Catherine Clouse Counselling Walton-on-Thames, Surrey

Eating Disorders

There is a great deal of pressure, particularly nowadays, to be slim, and many of us are obsessed with our body image and with weight control. Excessive dieting, starving oneself, calorie counting, taking too many laxatives and/or vomiting can lead to serious problems. Childhood issues can also cause bulimia (over-eating and vomiting) and the more serious condition of anorexia. Although for severe cases of anorexia you must be seen by a psychiatric team and counselling tends not to be effective on its own.

Counselling and psychotherapy can be very helpful in establishing the root causes of why you feel the need to comfort eat, binge eat, feel pre-occupied with your weight and body image. Also to treat eating disorders such as severe over-eating, bulimia and moderate cases of anorexia.

You can gain an understanding of the underlying causes o your particular issues around eating and explore your relationship to food. This will involve looking at the onset of the eating disorder, looking at childhood issues and practical treatment in the present such as help in monitoring how much you eat, keeping diaries and a treatment plan.

I tend to use an EMDR based approach when working with Eating Disorders and this can be discussed further during an initial consultation.

What are the benefits of Psychotherapy for Eating Disorders?

Finding out the underlying causes of your issues around food and eating.

Exploring the thoughts, feelings and habits that continue the cycle of over-eating or starving yourself.

Gain insight and understanding to why you need to maintain this cycle and identifying the triggers that cause you to over-eat or starve yourself.

Develop ways to change your eating habits, improve your self-image and build up psychological strength.

Develop coping strategies to manage the compulsion to over-eat, starve, vomit, taking laxatives or over-exercising.

Relationship Problems

Our personal relationships affect how secure, happy and fulfilled we feel with our lives. An unhappy or difficult relationship can lead to depression, anxiety, general neurosis and anger. It can negatively affect our work, cause difficulties in coping with our children, and cause deeply painful feelings of rejection, humiliation, anger and loneliness.

If you are finding it hard to cope with difficulties in your relationship, would like to improve your relationship or find a way to end your relationship but just can’t do it, relationship counselling will be of great help to you.

Relationship Counselling can be very helpful in finding out what are the root causes behind why our relationship isn’t working. You can explore what is happening in your relationship: why for example you are feeling so unhappy. Or why you can’t stop arguing with your partner, why you feel unable to perform sexually with your partner, why you feel unheard and misunderstood.

You can be helped to notice the themes and patterns of behaviour in your relationship. How each of you have your own part to play in how you interact together and the consequences of your reactions to each other.

Childhood issues will be looked at too as they inform how we related to each other as adults. This can be a very helpful way of enabling each person to see how our issues can dove-tail together negatively, and if made conscious, the relationship can be transformed.

Counselling can also help you if you are going through a break-up, divorce, affairs, jealousy, commitment issues, intimacy issues, power struggles, abuse, sex addiction or are unable to communicate with each other.


Abuse can come in many forms from emotional abuse such as bullying, taunting, feeling put down by someone or over-controlled by them. To Physical abuse such as being beaten up, hit, tortured and hurt. None of it is acceptable and causes great distress and fear which can lead to anxiety, depression and injury.

Abuse counselling allows you to talk about the distressing events that happened in the past or present in a safe, confidential and sympathetic space. Counselling can gently help you come to terms with what happened to you. To release the difficult feelings around your abuse in a contained and safe way.

This can allow you to gradually heal and find ways to assert yourself, release yourself from an abusive relationship and build better relationships in the future. You can be helped and supported so that you don’t’ have to struggle alone with the distress and difficulties your abuse has caused you.

Abuse counselling enable you to talk in a safe and confidential space about what has been kept secret for so long. To gain self-understanding and insight into what happened to you and how it affects you in the present. To learn how to deal with bullying and become more assertive and to improve your sexual and emotional relationships with others.


Depression affects many people. Sometimes it can have a short duration and in other cases becomes chronic and more serious, and can lead to difficulties at work and in relationships.

Symptoms of depression can include:
a general low feeling, irritability, lack of motivation, difficulties concentrating, low self-esteem, insomnia, suicidal thoughts, inability to relate to others, social withdrawal, loss of appetite or eating too much, lack of sex drive, and little or no ability to take pleasure in anything.

Counselling and psychotherapy can be very helpful in establishing the cause of why you feel depressed. It can offer ways to manage these painful and sometimes frightening feelings.

Psychotherapy is able to help you to explore the immediate causes of your depression such as the break-up of relationship or loss of a loved one, stress cause by work, financial difficulties, bullying, feelings of sexual inadequacy, or whatever they are. It can also help uncover and heal the underlying reasons for the depressive response.

What is Counselling and Psychotherapy for Depression?

Counselling and psychotherapy can be very helpful in establishing the root cause of why you feel depressed, lacking in motivation and suffering low self-esteem. It can offer ways to manage these painful and sometimes frightening feelings. Counselling can help you to explore the causes of your depression such as the break-up of a relationship or loss of a loved one, stress caused by work, financial difficulties, bullying, feelings of sexual inadequacy, tendency to worry and low self-esteem.


