What is Stress?
Stress in a natural reaction, which helps us to cope when certain events place strong demands on us in the course of our everyday lives. Accidents, financial problems, work problems, family and relationship difficulties all lead to stress.
With proper coping skills we can meet our stressful challenges head-on and aspire to achieve our full potential. Some people even thrive on stress and it motivates them to get things done.
Stress and anxiety can affect your interaction with friends and family, your working relationships, and adversely disrupt the overall quality of your life.
Studies have also revealed that stress triggers panic attacks, irritable bowel syndrome, somatic illnesses, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, addictions, suicidal ideation, self-harm, low self esteem, and many other debilitating conditions. Studies have even shown that stress can increase the growth rate of cancer cells in the body.
Stress can manifest itself in sweating, palpitations, rapid heart beat, faintness, dizziness, dry mouth, shaking, crying, shouting irrationally, etc.
Your body produces adrenaline and cortisol (which is a by-product of adrenaline) in order to energise and prepare itself to face stressful events. Your body needs to relax between stressful episodes; otherwise your over stressed body is producing more of these chemicals than it can healthily manage.
Unless you learn to manage your stress effectively you are at a high risk of "burning out", and this will in turn have a negative and harmful impact on your physical and mental health.
Stress affects everyone differently and therefore requires a wide range of different coping strategies to manage. You should choose the strategies which work best for you in any given situation.
It is impossible to eliminate stress from your life (in fact, a certain amount of stress is required to function normally). However, it is imperative that you learn the skills necessary to manage it. By effectively managing your stress on an ongoing basis, you improve and expand your coping skills and your life and health will improve accordingly.
The Empower Yourself Series of books (republished here as articles) evolved as a common sense step by step approach to personal dilemmas that can happen to anyone, at any time, during their lifetime. Our aim is to reach as many people as possible in order to help them to empower themselves.
You are the person best equipped to identify what you need to live a happy and satisfying life. In these articles we aim to provide you with essential information and therapy skills to enable you to deal with your immediate problem on a 24/7 basis.
Think of this collection of articles as a toolbox that will assist you in building up your own skills and in so doing, help you to use the talents that you have to deal with what is causing anxiety, stress, panic attacks, and anger in your life.
Each category of articles in the series is a stand alone, single problem solution based aid.
The strategies outlined in this series can be used by anyone as needed throughout their life, regardless of gender, culture, religion, political affiliations, ethnicity or sexual orientation. However we stress that this series of articles is not an alternative to prescribed medical interventions, or to therapy itself, but rather to support them.
Those considering therapy, or those who have no knowledge or experience of therapy whatsoever, or who are fearful of what therapy involves, will benefit greatly from the articles extracted from the Empower Yourself Series. The series is also a helpful reference / guide to those who are already in therapy.
The strategies and information outlined in these articles may give the reader an insight into what might happen during counselling sessions. This in turn may help to reduce the mystery, stigma, and fear-factor sometimes associated with the counselling process.
Embracing the strategies detailed in the Empower Yourself Series will empower you on a personal level, and will also promote both your physical /mental health, and help to improve many other aspects of your life.
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The information above is extracted from The Empower Yourself book series, written by Mariad Burke and Dr. Phil Robert. Dr. Phil Robert can be found online at: www.philrobertcounsellor.com.
Some more of Dr. Robert's work can be found at : www.youtube.com/channel/UCvf7cfpoDr1aXPJco6edbVA
Disclaimer: The material presented above is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute care, treatment or other professional advice. Should you require specific help, you should seek the assistance of an appropriately trained professional person.
Earlier this year we added Room 4 to The Counselling Centre. This addition means that we have now increased the capacity of the centre to provide Counselling & Therapeutic services by 100%. This addition to capacity was needed, as the demand for our services continues to grow.
When The Counselling Centre first opened its doors in 2016, we provided a room rental service for Counsellors and Therapists. In 2018 we now also offer two additional services: Psychotherapy for Students of Counselling & Psychotherapy, and the Affordable Counselling Service.
The Counselling Centre was created to meet the demand for a professional centre, custom designed for Counselling & Psychotherapy. Over the last two years we have grown to meet additional needs in this sector, and it is our aim to continue to grow and develop so that we remain the premier provider of Counselling and Therapy rooms in South Dublin.
We are exceptionally pleased with how The Counselling Centre has grown and evolved in it's first two years. Our website will be updated soon to reflect the aesthetic changes that the centre has undergone through its maturing. Most of all, however, we are excited to see what developments the next two years will bring.
At The Counselling Centre we aim to support and meet the needs of individuals who are training to be professional Counsellors and Psychotherapists. Becoming a professional Counsellor requires a commitment to undertake the journey of personal discovery. A core component of training in the field of Counselling and Psychotherapy is the undertaking of one’s own therapy, as it is not possible to guide and accompany a person to psychological depths that you have not yet reached yourself.
We also understand that the journey towards qualification as a professional Counsellor and Psychotherapist is an expensive one. To this end, we have a number of therapists at The Counselling Centre who have agreed to set aside a portion of their client hours to offer Psychotherapy for students of Counselling and Psychotherapy at a reduced cost.
To apply for this service please visit our Students of Counselling and Psychotherapy page.
