October Appointment Updates – Telephone & Online Psychotherapy Daily

October Appointment Updates – Telephone & Online Psychotherapy Daily

Professional Online Psychotherapy and Telephone Counselling appointments are available daily Monday to Friday at 7.30pm, 8.30pm and 9.30pm (GMT). Appointments can be booked and paid online securely using Acuity Software and STRIPE.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW AND BOOK AN APPOINTMENT

Appointments are available for Telephone & Online Psychotherapy throughout the month of October.  I am currently booked up approx two to three weeks in advance however there is an option when booking online to select if you would like an earlier appointment when one comes available due to cancellations.

Online therapy appointments are suitable for individuals and couples and is provided via DOXY.ME. Doxy is a secure Telemedicine platform for health professionals and clinics allowing you to talk with a therapist conveniently from anywhere in Ireland or around the world. All you need to do is click on the link provided in your booking confirmation email at the time of your booked appointment to enter the online waiting room.

COUPLES THERAPY FROM DUAL LOCATIONS VIA ZOOM

Due to the ongoing increased demand for couples therapy and relationship counselling and with the impact COVID-19 is having on travel restrictions effecting many couples in Ireland and around the world, I also provide couples therapy for couples who are in two different locations using ZOOM. Each partner will received a link to access their couples therapy session in advance.

SERVICES AVAILABLE IN OCTOBER

  • Telephone Counselling for Individuals
  • Online Therapy & Consultations for Individuals and Couples

There will be no drop appointments or Complementary Health Therapies available in October 2020 as my Kildare practice is currently closed.

WHAT TYPE OF COUNSELLING & PSYCHOTHERAPY SERVICES DO I PROVIDE?

I provide general consultations for anyone thinking of starting therapy and for individuals seeking short term emotional support who wish to gain insight into finding a therapist. I mainly provide psychotherapy services to individuals and couples and specialise in the following specific areas;

More information and resources are available on my therapy blog here.

 

Addiction Recovery Support Meetings in Ireland & Online

Addiction Recovery Support Meetings in Ireland & Online

No one should struggle to understand or recover from an addiction alone. There are many trained therapists, organisations and nationwide support meetings for addiction recovery here in Ireland. Now with so many therapists working online using telemedicine software and self help support group meetings also being hosted online using sites like Zoom and by phone conferencing, getting support is more convenient and accessible. 

When you realise that you can no longer manage or fight your addiction alone it can be difficult to know what to do next, who to turn to, or how to find out about recovery options. Finding support is the first step followed by growing your support network. It is through this support that you will learn all about recovery and sobriety and how to move forward. Getting the help of a professional Addiction Counsellor or Psychotherapist who is experienced in addiction and recovery or couples recovery will also help provide you with the information you need to move forward.

Most people who are seeking help for the first time and are new to the recovery process are not aware that there is in-fact a wide variety of self help support groups available here in Ireland. These organisations have websites with advice, information, self-assessment questions, leaflets, helplines and group meetings around Ireland daily and weekly. Once you know where to look, you will realise that you are not alone in your recovery and that there is hope for the future and a path forward.

Recovery Group Support Meetings Hosted Online and by Phone

Since the COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines came into place in March most of these group meetings are now being hosted online using Zoom and by phoning into a meeting. Being able to call or log-in and join a group support meetings means you can attend meetings regularly day or night and around your schedule from home. Sadly, many regional drop-in meetings are currently suspended at present.  There are many benefits to attending group support and they are an integral part of long term successful recovery. To find out more about joining a face to face meeting in your region or joining an online meeting contact the helpline for the organisation. Many of these meetings are by region or may be nationwide.

What Type of Addiction Support Groups are Available in Ireland?

There are organisations that provide support groups in Ireland specifically for food addiction, alcohol problems addiction, drug addiction such as Cocaine, Marijuana and Narcotics, gambling problems and sex addiction. Many of these groups are based on the 12 Step principals while other organisations such as  Lifering and SMART recovery offer a research based recovery approach.

There are also support groups for partners and family effected by a loved one’s addiction. It is always a good idea to get the support of peers or professionals when effected by a spouses addiction even if they are not yet in recovery themselves. You can identify the organisations for partners and family members by the Anon reference such as Al-anon, S-Anon and Gam-Anon. The Rise Foundation provide excellent support to partners and families effected by a loved ones addiction.

