& addiction counselling
Everyone experiences hurt or confusion at some point in their life, but for some, it can leave you feeling as if you really can’t cope. It might cause you to feel unbearable anxiety or to become depressed and stressed.
Finding a safe place to talk is a good first step to feeling better and here at Charter, we will listen to you and support you to find your own answers and learn new behaviours, so you can feel comfortable in your skin and take more control of your life.
Private and confidential individual psychotherapy
It might feel scary contacting a therapist to ask for help, and we will do all we can to make this as easy as possible for you. We are told again and again by our clients that coming to Charter was the best thing they have ever done for themselves, and we can see it in the wonderful changes that happen here all the time. Going on a journey of self discovery can be one of the most rewarding decisions you will ever make, and we are here to walk with you every step of the way.
Whatever is worrying you, we will do our best to help. People often seek therapy after a life changing event, when they just don’t seem to be able to connect to friends, after a divorce, are having difficulty in relationships or are experiencing loss. Just as often people come to us because of an overwhelming sense of anxiety or because they feel broken by depression, or stress.
Individual therapy can help you manage how you feel, and it can be a big step in building self-esteem. But finding the right therapist can feel like an impossible task at a time when you are at your most vulnerable. Through Charter, we can introduce you to our network of therapists and specialists who are well known to us, and who we feel confident to refer to. Sometimes it’s important for us to invite you in for assessment to make sure the referral is the right fit, and sometimes it’s obvious from the information you give on enquiry.
What you can be sure of is that we pride ourselves in helping people to get well, and that includes finding the right people for them to work with. If helpful, we can also refer to a network of consultants and specialists, who are also well-known to us, who can support the success of your treatment.
Feeling fearful, worried and uneasy
Feelings of anxiety can seriously undermine your ability to enjoy anything, or to get on with your life. Every moment is marred by a constant nagging and unease that often you can’t put your finger on. You might start to lose sleep or your appetite, to feel breathless or panicked. But because this is a feeling that can be so hard to describe, it might be difficult for others to reassure you, so instead you say nothing. Thus anxiety can be extremely isolating, and these feelings can often lead to panic attacks and severe depressive symptoms.
Anxiety is a common presenting problem at Charter. Many people suffering from anxiety go on to self-medicate through using food, drugs or alcohol. They can experience relationship difficulties as they become increasingly shut off, even from the people they love. In our experience, anxiety goes hand-in-hand with feelings of helplessness, of low self-esteem and is often connected to an inability to be angry. We also find that it is quite common for anxiety to be a symptom of unresolved experiences of trauma.
Charter will thoroughly assess you to see if you would benefit from therapy with us, or from one of our workshops . Often it is useful to treat anxiety under a trauma approach, understanding the anxiety as a kind of amplified ‘fight, flight or freeze’ response so that you are ‘caught in worrying’ instead of facing whatever has happened to you. At other times we simply need to listen to each individual so that you realise that your anxiety has roots in reality and if you deal with that reality the, anxiety will subside.
We can also work in collaboration with other consultants and a network of external specialists well known to us.
What’s the point?
People often use the word ‘depressed’ to describe feeling ‘fed up’ or ‘bored’. But clinical depression is more than feeling down for a few days, it is a destructive sense of hopelessness and low mood that persists over months or even years. Depression is a genuine health condition. Whether it’s clinical depression, an inability to express your emotions or a result of a traumatic event, depression isn’t a sign of weakness or something you can ‘get a grip’ over. But with treatment and the right support, people can, and do, get well.
Affecting people in many different ways, depression can cause a wide variety of symptoms that can disrupt your life: feelings of hopelessness and unhappiness, irritability and guilt, to loss of motivation and interest, a desire to withdraw socially, a lack of sex drive and disturbed patterns around appetite and sleep. Depression can even cause you to have thoughts that life is no longer worth living. Inevitably too, depression will cause difficulties in relationships as you become increasingly isolated and unable to communicate or hold onto your sense of worth.