As you might be aware, back in August we launched our Affordable Counselling Service. Now that this service has been in operation for a couple of months, we have really noticed how great the need for such a service is.
It very quickly became clear that there is a great need for more affordable, yet professional Counselling & Psychotherapy services in the Dublin area. Right from day one the amount of enquiries that we have received regarding the Affordable Counselling Service have been higher than expected. We were aware that there was a need for our service, but perhaps we were not aware just how great the need was.
In recent years a number of affordable counselling services in the area have closed. This has led to a gap where many people who have need of professional counselling and psychotherapy have not been able to avail of it due to the cost.
Also of note is the fact that in recent years there has been a change in the dialogue around mental health. This has led to a greater understanding and acceptance around mental health concerns (although much still remains to be done). More and more people, who may have suffered alone in the past, are becoming aware of the benefits that Counselling & Psychotherapy can bring for our mental health. This has led to a greater number of people looking to access these services; but as not everyone has the same means, cost has been a prohibitive factor for some.
At The Counselling Centre, we are doing our part to help address this need for lower priced therapy in Dublin. Since we have launched the Affordable Counselling Service, we have successfully matched over 90% of enquiries from people looking for affordable counselling, with fully qualified therapists who can provide them with the service that they require.
At The Counselling Centre we have a number of fully qualified Counsellors & Psychotherapists who have set aside a number of hours each week to offer professional Counselling & Psychotherapy at an affordable rate. If you wish to avail of this service please get in touch by calling us on 083 3509099 or by filling out the enquiry form here.
Mindfulness is a deceptively powerful tool that can help us in many ways. It’s so simple however, that many people underestimate the effect it can have and therefore don’t put enough time into practicing it properly. When used in the moment, it can bring a wonderful feeling of relaxation and peace, but the bigger benefits come only when it is practiced on a regular basis.
A few of the many benefits of meditation are:
I had a client once who used to compare meditation to “eating your vegetables”. “You might not feel like doing it every day”, he said “but you do because you know it’s good for you.”
I love that analogy, and it’s true – meditation can feel like that in the beginning. But I know that if you stick with it you will soon reach a point where you wouldn’t want to be without it.
The Mindfulness audios can be downloaded to your computer, phone or tablet. This way it is easy to have it accessible anytime, so you can begin to develop your own meditation practice – and feel the benefits that it will bring.
I invite you to give it a try and see how you get on. If you have any questions on the free mindfulness audios, or on meditation in general, feel free to ask in the comments below. You can download the free 5 Minute Mindfulness mp3 here.
At the end of this month we celebrate the one year anniversary of The Counselling Centre. One year ago we opened our doors to provide a much needed service to therapists and clients alike - and we are pleased to report that our first year has been a very productive one.
Much has been accomplished in our first year. Some of the accomplishments that we are most pleased with include:
On reflection now, we can see that we have managed to achieve many of our goals for the first year at The Counselling Centre. As we moved through the year we have adapted some of these goals into new objectives, and of course we will have more goals to strive towards in our second year. It has taken a lot of time, effort, and energy to build The Counselling Centre into the service that it is today. It hasn’t always been easy - but it has always been rewarding to see it fulfilling its objective.
We would like to thank everyone that has used the centre over the past twelve months; from Counsellors, to Therapists, to Clients alike. We appreciate all of the positive feedback that we have received over the year, and it is our hope that we can continue to provide you with the highest standards for Counselling and Psychotherapy that you expect and deserve.
Many books have been written on the benefits of Counselling & Psychotherapy, and the opportunities that it brings for healing and personal growth. It is fair to say that everyone can benefit from sitting in the therapeutic chair. However we realise that not everybody has the means to do so.
Therapy can be expensive when you engage with a private therapist. State provided services are available but unfortunately are hard to access as there is nowhere near enough provision of services to meet the mental health needs of the country. Low cost, non – state services are available, but they usually have very long waiting lists and are staffed by volunteer trainee therapists.
With this in mind, here at The Counselling Centre we have a number of fully qualified therapists who have set aside some of their appointments to offer more affordable counselling.
If you are looking for counselling but the cost has prevented you from finding a therapist, we may have a solution for you. Get in touch with us here at The Counselling Centre and where possible we will match you with a therapist who can offer you a lower cost service.
You can find our contact details here.
Much of the upset that we endure in day to day life can be healed with a little understanding of how our thought affects us. Our minds influence our emotions, which in turn influence our bodies.
When we understand how this connection works it becomes a lot easier to choose how we want to feel, rather than being victim to whatever the day throws at us. I’m going to give you three easy ways that you can stop fear, stress, anxiety or anger from getting in the way of your happiness.
These emotions are typically our bodies’ response to a perceived threat. It’s what’s known as the fight-or-flight response. It would be more accurate to name it the fight-flight-or-freeze response however, as these are the ways that our body adapts to deal with danger. The medical term for this is the sympathetic nervous system.
Historically this response system has served us very well, as our bodies would adapt to face danger. Various physiological changes occur, such as increased blood flow to our arms (for fighting) and legs (for running) and numbing of the pain receptors in our body, and a rush of adrenaline to help us respond faster to whatever threatens us.
When the threat is real this response system works brilliantly, and gives us our best chance of survival. Today though, rather than the threat being real (something like a predatory animal), it is often imagined (judgement or criticism for example)...