Once you know where to look, you will realise that you are not alone in your recovery and that there is hope for the future and a path forward.

Support group meetings are available throughout Ireland daily and are on a donation basis making them affordable for everyone. Group support is a crucial part of early recovery and successful long term recovery.

Some organisations provide 24/7 chat room group support and have developed apps to promote recovery and sobriety which you can find on iPhone or Samsung play store or check out their websites for more information.

Podcasts are now also a great way of learning more about addiction and recovery support. The latest podcast launched here in Ireland recently relating to recovery is called The Problem Gambling Podcast with Barry Grant and Tony O’Reilly which you can find on all podcasting platforms.

To find a professional registered Psychotherapist visit www.iacp.ie and www.addictioncounsellors.ie or to book an online appointment with me for addiction and recovery support click here or visit www.orlaghgahan.ie

Here is a list of addiction recovery support groups in Ireland who currently provide support meetings online. 

Alcoholics Anonymous – www.alcoholicsanonymous.ie

Al-Anon,  Support for families of alcoholics – www.al-anon-ireland.org

Cocaine Anonymous Ireland – www.caireland.info

Marijuana Anonymous – www.marijuana-anonymous.help

Narcotics Anonymous (Drugs) – www.na-ireland.org

Co-dependents Anonymous Ireland – www.codaireland.com

Food Addicts Anonymous – www.foodaddictsanonymous.org

Gamblers Anonymous Ireland – www.gamblersanonymous.ie

Gam-Anon UK & Ireland – www.gamanon.org.uk

Problem Gambling Ireland – Information, support, resources & podcast – www.problemgambling.ie

LifeRing – Sobriety from alcohol & substances – www.lifering.ie

Overeaters Anonymous, Food addictions – www.overeatersanonymous.ie

Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous (Sex Addictions) – www.slaaireland.org

Sexaholics Anonymous (SA) (Sex addictions) – www.saireland.com

S-Anon, Support for partners of Sexaholics – www.sanon.org

Smart Recovery Ireland, Science recovery based support group – www.smartrecovery.ie

The Rise Foundation – Support for partners and loved ones – www.therisefoundation.ie

If you have a recovery support group you would like added to this list please email info@orlaghgahan.ie

30 Days To A Better Relationship – The Latest Gottman Institute Couples Tool

30 Days To A Better Relationship – The Latest Gottman Institute Couples Tool

The Gottman Institute who are experts in relationship research have just launched a new tool for couples called 3o Days To a Better Relationship. This is an exciting email series provided over 30 days which aims to help couples reconnect and inject some positivity into their relationship. Focusing on important habits and behavours such as listening, appreciation, creating meaning and developing rituals together along with simple exercises to practice with your partner. It is a great way of learning more about the basic Gottman method couples therapy principals for healthier happier relationships.

Relationships can be complicated and don’t always run as smoothly as we might like so learning more about what makes happy long lasting relationships is a huge benefit to couples.   – Orlagh Gahan

The Gottman Institute also have a range of tools designed especially for couples to use together such as The Art and Science of Love Online Workshop, The Small Things Often Podcast, the Gottman Relationship Blog and even an app called Gottman Card Deck which you can use at home for a better relationship. All of these Gottman tools can be used individually or to support couples attending couples therapy and relationship counselling together. You might be interested in reading my article – Improve your relationship at home without a couples therapist with these Gottman Relationship tools.

Find a Couples therapist near you using the Gottman Referral Network Directory.

You can find out more about Gottman Method Couples Therapy face to face and online couples therapy appointments on my website www.orlaghgahan.ie.

 

 

September Update – Online & Telephone Appointments

September Update – Online & Telephone Appointments

Professional Online Psychotherapy and Telephone Counselling appointments are available daily Monday to Friday at 7.30pm, 8.30pm and 9.30pm (GMT). Appointments can be booked and paid online securely using Acuity Software and STRIPE.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW AND BOOK AN APPOINTMENT

I am currently fully booked for the first week of September and will be unavailable for two weeks from the 5th to 19th September 2020 on leave. Appointments are available to book for 60 days in advance using the online booking system. During busy times I am booked up to three weeks in advance.

