There’s no doubt, it’s been a tough couple of years. We’ve lived through unprecedented times, and it may have taken its toll. With 2022 now up and running, it’s a good time to take a pause, put yourself first and consider how you’re faring. Here are some signs it’s time to put yourself first and book in a counsellor post-Covid.
Have anxieties and worries taken root in your mind or resurfaced from historical experiences. Have recent events had an impact on your relationships or your sense of self? Or maybe you’re just ‘not quite feeling right’ and can’t quite shake that sense of unease?
If so, seeking support through counselling can help to mentally process all that’s happened and bring about clarity and hope for the future.
The mental health fallout of COVID-19
Firstly, you’re not alone. Evidence from a Government national survey suggests that women are significantly more likely than men to have experienced negative mental health impacts from COVID-19 and its fallout, including higher levels of stress, depression and anxiety (1).
Of course, that’s not to say men haven’t struggled with their own experiences of lockdowns and isolation. However, evidence indicates that the impact on women has been far greater. A primary contributor of this stems from women taking a larger share of caring responsibilities, for their children, their wider family, and the home. This is compounded with extra pressures of work or other commitments. Despite this, taking time to process our experiences and find some mental clarity often sits at the bottom of the ‘to-do’ list.
We generally find time to make that appointment with our GP and our dentist, maybe a couple of specialists are also on our radar – but often the state of our mental health, impacted by the stress, anxiety or painful experiences of everyday life, gets left unattended.
Signs it’s time to put yourself first and book a counsellor
The most important thing to know is that you aren’t alone in your thoughts and feelings. It’s a perfectly natural response to such unprecedented circumstances.
If this resonates with you, engaging with a counsellor may provide the safe and compassionate space that you need right now. If you find the idea of ‘counselling’ unnerving, please be assured that doesn’t have to be the case.
Counselling doesn’t need to be a lengthy process, you may determine you only need a few sessions. Don’t underestimate the power of being able to verbalise what you are experiencing and what you are feeling, with the reassurance of validation and acceptance. Alternatively, you may determine a longer period of counselling would be beneficial, to explore deeper and/or broader to resolve hurt and pain or to gain an empowering understanding of who you are.
Here are two signs it’s time to book:
- You haven’t yet taken the time to process your experiences and find some mental clarity post-lockdown.
- You have been considering seeking support or help for a while, but have yet to make that appointment.
Remember, whatever you are experiencing now is only a part of who you are. We all have multiple identities: mum, wife, partner, sister, daughter, friend, colleague, boss, the funny one, the marathon runner, the dependable one, the artist… the list goes on. At times in our life, these different identities can be lost or suppressed. At times, they are in conflict. Working with a counsellor to gain a healthy integration of these identities can lead to insight and clarity about who you are, your strengths and your values and how you can use these to deal with current and future challenges.
Only you know your own experience and what is happening for you. If you’ve tried to banish or suppress unhelpful thoughts or emotions and found it hasn’t worked, or been quietly contemplating whether seeking help might be worth a try, please reach out for the support you deserve.
Finding the right counsellor for you
The idea of ‘counselling’ can be quite unnerving, especially if it’s not something you’ve previously experienced. That doesn’t need to be the case, but it will be important to find a counsellor with whom you feel comfortable, can relate to, and who supports you with judgement-free respect for your needs and what you bring along. It may even take ‘trying out’ a few counsellors until you find the one that suits.
Visit Katie at Brighten Counselling & Psychotherapy
Katie Mills’ personable approach, at Brighten Counselling & Psychotherapy, offers that necessary space and compassion. Whether COVID induced or otherwise, Brighten Counselling offers a place to explore and find personal insight and clarity, or to heal from difficult, stressful or distressing experiences. The options of both online and face-to-face sessions, at the calming office in Neutral Bay, are offered.
Originating from Brighton in the UK (note the play on words from her hometown!), Katie moved to Sydney in 2007 with her family. Although the plan had been to return ‘home’ after a couple of years, the family became integrated into the community and decided to settle in Sydney. Of course, this wasn’t an easy decision, being so far away from family and close friends. However, she has lived on the North Shore since that time with her children having attended local schools. She is now a North Shore Mum of ‘grown-up’ children.
An underlying principle of Katie’s approach to counselling is recognition of our uniqueness, that we will each face and emerge from personal challenges differently, there is no right or wrong way. Whilst recognising our individualism, she also has lived experience and understanding of the types of challenges and life stages that families face within our community. She has experienced the joy and fun of raising a family locally, alongside the bumps, hurdles, worries and sometimes heartache of family life. It is Katie’s life experiences combined with her values of trust, caring and authenticity that enhance her ability to empathise with others, and support them through difficult times.
It was the passion to do just that, that led Katie to follow her heart to train and work as a counsellor. Having previously worked for others, she decided to start her own practice which evolved into Brighten Counselling & Psychotherapy. Here, Katie is committed to providing a counselling service that offers personable, warm and collaborative support.
You may be searching to understand what is happening, why you are feeling as you do. In which case, together you will explore the issues within a safe space and at a pace you feel comfortable with. However, you may already have insight about what is happening and why, but are looking for effective strategies to deal with the issues and move forward. This being so, Katie will work with you to identify what strategies meet your needs and goals, utilising evidence-based practice and Katie’s experience of what has helped others.
Special Rates: Brighten Counselling & Psychotherapy
In recognition of the challenging and unprecedented times we find ourselves in, Brighten’s session rates have been reduced until 31 March 2022:
- 1 hour consultation – NOW $100* (normally $120)
- 3 x 1 hour consultation – NOW $270* (normally $315)
Both online and face-to-face bookings are available. Although Medicare rebates are not yet available for counselling services (hopefully to be introduced soon), Brighten Counselling is registered with selected Private Health Providers, allowing clients access to rebates. If you have health insurance, check with your provider whether you are covered for these counselling services.
Essential Details: Brighten Counselling & Psychotherapy
- Address: Suite 3a, Level 3, 50 Yeo Street, Neutral Bay, NSW, 2089
- Phone: 0434 422 071
- Australian Bureau of Statistics, Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey, 2020.