There are few marital problems that can cause as much emotional pain as an affair. That’s because infidelity undermines the very foundations of a marriage. However, it doesn’t have to be the end. If both partners are committed to staying in the relationship and are prepared to make things better, your marriage not only has a good chance of surviving, it can actually become stronger as a result.
What is infidelity?
The classic definition of infidelity is if one partner has a sexual affair with someone outside the marriage. However, what actually constitutes infidelity can vary widely between couples. Is an emotional connection without physical intimacy as bad as having a full-blown affair? What about online relationships? Each couple needs to define for themselves what they consider being unfaithful.
Why do affairs happen?
Contrary to popular belief, most affairs aren’t fundamentally about sex. In fact, there are many factors that contribute to someone wanting to have an affair outside of marriage – here are some of the most common reasons:
- Lack of affection within the marriage.
- Loss of fondness and care for each other.
- Unaddressed marital problems that may have been lying dormant for years.
- Breakdown of communication about your feelings and relationship needs.
- Physical health issues including disability or chronic pain.
- Mental health issues including depression, anxiety and more.
- Addiction including alcohol, drugs, gambling and sex.
What to do when an affair is discovered?
When an affair comes to light, it can trigger powerful emotions for both partners, including anger and betrayal, guilt, shame and remorse. When you are in the midst of such emotional turmoil, it will be difficult to think clearly enough to make sensible long-term decisions. Instead, focus on the following strategies:
- Don’t force yourself into making any rash decisions. In particular, if you think you might be in danger of physically hurting yourself or others, seek immediate professional help.
- Give each other plenty of space and try to avoid emotionally challenging discussions until you are able to begin the healing process.
- Seek outside support by sharing your feelings and experience witSide view of young couple holding broken heart against grey backgroundh trusted friends or family who can positively support you and hold your hand along your healing path.
- Consider seeing an experienced marriage counsellor or family therapist, either on your own or as a couple.
- Take the time you need to understand what has happened and why, and try to avoid delving into the ‘sordid’ details until you are strong enough.
How do you mend a broken marriage?
Recovering from an affair is a challenging task that will come with much ambivalence and uncertainty. But as you rebuild the trust between you, admit guilt and learn to forgive each other and reconcile your struggles, it is possible to deepen and strengthen the love you’ve always had for each other.
Here are some recommended steps you can take to encourage healing your relationship:
- Take it one step at a time. Healing cannot be rushed; it takes as long as it takes. Before making a definite decision whether or not to stay in the relationship, you need to be able to understand why the affair occurred in the first place. A marriage counsellor can help you here.
- Take responsibility for your actions. If you were the one being unfaithful and you want to heal your marriage, put an end to the affair and stop all communications with the third party involved. If it’s a work colleague, minimise your contact to business only, or change jobs.
- Get support from diverse sources. Don’t rely on self-help books or generic advice alone. Rather, share your situation with understanding friends, experienced spiritual leaders or a trained counsellor.
- See a marriage therapist who is experience in dealing with infidelity issues. At KlearMinds, our marriage counsellors can help you put the affair into perspective, help identify issues that may have contributed to the affair, and encourage you to rebuild and strengthen your marriage and avoid divorce.
- Finally, it’s time to come together and make a plan to achieve reconciliation. Agree on a process and timetable, practice authentic forgiveness and seek understanding together, and restore trust in your marriage.
If you are committed to your marriage and have the desire to overcome the suffering and pain caused by an affair, KlearMinds can help you move forward together. Why not get in touch with us in confidence, or book an appointment here.
It is estimated that approximately 250,000 people across the UK suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). Despite this number, not many people know how to recognise CFS and are often unaware of the symptoms, or what to do if they are suffering from it. Unfortunately, CFS often has a major impact on your well-being and day to day life, making it difficult to cope with. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and can also be unpredictable. If you would like to find out more about CFS and what to do about it, keep reading our blog for more information.
What are the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
There are many symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and they can often vary between different people. Not everyone experiences all of the same symptoms, so it can sometimes be difficult to identify. The most common symptoms that people with CFS tend to experience include tiredness, irritability, a general lack of well-being, poor concentration, sensitivity and sleep disturbances. For more information on the symptoms of the CFS, take a look at our list below:
- General feeling of discomfort
- Tiredness which is not relieved by any amount of sleep
- Sleeping problems such as insomnia or un-refreshing sleep
- Memory problems – difficulty concentrating
- Sore throat
- Enlarged lymph nodes in neck or armpits
- Unexplained muscle pain
- Severe headaches
- Stomach problems such as nausea, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- Extreme exhaustion lasting more than 24 hours after mental or physical exercise
What should I do if I am suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
If you are suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you should consider counselling. At Klearminds, we have helped many people with CFS and can help to support you with both the physical and psychological impact of CFS. If you would like to speak to one of our experienced counsellors today, you can get in touch with us by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call us on 0333 772 0256. All information that you provide is handled completely confidentially.