Anxiety is an instinctual human response we all experience to a greater or lesser degree throughout our life. It can be caused by a build-up of stress, the fear of losing someone close to us, threatening situations, aggressive behaviour towards us, fear of failure, performance anxiety and so on. Or it can be something more unconscious that causes us to feel fearful panicky without quite knowing why.

A lot of anxiety is caused by association from a past traumatic experience that has lodged our unconscious mind. For instance, if your father was cruel to you, you might feel anxious in the presence of men. If you performed badly in your last job, you might find yourself feeling anxious in your current job. If you had a car accident you might now find driving stressful. These anxious feelings can produce unpleasant physical side effects such as sweating, trembling, inability to sleep, upset tummy, tension, panic attacks and a desire to avoid the situation/person that is causing the anxiety.

Psychotherapy and counselling can be very helpful in establishing the root cause of why you feel anxious and in finding ways to manage these uncomfortable, and sometimes frightening feelings. You can explore the causes of your anxiety such as stress cause by work, financial difficulties, relationship, bullying, shyness, social anxiety, performance anxiety, sexual anxiety, tendency to worry a lot, low-self-esteem, fear of abandonment, anxiety over illness, death and more.

What are the Benefits of Anxiety Counselling?

Find out the underlying causes of your stress and anxiety.

Gain self-understanding and insight into your anxiety and what triggers it off.

Look at the feelings, thoughts and behaviours that make up your feelings of anxiety or stress.

Develop coping strategies to manage panic attacks or deal with stress.

Stress and Stress Management

Many people suffer from stress during their lives whether caused by issues at work, financial difficulties, relationship problems, or otherwise. Short periods of stress can be tolerated but when stress reaches certain levels it affects us both physically as well as psychologically and can lead to ill health and depression and anxiety. Common symptoms are irritability, tension, sleep disturbance, mood swings, anxiety, depression, inability to concentrate, low performance at work, outburst of anger, crying easily, panic attacks, negative thinking, lack of motivation, loss of confidence, loss of libido, effect on appetite, and social withdrawal. Stress can also cause skin conditions, digestive problems such as stomach ulcers and IBS, headaches, muscular tension, high blood pressure and flu-like symptoms.

What is Stress Management Counselling?

Stress build up over a period of time and has a root cause, whether in the present or the past. Counselling and psychotherapy can help you establish the cause of your stressful feelings, which include those created by family, work, relationships, financial difficulties and past experience.

Counselling can help you find ways to tackle the issues and find ways to manage the stress. It is also important to look at what you may be doing yourself which contribution maintaining your high stress levels, such as always doing things in a rush, pushing yourself hard, taking on too much, helping others too much, over-working and not finding way to relax when at home. You can learn techniques to reduce your stress levels, and find a balanced way of living for the long-term.

Sexual Problems

There are many different kinds of sexual problems and they can manifest in physical and emotional way, but very often they have a psychological base. Sexual problems cause much personal distress to the individual as well as their partner and can often lead to break-up of relationships or loneliness and isolation.

Psyco-sexual counselling will help you by exploring with you and establishing the root cause of your sexual difficulties whether they are based on a childhood experience, difficult initial sexual encounters as a young person. How your childhood affected you. If there is something happening in your current life or relationships that is causing you to feel lacking in confidence, loss of libido, confused sexuality, stress, anxiety. Also performance and anxiety issues around intimacy for yourself or your partner, depression, medication, boredom or other difficulties in your relationship or life that are contributing to your sexual problems.

There are many types of sexual problems including loss of sexual desire, vaginismus, errectional dysfunction, premature ejaculation, difficulty in reaching orgasm. Confused sexuality, sexual addiction, pornography addiction, fear of sexual intercourse, fear of women, fear of men, or other related issues. Sexual counselling will help you work through the difficulties you are experiencing by establishing firstly the root cause, gain insight and develop techniques for overcoming your sexual difficulties.

Problems with Work or Motivation

Counselling can help you with all issues related to work, whether it be counselling to help you decide what you would like to do as a career, counselling with regard to changing your career or counselling for issues at work that you are finding hard to deal with. The workplace can be one of the biggest causes of stress and it can negatively affect our health, performance relationships at work and at home.

Work Counselling can be very helpful in establishing the root cause of why you feel anxious, unable to perform or are finding your relationships at work difficult. It can help in finding ways to manage these uncomfortable, and sometimes difficult situations that can occur at work.

Work counselling can help you to explore the cause of your anxiety such as stress caused by the job itself, relationships at work, bullying, over-work, anger management issues, job dissatisfaction, performance anxiety, tendency to worry, low-self-esteem. A lack of confidence when in meetings or speaking, redundancy and anything else around your workplace that is causing you difficulties. It will help to help find the tools and strategies to help you manage your difficulties.

Career couselling is also of benefit to those who either don’t know what they want to do for a career, want to change their career, or are being forced to change their career. Counselling can offer support and help you establish goals for the future as well as looking at your qualities and helping you find the right career for you.

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