I am currently available for Online Therapy using Doxy which is a secure Telemedicine platform suitable for individuals and couples who want to access therapy conveniently from anywhere in Ireland or around the world. All you need to do is click the link provided in your booking confirmation email at the time of your booked appointment. Due to the demand in couples therapy and with COVID-19 restrictions effecting many people around the world I also provide couples therapy for couples who are in two different locations using ZOOM.

SERVICES AVAILABLE IN SEPTEMBER

  • Telephone Counselling for Individuals
  • Online Therapy & Consultations for Individuals and Couples

There will be no drop appointments or Complementary Health Therapies available in September 2020 as my Kildare practice is currently closed.

WHAT TYPE OF COUNSELLING & PSYCHOTHERAPY SERVICES DO I PROVIDE?

I provide general consultations and psychotherapy services and specialise in the following specific areas;

More information and resources are available on my therapy blog here.

 

 

 

August Update | Online & Telephone Consultations Available Daily

Professional Online Psychotherapy and Telephone Counselling appointments are available daily Monday to Friday at 7.30pm, 8.30pm and 9.30pm (GMT). Appointments can be booked and paid online securely using Acuity Software and STRIPE.

– CLICK HERE TO VIEW AND BOOK AN APPOINTMENT – 

Online Therapy and consultations are available to individuals and couples for a range of problems. It is easy to access, convenient and an effective way to access professional therapeutic support with an accredited Counsellor & Psychotherapist, Sex & Relationship Counsellor and Addiction Counsellor in the comfort of your own home, work or while abroad. Online therapy is now available for couples in the same location using DOXY.ME telemedicine software or who are in two different locations via ZOOM teleconferencing.

I use DOXY.ME and ZOOM for face to face online therapy sessions & consultations.

Telephone counselling is available to individuals for a wide range of personal problems and circumstances. It is an effective short term therapeutic intervention which provides non judgmental professional support.

Due to the current HSE social distancing guidance I am not currently available for face to face appointments or any complementary health therapies at my practice in Naas, Kildare for the month of August.

You can find weekly articles, resources and information on my Therapy Blog.

For more information please don’t hesitate to get in touch at info@orlaghgahan.ie

The ‘Small Things Often’ Podcast Season 2 For Couples is Now Available

The ‘Small Things Often’ Podcast Season 2 For Couples is Now Available

Season 2 of the Small Things Often podcast is now available to listeners. The Gottman Institute created the Small Things Often podcast for individuals and couples. They are experts in relationship research and they know from studying over 30,000 couples what makes relationships and love last or fail. The Gottman Institute have trained over 50,000 therapists around the world to specialise in Gottman Method Couples therapy and provide a range of resources, books and training for couples and clinicians.

The Small Things Often podcast shares simple short 5 minute insights into various aspects of healthy relationships that you can learn, practice and hopefully introduce into your own relationship.

Listen to it alone or with your partner each week. It may be helpful for couples who are already attending Gottman Method Couples Therapy or any type of relationship counselling and sexual recovery.  The Small Things Often podcast is available on SPOTIFY and most podcast platforms.

Here are some of the most recent episodes;

  • Mindfulness and Awareness
  • Flooding & Overwhelm
  • Say What You Need
  • What Does Compatibility Really Mean?
  • The Grass is Greener Where You Water It
  • Relationship Facts & Myths
  • Intimacy Through Self Disclosure
  • Two Sides of Stonewalling
  • Complaints vs Criticism

Are you looking for a Gottman Method Couples Therapist in Ireland?

Find a therapist near you on the online gottman.com directory or visit me at www.orlaghgahan.ie for online gottman method couples therapy and relationship counselling for you and your partner. I provide therapy online and face to face for individuals and couples experiencing problems with sex and intimacy, addiction and recovery, infidelity, betrayal, relationship problems, sex and porn addiction, sexual recovery and relationship healing. You can book online at www.orlaghgahan.ie or email info@orlaghgahan.ie

12 Great Recovery Tools For Overcoming Pornography Addiction

12 Great Recovery Tools For Overcoming Pornography Addiction

Recovery tools will help you learn and understand more about yourself and your recovery and keep you focused on the path ahead. They are also helpful for rebuilding trust in a relationship and working towards relationship healing.

Giving up porn for good when you have developed a dependence and reliance on pornography and any type of sexual material alongside a perpetual habit of sexual acting out is going to take some time. Sexual recovery describes the process of restoring a healthy sense of sexual well-being that is not impulsive, compulsive, or problematic in any way. There is no shame, guilt, remorse, regret, or secrecy associated with being a healthy sexual adult.