According to the Mental Health Foundation a UK-wide stress survey found that 74 per cent of UK citizens have felt stressed, overwhelmed or unable to cope at some point in the past year.
Stress is significant factor in anxiety and depression and other mental health problems. Stress is also linked to physical health conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, insomnia, diabetes, obesity and other digestive problems.
While a certain amount of stress in everyday life is normal, frequently feeling extremely stressed can lead to serious physical and mental health problems.
As well as everyday stresses, such as work, finances and relationships, there are many unexpected things that can contribute to how we cope in every day life. The death of a loved one, divorce or separation and even positive life events like moving home or starting a new job can be a source of stress.
What is stress?
Stress is a normal response to external pressure, such as a life event or a dangerous situation. Your body’s response to external stress results in the production of certain hormones in the body that activates our immune system and releases adrenaline to help us respond quickly. This state is commonly referred to as the ‘fight, flight or freeze’ response.
Excessive and persistent stress can cause the body to feel like it is permanently in a state of ‘fight, flight or freeze’. This pressure and resulting elevated stress hormones result in wear and tear on the body and contribute to a feeling of being unable to cope. High levels of stress hormones can also make you feel physically unwell.
What are the effects of chronic stress?
When the body is in an almost constant state of alertness, it can have severe physical and psychological effects. Signs and symptoms of chronic stress can be emotional, physical and behavioural and can include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Disorganised thoughts
- Excessive worry
- Heart burn
- Muscle tension
- Frequent acute illnesses
- A change in appetite
- Digestive problems
- Low libido
- Feeling out of control
- Feeling helpless
- Feeling unsociable and withdrawn
- Lack of confidence
15 steps to a life with less stress
Chronic stress can seem overwhelming. But, even in the most difficult of circumstances, there are things you can do to help reduce stress levels and improve well-being. Here are our 15 steps to a life with less stress.
- Look out for the signs and symptoms of stress (awareness of when you feel stressed is important)
- Look after your health and review your lifestyle
- Cut down on alcohol and smoking (they contribute to anxiety and depression, making stress harder to deal with)
- Get a good night’s rest
- Practice mindfulness of breathing
- Speak to friends and family about how you are feeling
- Identify stress triggers
- Stay hydrated
- Eat a balanced diet
- Exercise regularly
- Think positively
- Get smart with your time management
- Take breaks from tech
- Take time out to relax
- Say no
If you are struggling with stress in your life, are experiencing anxiety, depression or feeling unable to cope, some counselling may help.
At KlearMinds we have helped many people to understand how stress affects them, shown them how to implement coping strategies and develop emotional resilience to make lasting changes for the better. If you want to take steps to reduce the stress in your life and learn how to cope, call 0333 772 0256 or email us here.
Research has shown that a mere 7% of human communication is based on what we actually say. The remaining 93% is non-verbal, of which 38% comes from tone of voice and 55% from body language. Learning how to read other people’s body language can yield an astonishing amount of information about them, as many counsellors and psychotherapists know only too well.
However, interpreting body language is a lot more complex than just looking up someone’s body shape on a definitive list such as this one. How do you know whether a person who has their arms crossed is feeling defensive or superior? Or are they feeling relaxed and putting their arms into a comfortable position?
This is where the 5 C’s come in. It’s a set of additional clues that can help us read body language and other non-verbal communication in a more coherent and accurate way.
Behaviour and communication are two-way processes, with external events acting as triggers that stimulate our responses. Ask yourself: What might have just happened for the person to take that body stance? There may be more than one answer.
A cue can also be triggered internally, so ask yourself: Looking at the person’s body language, what might they be thinking or feeling? The cue-response sequence can even be instinctive, such as the fear-and-recoil response to seeing a spider or a rat.
Body language may suddenly change, say from open to closed formation, or the person suddenly scratching their nose – both of which may indicate discomfort. When you notice a transition, think back for clues that may have triggered their change in behaviour.
Sales people, for instance, use body language signals all the time. A customer leaning forward displaying positive non-verbal responses is subtly sending buying signals that the sales rep will use to help him close the deal.
