top of page


On my Social Media I have been going through the counselling alphabet.

These small sound bites just give you a flavour of certain areas of mental health or counselling

Here I share letters A to F.

If you want to continue understanding more about mental health and counselling then follow me on Facebook or

Gold letter A for Anxiety
A is for Anxiety

So let’s start with A for ANXIETY

ANXIETY is a normal and healthy emotion.

However if worry and fear about things become overwhelming and impact on your daily life then you need to do something about it.

If anxiety starts to take control you will probably experience some of these physical symptoms on a regular basis

*increased heart rate

*pins and needles



*feeling sick

*choking sensations

*tension headaches

*hot flushes

*sweaty palms

There are a number of anxiety disorders

• GENERALISED ANXIETY DISORDER (GAD) you will feel anxious most days and worry about lots of different things

• SOCIAL ANXIETY you have a fear of being criticised, embarrassed or humiliated by others

• PANIC DISORDER you will experience intense and uncontrollable feelings of anxiety combined with physical symptoms. It may feel like you are having a heart attack

• OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER (OCD) you will experience intrusive thoughts & fears & to relieve this you will carry out repetitive behaviours & rituals

•POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD) if you have experienced a traumatic event you may experience flash backs & triggers & avoid things related to the event.

If you feel Anxiety is a problem for you seek help from your GP or a counsellor, who can help you find ways to manage it

Gold letter B is for Belief
B is for Belief


Everyone has their own beliefs and your beliefs may differ from someone else’s.

So where do your beliefs come from? You learn them through life.

Growing up your beliefs will often come from the adults around you, what they believe, they teach you and as that’s all you know, it then becomes your belief too.

However as you grow and mature you may find these beliefs are not useful to you anymore.

As a boy if you fell down and hurt yourself you may be told “big boys don’t cry”. If you are told that enough, it becomes your belief.

You may proudly show your school work to your parents to be told “that’s not good enough”.

If you are told that enough, it becomes your belief.

You may show off your skills to others and be told “don’t show off”. If you are told that enough, it becomes your belief.

Do all your beliefs still apply to you today.

Maybe you are now a successful business person, but still think you are “not good enough”.

Maybe you are going through really hard times, but won’t tell anyone because “big boys don’t cry”.

Maybe you have an amazing voice and want to be a pop star but are prevented from trying because you don’t want to “show off”

Are the beliefs you had all your life useful to you now. If not it’s time to start changing them.

Often we are unaware of these unconscious beliefs and wonder why life is so hard, counselling can help you uncover and explore these beliefs and change them to beliefs that are more helpful to you in the here and now.

Gold letter C for CBT
C is for CBT

For the letter C we are looking at

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

There are many different types of counselling and therapy and they all offer something different.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is based on working with the way you think and interpret life events and how this can affect your behaviours and the way you feel. Understanding it’s not the events themselves that upset you, but the meaning that you give to them.

It is a collaborative therapy between you and the counsellor working towards a specific goal, and requires your active involvement to gain results.

Through the collaborative working with your counsellor you will learn that while you cannot control everything that happens to you, or in the world around you, you can take control of how you interpret these and deal with them.

CBT helps you identify and change your thought patterns and behaviours that may contribute to your difficulties and the emotions you subsequently feel.

The tools and techniques you learn in your CBT sessions can become part of your daily life to help you understand how changing the way you think and behave can continue to increase a sense of well being for you.

CBT is a research based therapy that has been shown to be effective in treating anxiety and depression.

Unlike some other talking therapies it focuses on your current problems, rather than contributing issues from your past.

I use CBT alongside other talking therapies and have certainly found it very useful to use with anxiety and depression.

If your problems stem from a traumatic past then I would probably work in a different way, that is more relevant for you.

If you would like to know more get in touch today and we can chat about how I can help you.


Everybody, at some point in their life, will experience times of deep sadness that are difficult to manage.

However if these feelings of sadness persist then you may be experiencing depression.

Depression can feel different for different people but many of the signs and symptoms will be similar, you may feel all of these or only some of these, but you will be aware of an overwhelming feeling that makes life seem like it is too hard to cope with.

*deep feelings of sadness

*dark moods

*feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness

*changes in appetite

*changes in sleep patterns

*lack of energy

*inability to concentrate

*lack of interest in things you used to enjoy

*withdrawing from friends and family

*pre-occupation with death or thoughts of harming yourself.