Getting help for pornography addiction means also dealing with the negative ripple effect on health, relationships, lifestyle and your overall mindset. Often unresolved problems linked to stress, trauma and loss become evident as clients who come for therapy open-up and talk about their problems. The impact of having a long-term porn habit slowly unravels.

Every clients story and experience of pornography dependence and addiction is different and individual to them. However, the characteristics and problems associated with porn addiction are often similar. There are basic tasks of recovery and achieving abstinence and these can be supported using practical recovery tools that will suit almost everyone.

Using visible recovery tools will help to rebuild trust in a relationship that may have broken down. It shows that you are taking your recovery seriously and are committed to ongoing change and learning. They can also be a safe conversation starter for couples struggling to talk about the problem.

In supporting my clients through addiction and recovery, I want to help make the process as easy as possible by sharing practical recovery tools that I know can be helpful. It is easy for anyone to use these practical recovery tools every single day. What is more challenging is understanding and changing behaviours, habits, resolving emotional conflict and committing to ongoing personal therapy.

Using recovery tools will help to reinforce these more challenging behavioural changes which take time. They are also helpful for re-building trust in a relationship as your partner can see you doing practical things for your recovery.

What are recovery tools for pornography and sex addiction?

Recovery tools are essentially practical things and habits you can do on a daily basis that will support your recovery and help you develop new insight and understanding of the problem. Rehabilitation, addiction counselling, addiction coaching, group support, group therapy and relationship counselling are recovery interventions that can be reinforced by using recovery tools.

What recovery tools can I use for pornography addiction?

These different types of recovery tool’s will help you to be focused and motivated about sexual recovery even if you’re not exactly sure what that means for you just yet. Early recovery is a big learning curve. Here are some examples and suggestions of recovery tools that I know have helped my clients particularly in early recovery from pornography and sex addiction. Find some that work for you and keep using them. It is better to use two or three often then different ones sporadically and randomly.

Podcasts. Listen to one or two podcasts each week that are related to sexual recovery, overcoming porn problems and relationship healing. Two popular podcasts right now are Consider Before Consuming & Sex, Love and Addiction 101 which are available on Spotify.

Keeping a Diary. Get yourself a page a day diary and spend 5 minutes each morning or evening filling it out. Record your therapy appointments, daily reflections, sobriety day, mood good or bad, triggers and recovery tools/tasks for that day. It’s a great way of learning to be focused on changing your behaviours and habits. This is also helpful for building trust in the relationship because it is evidence that you are doing practical things to overcoming pornography.

Books. Books are a super recovery tool. There are lots of books available about overcoming pornography and the effect it can have on your brain, biology, relationships and sexual functioning etc. I could suggest authors such as Dr. Patrick Cairns, Dr. Rob Weiss, Paula Hall and Your Brain on Porn by Gary Wilson. Relationship books are really helpful for relationship healing and learning how to restore trust again. Again, having books by the bedside locker shows that you are reading and learning about recovery which show your partner you are committed to recovery.

Workbooks. Workbooks are a practical way of working through the stages of your own recovery and learn about the addiction cycle, triggers, managing habits and changing behaviours. The Kick Start Recovery Guide by Paula Hall is an excellent 21 page free downloadable workbook for getting started on porn recovery.  Sex Addiction 101 Workbook by Dr. Rob Weiss (2016) and Facing the Shadow by Dr. Patrick Carnes are two recent workbooks that I recommend to my clients.

Wall Calendar. This simple mindfulness practice is a good visual motivational tool. Tick each day you have achieved another day of sexual sobriety. Some clients also draw smiley faces to help describe if it was a good day, bad day or just OK day. It is also a simple practical way of building trust with your partner so they can also keep track of your progress and mood.

10 Minute Exercise Ritual. Work through impulses, urges, emotional upset and feelings of slipping or relapsing by creating a simple 10 minute exercise ritual. This will be something really simple like doing 100 sit-up, 100 press-ups, 100 star jumps or a 10-minute run. Basically brief energetic exercise that will get you into your body and away from your thinking and thoughts temporarily.