More often than not, body language is more than a single event – in fact, it very rarely is. Instead, a cluster of different movements take place together. A person may shift position, cross their arms, lean backwards and purse their lips. They’re clearly in disagreement with whatever just happened or was said.
However, sometimes these cluster movements contradict each other, sending mixed messages. When this happens, be extra vigilant and trust your instinct, then back it up with reasons why you might be feeling this way.
Next, look at the general character of the person. What are they like and what body language is normal for them? For instance, extroverts may naturally display frequent and large body movements, unlike introverts who prefer to take up less space.
Trying to decipher people’s non-verbal communication in an effort to interpret their thoughts and actions is notoriously difficult, particularly if you apply the ‘wrong’ filter. What’s more, temperament, mood and short-term emotional state can modify a person’s normal character and behaviour, making their body language even more complex.
Finally, take account of the broader context that may influence how the other person feels, thinks and acts. In terms of the immediate physical surroundings, for instance, young men in the presence of attractive women will alter their behaviour to include more mate-attracting moves.
This also goes for the wider context of a person’s life. Past experiences good and bad can have a significant effect on their body language. Unless you know about these modifiers, your ability to interpret the person’s non-verbal communications may remain superficial.
When it comes to your physical health, you wouldn’t think twice to see a doctor. But what about your mental health and emotional wellbeing? Many people feel nervous, embarrassed or even ashamed about seeing a counsellor. Why?
Well, not only is there a stigma attached to admitting that you may need help taking care of your mental health, there’s also a lot of misinformation out there about the kinds of people who seeking counselling, and what a counsellor does and doesn’t do. Here are 5 myths that we’re going to lay to rest right now.
1 – Counselling is only for people with serious mental health issues.
Many people believe that in order to see a counsellor, you need to have a psychological disorder or be seriously mentally ill. The reality is entirely different. Counselling can be beneficial for everyone. Whether you seek support for everyday matters such as stress management or relationship issues, mental health challenges like depression, or life events such as a bereavement, counsellors and psychotherapists are expertly trained to help people with a wide range of concerns.
2 – It’s easier to talk to friends and family about my problems.
There is a common belief that seeking the support of your friends and family is just as good as getting professional counselling. But while being able to share your problems with your friends and family is obviously helpful, it is very different from the relationship with a trained counsellor who has specialist skills in diagnosing and treating a range of cognitive, behavioural and emotional issues. What’s more, counselling is entirely private and confidential, meaning you don’t have to take the feelings of your loved ones into account when you speak.
3 – Counselling is nothing but endless talk about my childhood.
Another common misconception is that counselling sessions are spent endlessly rehashing the past, your childhood and the relationship with your parents. The truth is that counselling is tailored to meet your unique personal situation. While some people will benefits from exploring their various previous relationships that are impacting their current reality, others may wish to focus on the present time to inform their future pathways. Counselling draws on a range of approaches to resolve concerns and achieve desired outcomes.
4 – Counselling takes ages; it’s like writing a blank cheque.
Many people mistakenly believe that if you go to counselling, you’re committing to endless sessions that will, over time, cost you an arm and a leg. However, modern counselling is outcome focused and affordable. Private health insurance can also significantly reduce the cost of mental health treatment, while many counsellors keep their fees moderate to ensure maximum access to quality care and support for all. While the goal of counselling is to help people manage their individual challenges, most patients will get there with effective short-term counselling, while others may need several months or more intensive support.
5 – I tried it once and it didn’t work, so counselling is not for me.
Just because you may have had one bad experience with counselling, this doesn’t mean the treatment isn’t for you. If you’re not happy with one counsellor, get a second opinion elsewhere. There are literally thousands of counsellors and psychotherapists in practice. Each one is different and it’s important to find one that you can build a positive rapport with. In fact, the ‘therapeutic alliance’ is at the core of every successful counselling treatment. Trust, respect and working towards a common goal together is probably one of the most reliable indicators of positive counselling outcomes.
At KlearMinds, we have a team of professionals trained in a range of counselling, life coaching and psychotherapy approaches. This means we can tailor our therapy choices to suit your individual learning style and give you the best opportunity to achieve positive results. For more information about the KlearMinds team and how we can support you, please get in touch on 0333 772 0256 or email email@example.com.
Contrary to popular belief, counselling doesn’t have to take place face to face. If you are seeking professional help for a mental health issue but find it inconvenient to come in for your sessions, online counselling may be the perfect solution for you.
