Sally Piper Counselling DipHE (Distinction), MBACP (Registered) Counselling in Swanmore, near Bishop's Waltham

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Counselling therapy covering Bishop's Waltham, Hedge End, Fareham and surrounding areas

Hello. I'm Sally Piper, a qualified and registered counsellor.

There can be times when life doesn't feel 'right' or we feel weighed down by something. We may lead busy lives and tend to prioritise other's needs, sometimes losing sight of our own. We may be experiencing confusion, anxiety, loneliness, depression, stress, loss, bereavement or relationship difficulties and be in emotional distress, but may not wish to 'burden' others and perhaps believe we should 'soldier on'. Motivation, enthusiasm and joy are often absent qualities at such times.

Whatever may be impacting you, counselling provides the time and space to prioritise your needs and explore and understand what is going on for you. As a counsellor offering counselling therapy for Bishop's Waltham, Hedge End, Fareham, Eastleigh, and surrounding areas, I can help you find your best way forward, overcome problems and adversities you may be facing, and feel more in control. I can work with you to identify your strengths and build on your resources, explore and make sense of past and current events and recurring patterns in your life, and help you understand and express your feelings more fully.

I offer counselling to individuals aged 18 and over and have experience working with a wide age range, as well as with a wide range of difficulties. I can provide face-to-face, on-line and telephone counselling.

Although this list is not exhaustive, I work with the following:

    Panic attacks
    Low self-esteem/low self-confidence
    Low mood
    Loss and bereavement
    Relationship difficulties
    Work related issues
    Life changes

I offer a private, safe, professional, confidential and accepting environment for us to work together, always respecting that you are the expert on yourself, although you may not currently feel this. I will be genuinely interested in you, helping you to explore what your experiences mean to you and how you are impacted by them. I will regard it as a privilege to be able to accompany you through your process at a pace that is right for you, treating you with compassion and respecting your dignity at all times.

At its heart counselling is about attentive listening, so that you feel heard and understood. It may be the only time when you do not need to hide your feelings away, dress them up, or worry how others may react or be affected.

I believe everyone has an innate capacity for change and growth. If you want to make changes in your life, I will support you and work alongside you.

I am a qualified and registered counsellor offering counselling therapy for Bishop's Waltham, Hedge End, Fareham, Eastleigh and surrounding areas.

If you have any questions about my practice or would like to make an appointment, please text or phone me on 07938 218967, or click here to email. I will be happy to hear from you and aim to respond within 24 hours, or next working day.

Registered member of the BACP practicing in accordance with their Ethical Framework.

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I came across this image and wondered how many of us can relate to it:

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August 2020

As we continue to transition out of lockdown, there is still constant change and uncertainty. We may also be experiencing more demands on ourselves, as well as having to navigate new rules and ways of being, which can feel overwhelming. We may feel worried, anxious and stressed, or we may feel low and depressed and want to withdraw.

The more we can include calming, relaxing experiences into our days, the more in control we may feel.

The strategies listed below in my April 2020 entry could still be helpful and it may also be useful, where we can, to continue with any strategies that supported us during lockdown. In addition, stopping and spending a few minutes mindfully breathing can be especially beneficial.

Breathing exercise:

• Count slowly to 4, breathing in through your nose and allowing your abdomen to expand.
• Hold for a count of 3.
• Slowly breathe out to a count of 7, imagining you are gently blowing out a candle.
• At the end of this out-breath, slowly inhale again to the count of 4.
• Repeat several times.

April 2020

This is a challenging and surreal time for all of us and we may feel fearful and unsafe. Although it is important to stay informed, we need to take care in this modern, media-filled world to protect ourselves from becoming saturated with information about this pandemic. This may increase our anxiety and stress levels, lead to feeling overwhelmed, and potentially to withdrawal and depression.

There are some strategies which may help us during this period:

Connection with others is vital for our mental health. We need to be seen, be heard, to share our thoughts, feelings, laughter, fears and hopes. Talking on the phone or using platforms such as Skype, Facetime, WhatsApp and Zoom can help us connect with individuals or groups, especially important if we live alone.

A lack of predictability can be unsettling. Creating a schedule and structuring our day and our week by putting in plans to connect with others, work, do chores, eat meals, etc. can help.

The normal reaction to a stressful event is to get moving – our ‘Fight/Flight’ reaction. Our options are limited at this time, but it is important to use this energy by doing some activity with our bodies – exercising, household chores, dancing, etc.

We need to identify what calms us – listening to music, practicing yoga, mindfulness, meditation – and do more of these things to help reduce our anxiety and stress levels.

This can also be a time to explore, rediscover and connect with our creativity through writing, playing an instrument, drawing, cooking, etc.

Hopefully these strategies may help us through these uncertain times. However, we and those around us are currently at greater risk of getting into destructive behaviours. The following organisations can offer support:

Refuge - National domestic abuse helpline for women and children
Respect - Domestic abuse support for men
Galop - Domestic abuse support for LGBT+
Drinkaware - Advice about alcohol and isolation

If you are in despair, Samaritans provides support 24 hours a day.

Talking about our feelings is not a sign of weakness.

"It is indeed a radical act of love just to sit down and be quiet for a time by yourself."

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Following a recommendation, I recently purchased 'The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse' by Charlie Mackesy. Through a series of heartfelt conversations and beautiful illustrations, the book explores universal feelings and experiences, such as courage, love and friendship. The author sees the characters as representing aspects of the same person, with the horse being the wisest, deepest part:

"What is the bravest thing you've ever said?" asked the boy. "Help" said the horse.

"Asking for help isn't giving up" said the horse. "It's refusing to give up."

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