Breakthrough Counselling

Could I have OCD? A helpful guide to the signs, symptoms and treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Are you worried that you or someone you know might have OCD? We all have unwanted thoughts that pop into our head from time to time, but if you get plagued by them until they make you feel ill or anxious you could have OCD. It’s a real and sometimes serious condition, but it doesn’t have to rule your life.

In this post I’ll give you some of the symptoms to look out for. I’ll also give you the best treatment options for OCD and outline some effective self-help techniques, so you can take steps to overcome the condition and start to feel better.

What is OCD?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an illness that causes you to have recurring unwanted thoughts, images or urges that can make you feel anxious or guilty. To relieve your distress, you feel compelled to do things that will stop them – repeating certain actions or rituals. For example, someone who has OCD might repeatedly check their door is locked because they keep having the fear their house will be burgled.

Read moreCould I have OCD? A helpful guide to the signs, symptoms and treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

How to recover from an abusive relationship

Leaving any relationship can be difficult, but ending an abusive one takes a great deal of courage. If you’ve left an abusive relationship, give yourself credit for taking the hardest – and most important – step. You’ve freed yourself. And if you’re considering leaving an abusive partner, give yourself credit for recognising the truth of the situation. You have the strength to leave, and there are resources available to help you.

Recovering from an abusive relationship takes time and effort. You might feel like you’ve lost your identity because your ex has convinced you that you’re worthless, though this isn’t true. You might feel frightened and unable to trust other people. But you won’t feel this way forever. With patience and self-care, you will begin to heal and remember who you really are. Your life will get better.

Here are some steps you can take to rebuild your life after an abusive relationship:

Read moreHow to recover from an abusive relationship

What are the benefits of online and telephone counselling?

Do you feel the need to talk to someone in confidence, but you don’t have the time or the means to visit a counsellor? Online or telephone counselling could be the answer.

While more people are now aware of the benefits of counselling, many can’t access face-to-face therapy because they have such busy lives.

But counselling is evolving alongside improvements in technology, and it’s now easier to access trained therapists over the phone or online. More and more people are choosing online or telephone counselling as a flexible and convenient option.

While online and telephone counselling can be just as effective as face-to-face counselling, it’s a different experience, so it’s a good idea to weigh up the benefits of each channel to see what’s right for you.

To help you decide, I’ll explain what online and telephone counselling involves, and I’ll explain how telephone and online counselling can benefit you. I’ll also outline situations where face to face counselling might be a better choice for you.

Read moreWhat are the benefits of online and telephone counselling?

9 tips to help you get a better night’s sleep 


Do you struggle to get to sleep? We’ve all had nights where we can’t switch off, or wake up frequently. But if you’re regularly not able to sleep well it’s called insomnia, and it can affect your daily life. You might find it difficult to concentrate or remember things, and have more negative thoughts. Disturbed sleep can also impact relationships and make everyday tasks challenging.

Insomnia can have lots of possible causes, and worrying about not sleeping can itself make it harder to go to sleep. But there are things you can do to help relax your mind and body so you can drift off more easily, and sleep better through the night:

Read more9 tips to help you get a better night’s sleep 

Going through a tough time? Here’s how to boost your resilience

determined child wearing boxing gloves

Life has a habit of throwing obstacles in our path, often when we’re least expecting them. Loss and misfortune may impact your life, but you can control how you react to these events.  Whatever challenge you’re facing, boosting your emotional resilience can help you weather the storm.

What is emotional resilience?

Resilience isn’t about pushing yourself to get over adversity before you’re ready. And it doesn’t mean you should cope with difficulties without being affected by them.

Actually, being resilient means you’re able to acknowledge your emotions, and respond in a constructive way. With self-awareness and self-care, you can adapt to challenging situations without being overwhelmed.

Read moreGoing through a tough time? Here’s how to boost your resilience

Fight the fear: 7 ways to overcome anxiety

Do you often feel overwhelmed with worry? Do you find yourself feeling panicky, or have trouble sleeping? If this sounds familiar, you may have anxiety. And you’re not alone: anxiety affects one in five people in the UK.

As a therapist I understand how difficult life can be if you have anxiety, and I want you to know you can overcome it. Read on to find out more about anxiety and the steps you can take to recover.

What is anxiety?

We all get anxious sometimes. It’s a natural response that puts our mind and body in ‘fight or flight’ mode and helps us react faster to potential challenges. But if we feel anxious very often or very severely, this impacts our quality of life.

Because anxiety affects the way you think, everyday situations may seem dangerous. You might avoid certain people or places, or stay late at work to check you haven’t made a mistake. Anxiety causes physical changes too, which aren’t dangerous in themselves but can feel very unpleasant and scary.

Read moreFight the fear: 7 ways to overcome anxiety

What is counselling, and can it help me heal?

Are you going through a difficult time? Are considering counselling as a solution for you or someone you know? I understand seeking therapy can feel daunting, and perhaps you’re not sure if it’s the right step. The good news is counselling can help with many difficulties, and as a trained counsellor I’ve seen first-hand how it improves lives.

To help you decide whether it’s the right choice for you, I’ll explain how counselling can benefit you, and what to expect during your first session.

What is counselling?

When you go to counselling, you’re invited to talk through your problems with a trained therapist. It’s sometimes called ‘talking therapy’. The therapist will listen attentively to whatever you need to discuss. He or she will never judge you, but will always seek to understand your point of view.

Read moreWhat is counselling, and can it help me heal?

Are you hiding your depression?

Are the following resonating with you?

    1. constantly feeling tired
    1. feel like you have no energy left to to do daily chores
    1. not wanting to socialise
    1. Using alcohol and substances a lot
  1. Suicidal thoughts

These are all signs of depression, which can be masked or denied. Are you stunned, surprised thinking I have everything, and I shouldn’t being this way.

Depression is a feeling which surpasses culture, religion, social status etc. We are all unique, and have different life experiences which make up us. If we are feeling depressed remember there is always as a cause and a reason. This can be childhood abuse, domestic abuse, bullying etc. It is well known that these issues can cause depression. I feel I also need to point out, that depression can hit you at any point, even after the incidences.

Read moreAre you hiding your depression?

How to cope after losing your baby

Jewel heart on stone background

If you’re here because you or someone you know has lost a baby, I’m so sorry. Any bereavement is painful, but the loss of a child is devastating. Whatever the age of your child, and whatever the circumstances, having to bury a child is out of the natural order of things. It’s the most difficult thing a parent can face.

Losing your baby early in pregnancy can be just as heart-breaking because you form a close bond with your child as soon as you find out about the pregnancy. You imagine your future as a new parent and your child growing up, and with the loss of your baby your dreams and expectations are lost too.

There’s no wrong way to feel

Read moreHow to cope after losing your baby

The importance of self care

Do you remember the days when you would have a day to wash your hair, or have a girly night out with friends to relax? That is caring for yourself, and enjoying life.

If you have suffered a tragedy through some form of loss, those days just become past memories, as you tend to feel that, that was a different you, and now you are not the same. Your point is true, however, you can still find ways to self care without feeling guilty, or feeling as though you don’t deserve to be happy. Are you aware that Happiness and self care are not the same thing. They appear that way but they are not. Are you wondering what is the difference? Self Care is is looking after yourself daily, bathing, household chores, looking after family if you have them. Happiness is a state of emotion, encompassing joy.

Read moreThe importance of self care