How are mind and body linked?
It is now generally accepted that your emotional wellbeing continually influences your physical health and vice versa:
- Stress, left unmanaged and unaddressed, can create physical tension leading to problems (e.g. headaches, aches). Work-related stress is now the most common reason for work absence in the UK.
- Life events (e.g. becoming a parent, divorce, bereavement, work problems) can leave you feeling overwhelmed, or like your life has changed irreversibly. If you have no way of processing what has happened by talking about it, this can create tension, headaches or fatigue, among other things.
- Emotional trauma or distress can manifest physically (e.g. back pain, headaches) if you don't address it.
- Chronic (ongoing) health conditions (e.g. heart disease, cancer, IBS, asthma, diabetes, back pain and many more) can affect your state of mind and emotional wellbeing. It can be frustrating and tough living with a condition that changes your quality of life.
- The diagnosis of a health condition can be a huge blow. It can feel like your identity has changed and as if your body (and your life) may change in ways you can't control. You might feel overwhelmed or alone, like no one understands.
- Acute health events (e.g. a heart attack) can also have negative psychological effects. When something major happens, it can feel frightening and life-limiting, on every level. You can find yourself feeling anxious, low or scared
What does a Counselling Psychologist do?
A Psychologist can give you valuable help and support during difficult times, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or you feel unable to talk to those closest to you. Sometimes difficult or traumatic things can happen, and it feels hard to get through them. You might feel like you’re repeating unhelpful patterns and can’t get your life back on track. That’s when therapy can help – a Psychologist will listen empathically, support you, help you to get in touch with what’s important to you and make positive changes.
What is therapy like?
Successful therapy depends as much about the strength of the relationship between you and your Psychologist as it is about which ‘type’ of therapy they use. A Psychologist won’t try to fix things for you or tell you what to do, because you know yourself better than anyone. However, they will guide you through the process of discovering what’s right for you and support you in making decisions.
Therapy isn't just "talking". It involves talking confidentially in a focused way with a professional, who gives you space and helps you to unravel your problems and find ways of doing things differently.
What is therapy at Floura Health Care like?
Our Psychologist will see you for a thorough three session assessment. She will assess whether your needs will be best met here, and you can decide whether you would like to proceed with therapy.
Anna focuses on building a trusting relationship, characterised by warmth and non-judgement. She will work openly and collaboratively with you to help you to make real changes in your life. Her approach is always guided by your individual needs.
Our Counselling Psychologist
Dr. Anna Walton
Anna is a Counselling Psychologist, with a Doctorate in Counselling Psychology from UEL and a Master's Degree with distinction in Child Development from the University of London.
Anna works in a relaxed and grounded way, with her main priority being to establish a relationship where the client feels secure and knows that they will never be judged. She helps clients to build skills to make changes in their lives so that they feel better and to feel empowered to do so.
When you first come to the clinic, Anna will see you for three initial assessment sessions. Many people have no idea what to expect from therapy or are nervous about coming, so these sessions give you a chance to see if you feel comfortable and to understand what therapy is like. It also gives Anna the opportunity to thoroughly assess your situation and to form a plan together with you regarding what you would like to achieve.
Anna has over six years clinical experience work in NHS and private settings and she works with adults/teenagers of all ages and cultures with a broad range of presenting problems (eg anxiety, depression, social anxiety). Anna also has specific experience working with ante and post-natal depression, bereavement, chronic health conditions and people with learning disabilities. Her research has been published and she has also contributed to others' research in peer-reviewed psychological journals.
Anna also specialises in equine-assisted psychotherapy and coaching, facilitating workshops and corporate training nearby. Working with horses is a powerful, experiential way of working and having knowledge of horses is not required (in fact it's better if you don't!). Horses have a unique ability to teach us about our feelings and how we relate to others, so working in this way is an incredibly effective way to build self esteem, confidence and emotional insight.
If you're not sure whether therapy would help, Anna is always available for an informal chat, so if you or someone you know is finding things difficult, just call the clinic.