Anxiety is the most common of all mental health conditions and one of the most common reasons people come to counselling. Even though anxiety is frequently highly uncomfortable and distressing, it is also very responsive to treatment.

We all feel nervous or worried at times. This kind of anxiety can be a helpful feeling when it motivates us or warns us of danger. It’s usual to feel tense, or nervous or perhaps even fearful at the thought of a stressful event or decision you’re facing – especially if it could have a big impact on your life. For example: sitting exams, going to hospital or an interview. Maybe starting a new job or getting married or divorced. However, when anxiety begins to seriously impact our lives, influencing the way we think and feel, or becomes overwhelming it can be considered to have developed into an anxiety disorder.


We all feel sad from time to time. This is a perfectly normal response to events in life such as loss or not being able to fulfil something. For most people symptoms subside with the passage of time. However extended periods can cause an escalation of depression causing people to experience depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration.

Depression is the second-most common mental health condition. Many people experience depression, research shows that between 8-12% the general population are affected at any one time(office of national statistics). The word ‘depression’ can be used to describe a wide range of symptoms. One person might refer to themselves as “depressed” if they are feeling low, whereas another may be depressed to the point of being unable to eat, sleep, go to work or socialize.

There are several different types of depression and symptoms vary from person to person. However the general indicators of depression are; feeling low, having lack of interest or pleasure in most things, low motivation. Having these feelings consistently for most of the day and over an extended period of time takes it’s toll on people’s mental health. Feeling disinterested and withdrawing from life are signs that the problems are escalating.


Bereavement is a sense of grief from the loss of someone or something that we hold dear to us. Loss is one of life’s most stressful events. It takes time to heal, and everyone responds differently. We may need help to cope with the changes in our lives. Grief is part of being human, but that doesn’t mean we have to go through the journey alone.

Many people associate grief with the death of an important person or pet. However, people experience grief after any important loss that affects their life, such as the loss of a job or relationship. Grief after diagnosis of an illness or other health problem is also common.


If you are suffering from an addiction, you will recognise the hugely damaging impact that it can have upon relationships, as well as your career and finances. Coming to terms with your addiction and seeking help can therefore be an extremely difficult but rewarding first step on the road towards abstinence and rehabilitation.

The causes of your addiction can be hugely varied, for example; alcohol, drug, eating, sex, gambling, shopping, internet addiction and much more.

Obsessive compulsive behaviour (frequently referred to as OCD)

OCD is best described as an anxiety disorder having two main components: obsession and compulsion.


Obsessions can be described as unwelcome thoughts, images, urges or doubts that repeatedly appear in your mind. For example some individuals may believe that they have become contaminated by dirt or germs, or may experience a sudden urge to do something out of the ordinary like excessive shopping, leaving home or work or even hurting another person. Obsessions are often frightening or seem so horrible that they can’t be shared them with other people. The obsession itself often interrupts your normal thinking and makes ordinary life very difficult to manage.


Compulsions are repetitive activities that you feel you have to do. This could be something like repeatedly checking a door to make sure it is locked or returning home to check the gas is switched off. Sometimes people find themselves repeating a specific phrase or action over and over.

The aim of a compulsion is to try and deal with the distress caused by the obsessive thoughts, in an attempt to relieve the anxiety that is currently being felt. However, the process of repeating these compulsions is often distressing in itself and any relief from the obsession that is felt tends to be short-lived.