Experiencing and addressing difficult emotions can be very challenging, but consistently ignoring our emotions or distracting ourselves from them is not good for our well-being.

Our in-built survival mechanism ensures that sometimes very traumatic experiences are buried away without us even knowing it. This can be necessary just in order to make life tolerable and to allow us to go on functioning on a day-to-day basis.

Often though we avoid addressing unpleasant feelings and emotions with some degree of awareness of what we doing. We think that we are keeping our life on an even-keel by denying their importance

There usually comes a point, however, when the psychological effort of holding those emotions at bay becomes too much, creating inner conflict and forcing them to emerge in unexpected ways - in the form of a sudden panic attack for example.

Pushing down or repressing challenging emotions such as grief, sadness, anger or resentment, doesn’t make them disappear - it is very common for people to experience intense anxiety, low mood and emotional overwhelm as a result.

Even those emotions which were repressed for survival purposes, maybe when we were very young, are best addressed at some point in our lives if we are to find inner peace rather than live in a constant state of half suppressed fear and anxiety.

Much of the work we do as counsellors involves helping people to acknowledge and safely connect with these emotions and to work them through. This allows the emotional residue left by difficult or traumatic experiences to be processed in a safe way, helping people to achieve a greater sense of equilibrium and self-acceptance.

If you're not feeling as excited by the prospect of lockdown ending as you think you should be, then you're not alone. There’s a tendency to assume that everyone is unequivocally upbeat about the easing of social restrictions. But this is not necessarily the case.

Some people are worried and anxious. Maybe lockdown has allowed them to put a hold on some of the problems they were facing in life prior to the rise of the epidemic. Perhaps the prospect of a return to the workplace is prompting feelings of fear and apprehension.

The restrictions may have provided an opportunity to make welcome changes to working habits, or have served as a reason not to make a difficult decision. Some people will now find themselves having to confront challenging situations or relationships.

Above all we should not forget those people who are grieving from a loss suffered during the epidemic. The pain and sense of unfairness they may be experiencing will endure for long after the memories of lockdown have faded.

We've written previously about the ways in which different personality types have responded to the social restrictions, and while complete isolation is not a good thing, the opportunity to spend more time in solitary pastimes or with immediate family will have been an unexpected bonus for some. For while some of us thrive on the cut-and-thrust of social interaction, the freedom from social pressures will have been a welcome release for others.

Many of our clients are facing dilemmas like these as restrictions ease - so please be mindful of your own responses and kind to yourself if you’re not feeling what you think you’re ‘supposed’ to be feeling.

  • Julian & Michaela

It’s incredible to think that we’ve been working with clients remotely for a whole year. In fact counselling via video or telephone has become second-nature to us now.

Although not suitable for everyone, telephone or video counselling can be just as effective as in person therapy & many clients have said they actually prefer it. It can be much more convenient for people to fit around their commitments and it has also enabled clients from further afield to access our service.

So although we’re very much looking forward to working with clients in person again in the not too distant future, we’ve decided to continue to offer both telephone and video counselling for those who want it. We also intend to continue our very successful Walk & Talk sessions.

Please get in touch to arrange a 30 minute free consultation if you would like to discuss the kinds of counselling we offer.