Managing COVID-19 Anxiety –Counselling Services in Newcastle upon Tyne
The recent news of the Corona Virus (or COVID-19) has highlighted how difficult it can be to manage anxiety, worry and concern – particularly when there is uncertainty and limited information. In times of uncertainty on a wider scale, not only do we have to contain our own anxiety, but often prevent the worry from other people affecting us .
As well as the current concerns around COVID-19, the usual stress, anxiety and personal pressure of everyday life – the other things we keep in our stress bucket – are still there. When things get too much and our stress bucket overflows we might suffer from symptoms of anxiety, depression, anger. Some people even experience trauma reactions about their difficulty when pushed beyond our ability to cope.
Talking to family & friends, colleagues, or seeking help from the various counselling services in Newcastle upon Tyne can help allay some fears, though during this time it is also important to keep yourself safe on a practical level when considering the current threat, especially if you are one of the “at risk” groups. If looking for advice, always check the source of information and look for the most reliable and “fact-checked” data.
It is important to highlight that increased anxiety is normal when there is a world-wide concern or sudden change occurring, such as the current state of affairs with COVID-19, though this does not mean that you should not seek support whether from friends, family or other sources.
If you feel as though you are having trouble managing your anxiety (whether already existing or new in light of the current situation), we want to give you the best advice on how to find the best counsellor, psychologist or therapist during these difficult times.
Finding Appropriate Counselling Services in Newcastle upon Tyne
There are many ways to find a good counselling service in spite of the current challenges. Many services (including our own) are moving to only offering online counselling during the current COVID-19 challenge to protect clients and the community.
Here are some avenues for you to explore if looking for a counsellor should you decide that your worries or anxieties are getting out of control:
- Ask Friends & Family for Help or For Recommendations of Help
Family and friends can be a great starting point when it comes to finding support and also when looking for a good counsellor, as you can often trust them to give an honest view of their experiences. If you decide that counselling is for you, for it to be helpful it is important that you connect and have a good relationship with your counsellor or therapist.
If you know of someone that has benefited from seeing a certain counsellor in the past, it can be useful to ask them for their recommendation. Many counsellors (including ourselves at Newcastle Psychologist & Counselling) have always offered online therapy and so should be equipped to offer sessions through Skype, Zoom, or even telephone, especially at present.
That means that if you are ill or required to self-isolate you still have access to counselling.
- Explore the Internet & Online Directories
Internet search has recently become the most effective way to find anything you need, though there is also a lot of misinformation and non-fact checked information out there. The same can apply to information around effective counselling and therapies.
For those of us living in Newcastle, searching for “counselling services in Newcastle upon Tyne” is a good start.
Even if you are being seen face to face, check that the counselling services you choose are able to use video methods such as Skype, Facetime and Zoom, so that your counselling won’t have to be interrupted if you are not able to attend their clinic over the coming weeks.
- Look for Those with Experience, Knowledge & Reputation
Your counsellor or psychologist should have a relevant qualification in counselling or clinical psychology. This might be a diploma (in the case of counsellors), or a doctorate (for psychologists). Some will also have post-graduate qualifications.
Note that an undergraduate degree in psychology by itself DOES NOT qualify someone as a counsellor, psychologist or therapist.
Also look at the type of therapies and areas of specialism that your counsellor is proficient in. There are many types of therapy available and not all may be right for you.
If possible seek out a counsellor or therapist that fits your need and contact them to see if they can help – any good counsellor should offer an initial conversation (again over video or telephone) to answer any questions before you book with them.
- Type of Counselling or Therapy Offered
Touched on briefly above, the type or “model” of counselling or therapy the counsellor offers is of great importance as some therapies are better suited to certain problems (for example, Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy is the most evidence based for depression and anxiety).
Many counsellors use therapies like Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which looks at challenging thoughts and beliefs as a way of helping you feel better. Other therapists may recommend person-centred counselling, psychodynamic therapies (which focuses on the past and early experiences), or other approaches to help with your problem.
You may already have an idea about which approach will work best for you, though at present, CBT has the best proven evidence for a range of problems (including depression, anxiety, OCD, health anxiety and panic), though is only offered by some specialist counsellors.
For Further Information
During the difficult and unusual circumstances of the COVID-19 situation, it is normal to experience feelings of anxiety, particularly with so much uncertainty.
It is important to keep in mind that any increased anxiety around this virus can add to any other stress or worry going on in your life and lead to your “stress bucket” overflowing and difficulty coping, so don’t ignore everything else that is happening in your life. If you feel that you are experiencing difficulty with coping, it is important you seek help whether from friends, family or professional counselling.
Finding the best counselling services in Newcastle upon Tyne to help you manage during difficult times can feel overwhelming, and we hope that the guidance given above will help you find a counsellor or someone you can talk to that can help. During these difficult times, many services are offering counselling via Skype, Zoom, Facetime or telephone to be able to respond to the current situation with COVID-19.
If you would like further information about any of the issues raised above, contact us using the form below.
Dr Stuart Sadler
Chartered Clinical Psychologist
Newcastle Psychologist & Counselling