According to recent research, online psychotherapy meetings can be just as effective as face-to-face consultations. And with modern digital communications technology such as Skype and FaceTime widely available, there’s no reason why you can’t access high quality counselling for a wide range of issues including anxiety and depression, relationship problems, career concerns and much more.
With the help of online coaching and counselling you can
- Have sessions in the convenience of your own home, office or hotel at a time to suit you
- Save on childcare and/or travel arrangements, time and expense
- Access counselling even if you’re housebound, have a disability or limited mobility
An online psychologist can be particularly helpful in the following situations:
- Your daily schedule may simply be too busy to take time out for a visit to see a counsellor. Rather than wasting precious time to get from A to B, why not save time and arrange a Skype session straight to your office desk?
- If you live in a remote location, high quality counselling may not be available locally. The availability of online support will substantially broaden your reach of highly qualified and experienced counsellors who can help you tackle your concerns.
- Are you a frequent traveller, spending much time abroad or away from home? Why not book a Skype session to avoid overly long gaps in between personal consultations to keep your progress on track?
- Do you live abroad and would like to see a counsellor? Whether you are uncomfortable with the local language or can’t find a good English speaking counsellor where you are, online sessions will provide the required access to a high quality coaching and counselling service back home.
How does it work?
At KlearMinds, we offer counselling and psychotherapy via Skype or FaceTime with our highly experienced psychotherapist and psychologist Jo Frost. With over 14 years’ professional experience, she excels in helping people understand what is going wrong in their life, supporting them to find effective strategies to successfully address a wide range of issues such as panic disorders, bullying, low self esteem, bereavement, anger management, eating disorders etc.
To make contact, simply email KlearMinds or phone and request a Skype session. Jo will be in touch by email to arrange a mutually convenient time and to exchange contact details. And if you’re worried about the security of a Skype call, rest assured that Skype uses encrypted data transmission protocols that are the safest forms of internet security currently available.
Why not call KlearMinds today on 0333 772 0256 or email us to set up a Skype consultation for you.
When a loved one dies, it can feel like the end of the world as we know it. The natural response of grieving for our loss is a hard and extremely painful process to go through, and we all have a different and unique response to losing someone close.
Bereavement counselling is there for you when it seems like you’re drowning in sorrow, unable to move forward. That’s when it can be enormously beneficial to work with a trained therapist who can help you through the stages of grieving to enable you to acknowledge and process what has happened. With the benefit of counselling, you will in time allow life to continue with adaptation and change while preserving the memory of the person who passed away.
There are 5 generally recognised stages of grieving that we all go through when learning to cope with personal loss. As you move through the bereavement process, you may experience some or all of these stages and in any order. It is an important part of the healing process to allow yourself to experience and accept all the feelings as they occur.
- Shock and Disbelief
The first response to a bereavement is typically one of disbelief and shock, even if the death did not come as a surprise. Numbness is often a natural reaction to an immediate loss – it’s our body’s way to shield us from the intensity of the event, and can be useful when action needs to be taken, for instance to make funeral arrangements. As we slowly acknowledge what has happened, the feelings of shock and denial will diminish.
- Guilt and Bargaining
This stage involves an intense preoccupation with what might have been, if only some other course of events had occurred. It’s easy to obsess endlessly about how things could have been better, what could have been done to prevent the worst outcome. That’s why it is important to resolve this stage, so that guilt and remorse don’t get in the way of the long-term healing process.
Many people will experience anger over their personal loss which may feel unfair and untimely. Strong feelings of anger can be a result of perceived helplessness and powerlessness, either as a result of having somehow been ‘abandoned’ by the deceased or because a higher power was at play.
- Depression and Loneliness
Once the full extent of the loss is realised, sadness and loneliness begin to set in. Normal responses may develop into depression as it becomes difficult to ease the pain. Sleeplessness, low mood, appetite disturbances, lack of energy, self-pity, social withdrawal and physical pains are all symptomatic of this stage of grieving.
In the final stages of bereavement, we begin to fully accept that the death has occurred and we are slowly allowing ourselves the ability to manage its effect on us. Healing can begin once the loss becomes integrated into our life experiences and we are able to move forward with our life.
If you feel that it would be helpful to speak to an experienced bereavement counselor to share your personal circumstances, please contact us to arrange an appointment at one of our London clinics.
Are you wondering which is best, counselling or coaching?
So you can explore quickly and easily, which approach might suit you best, we have created a simple infographic to help you understand some of the primary differences between counselling and coaching