Want to be happy?
The word ‘happy’ in my opinion should be abolished. Removed from all dictionaries.
Why? Because it is a fantasy. Because people think of ‘happiness’ as a permanent state which they are entitled to have. No-one has ever experienced this. Yet most of us at times look around and believe other people have it and we feel left out, denied, unlucky, jealous, resentful, sad as a result.
People feel ‘happy’ when they get what they want…
A new job.
A new car.
A pay rise.
To give to someone they love.
To help others.
…the list goes on, but everything that makes us feel this way is temporary. The feeling is temporary. Happiness is this sense, is fleeting.
More lasting ‘happiness’ or ‘contentment’ as I prefer to call it, comes from a sense that our fundamental needs are met…
To feel safe and secure.
To feel love and feel loved.
To have rewarding purpose in life.
…more elements can be added, yet whatever the list may contain, these are things which ebb and flow. Relationships wobble, jobs can be lost, plans can be ruined.
So forget the idea of a permanent state of ‘happy’. Instead accept that when your fundamental personal human needs are met you will experience ‘contentment’. Sometimes this will feel strong, at other times it will feel less so. Sometimes contentment may turn into distress if something fundamental is going terribly wrong. Distress destroys contentment while it is happening.
So – forget ‘happiness’ and consider ‘contentment’; a moving entity which can feel different depending on the week, day, hour or minute…
-Start working to understand your fundamental needs and to get them met.
-Keep working to maintain the satisfaction of those needs.
-Remember there’s only so much you can do to maintain the state of contentment, because contentment in life is like being in a boat on the sea, be accepting and realistic as you roll with the tide and current.
* * * * * * * All problems are relationship problems * * * * * * *
All problems are relational! Every problem you ever had, will have, or have now, are to do with your relationships with people in your life...
We are relational creatures - we can't exist without relationships in our lives. When they go wrong it can have a profound effect upon us, causing us to go from happiness to despair in seconds.
One of the most powerful and often difficult to understand is your relationship with yourself - the longest, most complex, intimate relationship you've ever had.
Thank you for visiting my website. If you are considering counselling, you have made a positive step to get this far. Counselling is simply talking and sharing in a safe, respectful, non-judgemental place. We are not naturally encouraged to share our problems in our society. And often the people we do share with do not know how to respond; they may try to tell us what we should do (seen 'clearly' from their perspective) in an attempt to solve our problems.
As a result, we can bottle things up - the pressure builds inside leading to emotional and often physical consequences. Talking with a counsellor can at the very least allow that pressure to release by helping you feel heard, understood and validated; that your problems are real and you are not crazy.
Counselling can also lead you the client to understand why you are experiencing problems in your life or relationship, and open up options for change. If you are new to the idea of counselling, or wishing to re-access counselling but feel uncertain please read on. I hope I am able to reassure you about taking the next step and hope you will get in touch.
I work as both a one-to-one counsellor and also as a couples or relationship counsellor. In both cases I aim to work in a warm, friendly, gentle way, and also in a focussed way, guiding my clients (individually and as couples) on their journey at a pace which feels safe and steady. I realise there are a lot of us counsellors and therapists 'out there' and deciding which to work with is not easy or straightforward.
I appreciate that private counselling costs precious money and time - my aim is to provide affordable and effective counselling to get you to the better place you need as quickly as possible. Some clients achieve this in a small number of sessions, while other clients have ongoing life-situations and wish to work for longer periods. I work with a wide range of adult clients from all backgrounds and of all ages to address a very wide range of issues including:
Abuse (past or present)
Issues around sexuality
Bullying (past or present)
Loss, bereavement and grieving
General unhappiness or unease
Meaning and meaninglessness
In relationship counselling I focus my clients to identify what is happening for each person, and what needs to change, helping them understand each other, why they are experiencing 'blockers' in their relationship and how to overcome them.
Thank you for reading my page - I hope you get in touch so that I can help with the issues affecting you.
Location, cost and availability…
I am based in a warm and comfortable counselling room located conveniently in Newcastle City Centre. I am available evenings Mon - Friday .
My sessions last for 60-70 minutes for which the charge is £40.
Please get in touch if you would like more information or to briefly discuss what is affecting you and how I may be able to help.
Leaving home to go to University is an exciting time but it can also be a traumatic wrench
At this time of year, many young people are leaving home to go to University. The build up to this time may have been tense while waiting for results, then frantic while securing a place at University and somewhere to live in a town far away from home. When the day comes, there has not been much time to prepare emotionally for what is for many young people their first time living away from the cosy family home.
On that first night when the parents drive home, many young people suddenly find themselves feeling…
* Alone in unfamiliar accommodation.
* Lost in an alien town or city.