Setting Recovery Goals. Write out a list of Short Term Goals (0 – 90 days), Medium Term Goals (90 – 365 days ) and Long Term Recovery Goals (365+) days. Record the list in your diary and mark dates in advance. Keep adding to this list as you need to and tick them off as you achieve your goals. Set yourself rewards for achieving and succeeding.

Audio-books. Just like traditional books, audio-books are a great way of focusing on recovery and you can listen to them in your own time. Listening to biographies, personal development and self-help audio-books are helpful in recovery. Download them on your phone or table for easy access anytime.

Self-Soothing Techniques. These are an important aspect of sexual recovery to help the transition from being impulsive and compulsive sexually to being mindful and accepting of sexual feelings, thoughts, and impulses without acting out sexually. They consist of simple 10 minute breathing exercises, listening to a meditation or meditation music, positive affirmations or more simple practices like just taking a 10 minute walk rather than acting out.

Online Support.  There are a host of 24/7 online supports such as webinars, group support & inspirational speakers for people going through all types of recovery and sobriety. Webinars and experts can be viewed on YouTube and TedX. Online support groups are available on most of the 12 Step Support group websites via ZOOM. Dr. Rob Weiss has online support groups every week at sexandrelationshiphealing.com which you can register and access.

Recovery Apps. The Fortify App helps people to overcome pornography and quit porn for good. It provides a host of tools, video’s, research, shared experiences and most popular – a community forum. The premium version is worth investing in at about $15 a month. It is a good way to stay motivated and learn something new every single day. The Fortify programme is also available as a book and is available on AMAZON.

Content Restriction Software. Also called parental control software which can be applied PC’s and smartphones such as Qustodio can help compulsive and impulsive porn users restrict availability of sexual content on their devices. Interrupting access and reducing availability and accessibility can make early recovery easier. Some couples choose to use this type of software on home and personal devices as part of a restoring trust plan together.

I hope that you find some of these recovery tools helpful to your recovery plans. If you would like professional online support, couples recovery counselling online or your own personal addiction recovery counselling online via ZOOM you can book an appointment HERE.

You can find more articles on my blog at www.orlaghgahan.ie

 

 

Preparing For Your First Online Couples Therapy Session Together

Preparing For Your First Online Couples Therapy Session Together

How do we prepare for an online couples therapy session?

Deciding to get the help of a relationship therapist face to face or online can feel like a big decision, one that sometimes takes a long time to make.  Preparing for your first online couples therapy session could be the difference between a positive or negative experience of online therapy.

These days couples seek out professional relationship therapists for all types of reasons and not just because there is a breakdown in their relationship. They are often looking for support, guidance and direction on how best to address concerns and worries relating to health, family and lifestyle. Unfortunately, many couples wait too long to seek professional help and support so it can take time to work backwards through any difficulties they are experiencing. Some couples seek out therapy to re-couple or de-couple effectively following a relationship breakdown.

Now that many Psychotherapists and Relationship Counsellors are available online it will make accessing couples therapy a more viable and realistic option. Online therapy is convenient, efficient and has many different types of benefits compared with traditional face to face therapy particularly for couples who have hectic schedules, live apart or who have childcare restrictions. There are also differences between online therapy and traditional face to face therapy – but different does not mean less effective so it helps to be prepared. Book your first online couples therapy  appointment here. 

Getting the most out of your first online couples therapy session together is important. For many couples it will also be the first-time meeting with their relationship therapist and understanding how therapy works. Hopefully, you will have been able to find the right relationship counsellor for you both.

Online therapy is convenient, efficient and has many different types of benefits compared with traditional face to face therapy particularly for couples who have hectic schedules, live apart or who have childcare restrictions.

Here are some simple tips to help you both be prepared and ready for your first online couples therapy session.

Timing. Book appointment times that suit you both which will ensure you are not stressed starting the appointment or interrupted by anything or anyone. I ask my couples to sit down for 5 or 10 minutes before their session starts to check-in with each other and talk about they what would like to bring up in therapy.

Comfort. Decide on a comfortable space to do your session, ideally this will be a quiet bright room where you can both sit side by side together facing your online therapist. I notice couples work best when sitting together on the couch or at a kitchen table close to their device. Relax and settle yourselves ahead of your session, make each other a cup of coffee and settle down.

Privacy. Being comfortable and relaxed will help you both to open-up and talk honestly about how you are feeling, this is at the core of effective couple’s therapy. Reduce the risk of interruptions from family or children so that you can talk comfortably.