If you have experienced any of these persistently for a period of time then you should seek help from your GP.

Depression is fairly common, affecting about 1 in 10 people at some point during their life. It affects men and women, young and old.

There are many types of depression here are some:-

1. Major Depression or clinical depression, the most common type, has an effect on your ability to function in daily life. If any of the above symptoms have lasted for more than 2 weeks, then you may be experiencing major depression. 80% of people who seek treatment will see an improvement in 4-6 weeks

Changes in lifestyle, counselling and/or medication are all useful interventions.

2. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is directly caused by the time of year and usually occurs in winter months, when day light hours are shorter. Light therapy, counselling and/or medication can help reduce the symptoms.

3. Persistent Depression a chronic depression that lasts for more days than not for a period of at least 2 years. This pervasive and long lasting depression can be helped with medication and/or therapy

4. Postpartum Depression, often referred to as Postnatal depression, is a common occurrence among new mothers. Hormonal changes and lifestyle changes contribute to the onset. Counselling and/or medication can help.

6. Bi-Polar is identified by periods of depression and mania with periods of normal mood in between. It is common for people to experience this for years before diagnosis. The period of mania needs to be identified alongside the depression.

It can be hard to ask for help when you're not feeling good. But the sooner you get help the better it is for your recovery.

If you feel you may have depression call today for a chat, together we can work on reducing the symptoms and how they affect you daily.

I recommend watching the video “I had a Black Dog, his name was Depression” which clearly describes how depression can feel.

Gold Letter E for Emotion
E is for Emotion


Emotions are our feelings. Literally. We feel them in our bodies, increased heart rate, tingling sensations, heat etc.

We can think something, but the physical sensation we experience is the emotion attached to that thought.

Gaining control over your emotions will help you become mentally stronger. Fortunately, anyone can become better at regulating their emotions, but just like any other skill, managing your emotions requires practice and dedication.

During the 1970s, psychologist Paul Eckman identified six basic emotions that he suggested were universally experienced in all human cultures. The emotions he identified were

1. happiness

2. sadness

3. disgust

4. fear

5. surprise

6. anger

Emotions play a critical role in how we live our lives, from influencing how we engage with others in our day to day lives to affecting the decisions we make. By understanding some of the different types of emotions, you can gain a deeper understanding of how these emotions are expressed and the impact they have on your behavior.

Many people struggle with identifying their emotions or controlling their emotions.

Counselling can help you understand your emotions better and through understanding, accepting and controlling your emotions you will find you have a better understand yourself and others around you.

Gold letter F for Fear
F is for Fear

F is for FEAR

FEAR is an unpleasant emotion or thought that you have when you are frightened or worried that something bad might happen or might have happened.

FEAR is our most basic human emotion almost from birth we are equipped with survival instincts necessary to respond to fear and keep us safe.

When you sense danger you get a fear response which can be divided into a biochemical response and an emotional response.

The biochemical response is the same for everyone the emotional response is personal to you. Your current environment, past environment and past experiences can all have an impact on your emotional response to fear.

When danger is perceived your biochemical response will kick in and high adrenaline levels will trigger your ‘fight or flight’ response, so you can run away from the danger or fight back.

‘Fight or flight’ is an automatic response that is crucial to survival.

You will experience physical symptoms of fear such as racing heart, churning stomach, sweating, the need to go to the toilet etc, preparing you for ‘fight or flight’.

FEAR can be rational or appropriate and irrational or inappropriate.

An irrational fear is called a phobia.

Anxiety and fear are different but if you have anxiety you will likely experience the physical symptoms associated with fear regularly. This may be because of your constant worries about danger.

Resilience comes from facing your fears, helping your brain to realise you are not in danger will reduce the likelihood of your biochemical response and stop the fight or flight response and therefore prevent the physical symptoms from occurring.

If fear, phobias or anxiety are a problem for you counselling and especially CBT, can help you find ways to manage them.

Look out for the next installment or visit my facebook page to read more

Laura Knight Dip.Couns MBACP is a qualified and experienced counsellor based in Poole, Dorset. Her private practice SeeClear Counselling offers affordable, professional counselling when you need most. Counselling is for everyone and can help you navigate life changes or deal with long term problems.

Please cal text or E-mail me to book an appointment. 07975 733029 Laura

42 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page