* Intimidated by the surrounding strangers.
* Disorientated, not knowing where to go or how to get around.
* Abandoned as they realise Mum or Dad won’t be bringing a drink upstairs or making their favourite tea.
This combination of feelings can be overwhelming as the pain of the family/parent/home attachment-disconnect suddenly kicks in. You are no longer in the cosy familiar world you took for granted and you suddenly feel terrible, as if you have made the biggest mistake in the world. For many people this can lead to feelings of despair. If you are reading this and it describes how you are feeling right now DO NOT DESPAIR.
What you are experiencing is a normal response to being separated from your loved-ones and your familiar world. It is a NORMAL RESPONSE. It is also temporary and will fade each day as you adjust to your new surroundings, develop a routine and become orientated.
Remember the following…
* You are still you – even if you feel lost and alone.
* Your loved-ones and your familiar surroundings are still there and will be there when you return, which will be soon.
* You are about to make new friends and have new experiences which are part of growing as a person.
* Every day you will feel a bit better - it is human nature to adjust.
* You are surrounded by people who feel the same. Talk to them – ask them how they are doing. Share your feelings.
* In two weeks you will feel that Uni is your new second home.
If you are struggling contact your Student Wellbeing or Counselling Service. Or contact a private qualified counsellor near to you – talking really helps.
Please use this link to access Counselling Directory to search for a counsellor
And remember…the feelings are temporary…every day will feel a little better and you will soon LOVE being where you are.
******* Being half of a couple is tricky *******
Human beings are naturally predisposed to being in a close, loving relationship. However, finding such a relationship which meets enough of our individual needs can be tricky. I often use the term 'matched vulnerability' when working with couples to help them understand their individual needs and where those needs align or differ in the relationship. I also help couples to understand where they are in their progression through the stages of relationship. Many couples stumble when the initial romance fades, feeling the relationship is not for them or that something has gone wrong, when in fact they may be experiencing a natural shift in depth within the relationship. I also help my clients rediscover their individual selves - the very selves which attracted the other person to begin with.
******* Who do you talk to the most? *******
Your partner? Your best friend? Work mate? Brother? Sister? Your kids? Your parent(s)? Social media? The answer - for all of us - is ourselves. It's called our internal dialogue and it occupies 99% of all of our conversations.
This often comes as a surprise to many people. We are not taught this. We are rarely, if ever, given permission to look inside ourselves with curiosity and interest at how we are responding to the world around us. It is the conversations we have with ourselves that govern how we feel and think. You've been talking to yourself all of your life - even before you had words. Even as a small baby you were responding to your environment purely with feelings – the conversation had begun and it has continued ever since.
As we develop and grow our inner conversations grow increasingly sophisticated and familiar as our identity and sense of self develops. These familiar conversations, composed of our thoughts and feelings, don’t always feel good. We learn to respond in familiar ways to the world around us. We tell ourselves we are bad when certain things happen.
Counselling and psychotherapy can help you develop your awareness of the conversations you have with yourself; your relationship with yourself; the familiar thoughts and feelings you experience within yourself.
Nobody can make you feel bad. Bad things happen to us all sometimes - but it is the resulting conversation you have inside yourself, how you manage your thoughts and feelings, that decides how you feel in response to bad events. As your counsellor I will work to help you develop your awareness of how you respond to events in your life, enabling greater choice and freedom.
******* Do you sometimes stumble over the truth, but carry on regardless? *******
Winston Churchill: Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.’
Looking at my own personal experience, and that of my clients, I believe we all have a tendency to do this. We have moments of insight, or clarity; we see what we really need or want and what is standing in the way. But then we let it go. We go back to the comfort-zone of the status quo. It’s a lot easier to do nothing than embrace the uncertain.
These moments of ‘truth’ may capture our lack of fulfilment, our dreams, our relationship disappointments, our core-needs for love and attachment. They are a product of our natural drive to grow; to find meaning in life and relationships. But we are living the live we live right now for many good reasons. We are attached to our partner, our family, our job as they all meet our needs to some degree, but perhaps no longer as fully as we would like them to, because things have changed or we have grown or changed.
Counselling can help explore these fleeting moments of personal truth, to uncover our true needs and bring into awareness the difficulties we have in fully satisfying these needs. Psycho-therapeutic counselling can help and encourage a clearer understanding and awareness of what happens within us. Higher awareness leads to choice - once we have awareness of what happens inside us we can begin to influence the moment-to-moment thoughts, feelings and actions which shape our experience.
** Kevin Simpson Counselling. The Square Bubble, 18A Blandford Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4HZ. **
** Just along from Newcastle's Discovery Museum (heading towards Westgate Road.) **
** 5 minutes walk from Newcastle Central Station and Newcastle Centre for Life. **