Depression is a real illness that can be diagnosed by a GP. It comes with real symptoms, both mental and physical. It's not a sign of weakness or something you can get over just "pulling yourself together".
When you're are depressed, you feel persistently sad for weeks or months, no matter what is going on around you. The feelings that accompany depression could be unhappiness, hopelessness, numbness, losing interest in things and being tearful.
Counselling can help you understand where depression comes from and give you the chance to change your outlook. Gradually, you'll start to look at the future again in a brighter way and appreciate the good things in life.
Whether you're encountering difficulties in a new or long-term relationship, trying to get over a failed relationship or looking for a new one, counselling can help.
All relationships have their ups and downs, and require constant adjustment of plans and expectations as partners deal with each other, and with life's obstacles and challenges. A relationship counsellor can be a vital support, improving communication, increasing trust and minimising the difficulties of emotionally charged situations - from affairs to divorce, from sex to separation.
Relationship counselling can help you understand what you're looking for from a relationship, examine and learn from experiences in the past, and look to the future new-found confidence and increased self-awareness.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition triggered by frightening or distressing events, either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms could be sleeping problems, uncontrollable thoughts about the event, nightmares or flashbacks, feeling of isolation, irritability, guilt, severe anxiety, numbness and lack of involvement with reality. They can vary overtime or vary from person to person.
Most people who go through traumatic events may have temporary difficulty adjusting and coping, but with time and good self-care they usually get better. If the symptoms get worse and interfere with your day-to-day functioning, you may have PTSD.
Counselling can help analyse the event from different points of view, find coping strategies and deconstruct the experience to help overcome the trauma.
Bereavement is the period we spend adjusting to loss. It's a time of confused and mixed feelings - denial, despair, guilt, sadness, bargaining and anger - all at once.
There's no fixed time for bereavement, no right or wrong way to feel. We all have to find our own way to cope with it. Sometimes it can be very difficult to adjust to the loss of somebody important, as it touches so many areas of your life, your beliefs, and your very way of being.
Bereavement counselling can provide invaluable support during this difficult time: helping you make the necessary adjustments, find acceptance and move forward in life.
Stress is a perfectly normal reaction that affects everybody from time to time. When you're under pressure or feel overloaded, your ability to cope is often diminished.
The root cause could be external factors such as life experiences, traumas or the incessant demands of a busy schedule. Or it could be internal factors such as thoughts that swirl around in your head: low self-esteem, worry, uncertainty or unduly high expectations of yourself.
Anxiety is more persistent than stress, and the causes are often more difficult to identify. It can lead people to imagine the worst and even think they're losing their sanity because of some psychological condition.
Counselling can help remove the negative effects of stress and anxiety, and identify the root causes. You'll learn how to cope, and to make the necessary changes to move on.
I'm Francesca Amor, a fully accredited counsellor for individuals and couples based in Cambridge. I work with people from all walks of life, regardless of sexuality, sexual orientation, gender, culture, race, age or religion.
I'm non-judgemental, empathetic and approachable (but don't take my word for it - see the testimonials below). My 'integrative' approach means I'm trained in all major therapies and blend them to best suit your individual needs.
I have additional training in couples counselling and work at Relate. I'm also a volunteer bereavement counsellor with Cruse and am trained in sexual abuse in childhood. I have experience working with depression, low moods, stress and anxiety, self-motivation and more.
To get started, contact me today to book an initial assessment. Lasting just under an hour, it's an informal, confidential session that'll help us understand how we can work together.Get in touch
Not having been through anything similar I found it surprisingly easy to talk. It is a bit daunting, but Francesca made it very easy. Her manner is relaxing and friendly, and she added a personal
touch to the conversation.
I found it very insightful and I definitely have a different view of things.
I learnt with Francesca's guidance to reflect and understand myself better. Over time I began to look at life differently and felt more positive and able to deal with the issues I was facing.
At all times she was professional, knowledgeable and warm-hearted.
They say 'it's good to talk' but in my view it depends on who you're talking to.
And I definitely found the right person in Francesca: open, approachable, friendly and non-judgemental. She's practical and results-focused, and helped me move on from the past to concentrate on the future.
Words cannot express how important our sessions were to me.
You gave me the courage and strength to carry on and I will be forever grateful to you. Keep doing what you do. You were the light in my storm.
Happiness is a state of mind, not an ever-receding point on the horizon. And sometimes, all it takes is a small change in your way of thinking to yield some big results.
It could be something as simple as a sticky note on your computer monitor or fridge.
Don't believe me?
Sticky notes are number 5 in my Top 10 Tips for Happiness - simple tactics that will change your outlook and lift your mood. You'll be surprised at just how effective these strategies are when you're dealing with life's little ups and downs.
Download the list, print it out, share it with friends. Because happiness shouldn't be a secret.