I began to feel terribly homesick after a friend from home had visited, even though I’d been an expat living in Sydney for a few years.
I was quite depressed and teary-eye, as well as unmotivated at work. I was unsettled and unhappy. It was suggested that I come and talk to a counsellor.
I’m much more settled now. I have a greater awareness of the issues that were making me react so dramatically. Its easier to function day-to-day and be happy.
Having thrown myself into this process wholeheartedly, I have managed to make genuine changes to myself as a person and to my lifestyle. I have turned from someone that procrastinated over so many things into someone who can take action and make positive changes, even when it doesn’t feel possible.
Therapy is the most worthwhile thing I’ve done for myself. I’m now really happy in Australia!
– LB 31, Consultant, Sydney
When I first came to see you for counselling I wanted that quick fix. I so desperately wanted to feel better…But, the truth is I never really believed there would be a long-term solution.
I suffered from long-term depression mixed with anxiety. I had childhood-based issues that I’d had enough of — they were causing problems in my life and my relationships. I’d tried to combat them before with a couple of counsellors, but you are the one who gave me a sense of hope to create change.
I’m not drinking so much, I’m on a bit of a health kick and the desire to go shopping isn’t there. I feel good about my life, and no longer feel that sense of numbness that used to be so familiar. I know I’ll still have downs along with the ups, but I feel so much more confident that I can cope and take charge of my life. Thank you, Jacqui!
– JS 30, Journalist, Eastern Suburbs, Sydney
Life for me was always fast paced — I worked hard and partied hard. I always thought that I was in control…until I began having panic attacks. It was a real shock.
I came across your website and your words about ‘life being otherwise good’ resonated with me — because aside from the anxiety, my life was pretty good. Knowing that you were experienced in dealing with anxiety and that you would understand, helped me to decide to give therapy with you a try.
The journey was longer than I expected but worthwhile. There were times I wanted to quit but you’ve got to stick with it. it’s a bit like a good relationship, not necessarily easy but definitely worth it!
The panic attacks are long gone and these days I feel calm.
I also feel empowered. I’ve changed things that I wanted to change and I achieved the goals that I had set for myself — like getting my permanent residency in Australia. I’m not at risk of being sent back to the UK if I lose my job and don’t find another one straight away. I should have done it years ago — somehow it’s symbolic that I finally got it done. I’m far more settled and secure.
I feel positive and in control!
– SL 41, Marketing, Eastern Suburbs, Sydney
I was feeling like things weren’t as good as they should be. I wasn’t coping well with life and it was impacting on my family.
I had angry reactions and would find myself feeling really upset and hard done by – just in a foul mood, snappy and thinking it was everyone’s fault. These reactions felt misplaced. I would be triggered by small things like plans changing and people not doing as they’d said they would.
I wanted to sort out what was going on. I’d thought about it a lot and had my own theories but I wanted to work with somebody to help process it.
Initially, it was hard to trust that it was helping — I needed a spreadsheet!
I didn’t realise it at the time – what I was processing and learning – until a few sessions afterwards. All of a sudden progress started kicking in. It helped when we looked at the physicality of my reactions and I learnt to notice in the moment, what I was experiencing. Improvements happened in increments. I noticed more and more and the process just flowed from there.
Things going wrong can still be annoying and that’s life but It’s not long and drawn-out now and doesn’t have to ruin a whole weekend! If I do start feeling that physical anger or anxiety, I recognise it. I can acknowledge it and say to myself ‘I’m having one of those moments’ and I can talk myself out of it.
I can turn my mood around much faster. I just cope better now!
– AB, 35, Business Owner & Mother of two, Surry Hills
Initially coming to see you was an act desperation – I was willing to try anything at that point.
A lot of things had happened…I’d been in hospital which was a first, I was living by myself, and had been struggling with a difficult relationship.
I was feeling out of control and fearing that it would get worse. I needed help to stop it getting worse.
Moving on from that initial time of high anxiety, therapy with you became a positive way of dealing with things, in a safe environment.
Now I see everything in a whole different light. Back then I couldn’t see a way through it all.
You kind of need to go with it, like being in a river that keeps moving. In there you’re addressing issues from the past as well as outside influences while getting stronger in yourself. And I was learning new skills to help myself.
I wouldn’t have thought I could do it. But I did become able to trust the process. I didn’t know how it would be but it was the one solid thing at the time.
I’m glad I stuck with it and I would definitely recommend it. You need to get to a point where you go into it whole heartedly otherwise you wouldn’t get as much out.
It’s not to say that l don’t get anxious at all now but it’s different. Now it’s like there’s some automatic distance between me and what’s going on. I can still get upset but I have the ability to step away even if just a tiny bit so that it doesn’t affect me the way it used to.
Overall it’s something I’m very thankful that I’ve done. I’m thankful too that I was lucky to find the right person first time round. So thank you to you, Jacqui.
– SN, 29 Lawyer, North Sydney
I’d had a good experience with a counsellor when I was working overseas.
This time I was at the point of experiencing anxiety, and sometimes panic attacks of some degree, everyday.
My GP referred me to someone but I knew she wasn’t for me straight away. She told me I was psychologically sound – what does that mean anyway, when I knew I wasn’t where I wanted to be, and that I wanted to get the anxiety under control, and to stop expecting it and fearing it.
I no longer have the fears of being overwhelmed by anxiety or going crazy. I have the tools and am now able to manage stress, or other emotions as they arise.
If there was a list of criteria for a person to perfectly fill the role of counsellor, Jacqui you match those criteria.
I feel good and confident. I’m not dancing around the streets but I have a real contentment now, and I’m positive about the future. I no longer worry about the small stuff. What was all the worry for? Thankfully I can now stop myself from spiralling out of control.
I’m closer, more open with my friends and family.
Thank you Jacqui. I’m so glad I found you.
I’m in a different place now, a really good place. I worked hard to get here, but I often remember words you’ve said that have come to my mind and helped me.
– KH, Financial Industry, Eastern Suburbs, Sydney
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