Charter will thoroughly assess you to see if you would benefit from therapy with us, or from one of our workshops. Sometimes depression is a chemical imbalance that can be treated through medication and therapy, and at other times it is in relation to an emotional disturbance, so when that event is properly processed and understood by the individual the symptoms are relieved. We can also work in collaboration with other consultants and network of specialists well known to us.
I can’t cope
Stress is a commonly used term to describe a feeling of overload and pressure. A stress response is actually how the body reacts to any kind of pressure or threat, flooding the nervous system with adrenaline and cortisol to alert the body, so it’s ready to react.
This explains the feeling of hyper-vigilance that is often associated with stress where a person is in a heightened state of alert, hyper-sensitive and agitated. Often people describe themselves as ‘stressed’ as they feel worried and overloaded, fearful and anxious, with everyday symptoms that include not being able to relax or sleep, suffering headaches or upset stomach and easily losing their temper. Sometimes people use prescription medication or alcohol to help ease the symptoms, but this is usually a surface ‘sticking plaster’ solution, and unless they attend to how they manage the stress in their life, this can easily turn into a dependence.
Stress and your health
Some stress is normal and can even be a necessary to motive you to take action. But too much stress, or mismanaged stress, can cause serious health problems. Some examples being heart disease, asthma, stroke, diabetes and some types of cancer.
Learning how to better manage the stress in your life can be as simple as learning a few tools to be better organised, improve your communication and become more forgiving. However, sometimes the roots go deeper in a person where there is a profound need to control or to get things right. In such cases it is important to unravel the deeper less conscious motivations to alleviate the levels of stress.
We can help you to do both: to learn ways to better manage the stress in your life using CBT and Mindfulness techniques and also to support you to explore any deeper issues that may be fuelling this self-defeating response to pressure in your life.
Families & Partners
It is not easy being around someone who is stressed or struggling, as their intolerance can spread, causing arguments and tension. Frequently, families express anxiety due to being around someone who is displaying unhealthy levels of stress, and often disrespect as a result. This can exacerbate the problem as no-one feels heard and levels of blame increase, which in turn can cause communication difficulties.
It is important for everyone to recognise the impact of stress is having on them, and how it is managed, so that each person can take responsibility for their own experience. This is where individual, group or family therapy at Charter can really help. Instead of avoiding, confronting or accommodating to bend around someone in the family who is over-stressed, you can learn to stay in relationship whilst maintaining your dignity and self-respect.
M – OUTPATIENT PROGRAMME
I made the call, listened and got to work. It was the best call I ever made. Charter shone the light on the darkness and made it a safe place for me to step out into the light. With courage, honesty, and compassion, I now show up for life every day, I now show up for me every day.
I am so very grateful to all of the team at Charter. They are professional, they are fun, and most of all, they really really care!
D – OUTPATIENT PROGRAMME
The work is comprehensive, searching and at times, uncomfortable. But it's absolutely necessary. My advice to anyone struggling with addiction who's thinking about going is very simple.
Do it. Throw in the towel. Get yourself into group, open up, get honest.
J – OUTPATIENT PROGRAMME
The Living Well Programme immediately cut right to the core of my issues and I started to soften and develop as an individual. At times it was painful, but at always I felt held by the programme.
I did not feel just like a number. The care and the attention of the whole Charter team never faltered. The main therapists are phenomenally skilled and the group dynamic was supportive, yet challenging. I have made connections and friendships I expect to last a lifetime.
M – OUTPATIENT PROGRAMME
Charter gave me my first real glimpse of freedom of my addiction and the will to face another day free of fear. Every single therapist brought their own particular stance into the groups, and there was as much laughter as tears. I can only say thank you.
J – OUTPATIENT PROGRAMME
What makes Charter so special is the way that the team work together to create a complete picture of what you need and where you’re at, on an almost second by second basis. I felt seen and heard. This made me feel safe enough to get on with the painful risks I needed to take in group to get properly well; the risks I’d spent a whole life avoiding.