Ann, 24, came to see me as she was suffering a lot with anxiety, she spoke about worrying all the time and feeling very stressed. Ann was living at home but not getting along well with her parents. She reported some very bad recent arguments with them mainly because of her coming home late. Recently she had been given extra responsibility at work but she described feeling completely out of her depth in her new role and unable to sleep at night as a result. She also started a new relationship a few months ago, she is very happy but lately her friends are complaining a lot that they never see her. Now her friends are excluding her and haven’t invited her to a couple of big parties.
How Counselling helped:
I worked with Ann to discover the root cause of her anxiety. By tracking her negative thoughts Ann could see the impact of her thinking on how she was feeling and set about addressing that. We also looked at the different sources of Ann’s stress to see how these could be managed more effectively. Ann discovered that she has been trying to avoid confrontation a lot with the different people in her life. This meant that instead of addressing things as they crop up she has been letting them fester which has resulted in her lashing out verbally at others. We looked at how Ann communicates with others and Ann agreed to try out some assertive responses instead of avoiding conflict.
Ann spoke to her manager at work about her concerns and as a result is receiving more training for her role. Her manager has also been much more supportive. Ann reported that she had a good talk with her parents about their recent arguments and was able to explain that she feels they treat her as a child. Both parties agreed on some compromises and to talk to each other if there are frustrations developing. Through the counselling process Ann was able to see where she had to make changes in her life to feel happy again. She discovered that meant taking responsibility for her part in problems developing. Ann realised she was so caught up in her new boyfriend that she had neglected her relationships with her friends. She contacted them and set about making amends. Ann realised once she had the skills to cope with her problems she felt more confident and no longer avoided things.