Alison Sutcliffe Counselling in the Catford, Forest Hill & Sydenham area

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Anxiety – let’s make friends with it

Our anxiety is there trying to alert us to danger – maybe we should make friends with our anxiety to see what it’s trying to tell us?

The video below captures the full article that is published on Counselling Directory


Struggle With Depression

If you, or someone you know, feels that they might be depressed or have depression this TED Talk is for you. Kevin Breel is a comedian and activist who shares his struggle with depression and his further struggle with society’s stigma around this. Kevin shares the side of him that is seen: the popular sports captain winning academic awards…and the side that gets hidden away: the teenager who almost took his own life.

Kevin’s view that “we all struggle and we all suffer” is one that I agree with. I recall reflecting on something similar – at the time it felt like everyone around me had ‘something going on’ that was making life in some way difficult. Was I managing to only see the issues and difficulties. Was I somehow tuning in too strongly to the dark and ignoring the light. I realised I was just becoming more aware of how things were for most people in general…I was becoming more aware that, as Kevin says, “we all struggle and we all suffer” at times…that is just what life is. Life can be amazing and wonderful and it can also be a struggle. And struggling with depression or anxiety or whatever else that life throws at us does not make us weak…it simply makes us human.

The world that Kevin wants for us all is one that I want for us all too…one where it feels okay for us to celebrate the great parts of life alongside it feeling okay to say “I’m going through hell”.

Kevin’s talk is open, honest, powerful and full of hope.


Blog. Choosing

Choosing A Counsellor

Choosing the right counsellor can feel like an important and potentially daunting process…

It is very important that you feel safe and comfortable with your counsellor. Research tells us that how well you relate to your counsellor is likely to determine how successful your counselling is (Cooper, 2010).
For me it was a journey in learning to trust myself as, when I was looking for a counsellor independently, I didn’t get the right counsellor for me first time around.

With my first counsellor I found that I was sharing my feelings and thoughts and at times I’d feel disconnected…like I wasn't being 'got' at the level that I was striving for to allow me to feel safe to open up. Very occasionally I felt like I was being labelled and put into a box…I can understand how this can feel reassuring at times however, at this time, this wasn't the case for me. I wondered whether this was what counselling was like? You know it’s not like it’s supposed to be easy I told myself.

I questioned myself for a little while and then figured I needed to trust myself, take a chance and make a change as somehow it just didn’t ‘feel’ like a good fit to me. This in itself felt like a pretty big step as I was learning to trust my own sense of things.

Despite being scared, it felt like I needed to let my counsellor know that it didn’t seem to be working between us. My heart was pounding with nerves… And then I let them know how I felt…and they completely accepted my perspective and experience. Where was their anger at my 'rejection'? Where were the fireworks? This was an eye-opener for me…I could honestly and openly let someone know how I felt about our relationship and it would be ok…that experience in and of itself was so helpful.

I found my next counsellor through a colleague and pretty much as soon as I contacted her it felt right. Now I’m not saying that you need to have a ‘love at first session’ encounter with your counsellor but it is important to potentially contact a few different counsellors, trust your instincts, ask the questions you need to and not be afraid to say “sorry this doesn’t feel like a god fit for me”.

P125 Cooper M (2008) Essential Research Findings in Counselling and Psychotherapy: The Facts are Friendly 1st Edition, London, SAGE Publications Ltd.


Blog. OnlineCounselling

Is Online Counselling For Me?

Online Counselling can be great for you if you might find it difficult to get to an appointment at the same place at the same time each week. Online Counselling might work for you if feel a little intimidated at the idea of meeting a counsellor face-to-face. And if you find it easier to express yourself via writing than talking then Online Counselling might be the way forwards.

If you feel you’d benefit from sitting opposite someone in a room, seeing and feeling their reaction to what you’re sharing immediately, then maybe Face-to-Face Counselling is better suited to your needs?

I’ve written about this subject further in my article exploring Online Counselling published on Counselling Directory.


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