and in control again is vital
so you can begin to deal with what is happening in your life.

 

This is when professional help can make all the difference, both in supporting you and in working with you to find a way through the difficulties. Counselling for crisis or trauma is generally short-term and aims to help you regain your adaptive coping capacity and find or develop the resources you need to move forward. It is person-centred, compassionate and non-judgmental. It can include a variety of ways to help you understand and manage the symptoms and feelings you are experiencing whilst encouraging personal growth to meet the challenges you may be facing. It is goal-directed and works with you to build resources, foster resilience, and help you find the best solution to move forward with in your life. If appropriate, psychotherapy and trauma treatment are available, and referrals can be made to outside agencies for additional specialist support.

Counselling work for personal crisis is informed by evidence-based crisis intervention theory. This is different from psychotherapeutic treatment models, and serves a different purpose. Crisis counselling helps you regain adaptive coping capacity, whereas psychotherapy, which takes a longer term view, addresses the issues underlying the development of a crisis.

Mental Health Crisis

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis (e.g. thoughts of imminent serious self-harm or suicide, disturbed behaviour, or psychotic symptoms) and you need urgent assistance, please make contact with one or more of the agencies listed on the Mental Health Crisis page, who will be able to help you.
“… for an individual, crisis is the perception or experiencing
of an event or situation as an intolerable difficulty that exceeds
the person’s current resources and coping mechanisms.”
(James & Gilliland, 2017, p. 9)

 

Crisis counselling focuses on the current status of the person in crisis
and aims to restore adaptive coping. It is a short-term intervention which offers
support, resources and stabilisation, with options for further assistance and treatment.

“… for an individual, crisis is the perception or experiencing
of an event or situation as an intolerable difficulty that exceeds
the person’s current resources and coping mechanisms.”
(James & Gilliland, 2017, p. 9)

 

Crisis counselling focuses on the current status of the person in crisis and aims to restore adaptive coping. It is a short-term intervention which offers support, resources and stabilisation, with options for further assistance and treatment.

Make an Enquiry

If you would like more information about psychological therapy and how we may be able to work together to address your concerns,
you are warmly invited to call, email, or message me through the form on the Contact page.

07801 273768 / info@karenjwilliams.co.uk

Bibliography

Everly, G. S., & Mitchell, J. T. (2008). Integrative crisis intervention and disaster mental health. Ellicott City, MD: Chevron.

Flannery, R. B., & Everly, G. S. (2000). Crisis intervention: A review.  International Journal of Emergency Mental Health, 2(2), 119-125.

Greenstone, J. L., & and Leviton, S. C. (2011). Elements of crisis intervention (3rd ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks-Cole, Cengage Learning.

Hobfoll, S. E., Watson, P., Bell, C. C., Bryant, R. A., Brymer, M. J., Friedman, M. J, … Ursano, R. J.  (2007). Five essential elements of immediate and mid-term mass trauma intervention: Empirical evidence. Psychiatry, 70(4), 283-315.

James, R. K., & Gilliland, B. E. (2017). Crisis intervention strategies (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Porges, S. W. (2007). The polyvagal perspective. Biological Psychology, 74(2), 116-143.

Porges, S. W. (2011). The polyvagal theory: Neurophysiological foundations of emotions, attachment, communication, self-regulation.  New York, NY: Norton.

Porges, S. W. (2017). The pocket guide to the polyvagal theory: The transformative power of feeling safe. New York, NY: Norton.

Rothschild, B. (2000). The body remembers: The psychophysiology of trauma and trauma treatment. New York, NY: Norton.

Rothschild, B. (2017). The body remembers, volume 2: Revolutionizing trauma treatment. New York, NY: Norton.

Schore, A. N. (2011). The science of the art of psychotherapy. New York, NY: Norton.

Yeager, K. R., Burgess, A. W., & Roberts, A. R. (2015). Crisis intervention for persons diagnosed with clinical disorders based on the stress-crisis continuum. In K. R. Yeager, & A. R. Roberts (Eds.), Crisis intervention handbook: Assessment, treatment, and research (4th ed., pp. 128-150). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Yeager, K. R., & Roberts, A. R. (2015). Bridging the past and present to the future of crisis intervention and crisis management. In K. R. Yeager, & A. R. Roberts (Eds.), Crisis intervention handbook: Assessment, treatment, and research (4th ed., pp. 3-35). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.