Device. Ideally do your online sessions on a laptop, PC or larger size tablet which has a good camera and audio. This means your therapist will be able to see and hear you both clearly all through the session. A phone is not ideal for regular ongoing therapy sessions as it is difficult for the therapist to see you both.

Internet Connection. Make sure you have a good strong internet signal on your device. Turn off the wi-fi on your phones and anything else that may reduce internet connection for the duration of your session. Closedown all applications, notifications and any other software that may interrupt you both. A poor-quality signal may mean the session will have to end abruptly.

Lighting. Good quality lighting means that your therapist will be able to see you both well. Verbal communication is only a small percentage of actual communication, so they need to be able to see you both clearly. Turn on an overhead light or have a table light close by.

Preparation. Its always a great idea to be mentally prepared for your therapy sessions. Write down notes, thoughts or questions that you would like to raise in the session. Its helpful for couples to talk together ahead of appointments and agree on specific topics or problems. It does not matter if you do not agree on what you want to discuss as both opinions are important.

Mindset. Online couples therapy is best suited to couples who are focused on finding solutions and some common ground to deal with their relationship problems and concerns. It is not ideal for couples who are in a high conflict or distressed state unless you have agreed with the therapist in advance that online therapy is a suitable intervention. Being in a high conflict state means that one or both partners are very emotive and will be unable to listen, talk or empathise effectively with each other or their therapist.

Communication. Both individuals need to be able to express themselves, respect each other while talking and engage in active listening. Criticism, defensiveness and stonewalling during sessions will make online therapy sessions completely ineffective. Make a decision to try work together for the duration of your online couple’s therapy session even if you both have different feelings, opinions and agendas.

Expectations. It takes time for the couple’s therapy process to develop. The first few sessions will be focusing on assessing the problems and factors which are affecting the relationship. With sessions often limited to one hour at a time, it may take several sessions before you feel any intervention or progress is being made. Committing to at least six couples therapy sessions together will give you a good idea of how beneficial they are for you both, bearing in mind that relationship counselling is often a medium to longer term process over months.

Follow the instructions provided by your therapist well in advance of your session to start your online therapy sessions. Depending on the software they use, you may need to download software, create an account or profile. I use DOXY.ME which means my clients just need to click on a secure link to access the virtual therapy room.

Can we do online couples therapy sessions in different locations?  

Yes. Online couples therapy sessions can be done from the same location or separate locations depending on your relationship counsellor. If you are in different locations, both individuals will log into the virtual therapy room at the time the appointment starts and a group call will commence together. This type of therapy group call can take some time to get use to but will be suitable for couples residing in different locations or countries.

Do you want to start therapy? To book an individual online therapy session or online couples therapy session please CLICK HERE to view, book and pay for an appointment with me. You can find out more at www.orlaghgahan.ie 

Services Update – Online Therapy & Telephone Counselling Available Daily

Services Update – Online Therapy & Telephone Counselling Available Daily

Professional Online Therapy and Telephone Counselling appointments are available daily Monday to Friday at 7.30pm, 8.30pm and 9.30pm (GMT). Appointments can be booked and paid online securely using Acuity Software and STRIPE.

– CLICK HERE TO VIEW AND BOOK AN APPOINTMENT – 

Online Therapy and consultations are available to individuals and couples for a range of problems. It is easy to access, convenient and an effective way to access professional therapeutic support with an accredited Counsellor & Psychotherapist, Sex & Relationship Counsellor and Addiction Counsellor in the comfort of your own home, work or while abroad. Online therapy is now available for couples in the same location using DOXY.ME Telemedicine or who are in two different locations via ZOOM Teleconferencing.

I use DOXY.ME and ZOOM for face to face online therapy sessions & consultations.

Telephone counselling is available to individuals for a wide range of personal problems and circumstances. It is an effective short term therapeutic intervention which provides non judgmental professional support.

Due to the current social distancing restrictions and HSE guidelines I am not currently available for face to face appointments or any complementary health therapies at my practice in Naas, Kildare. I will not be providing face to face appointments for the coming months and will review this decision in August 2020 with a view to recommencing sessions in September 2020.

You can find weekly articles, resources and information on my Therapy Blog.

For more information please don’t hesitate to get in touch at info@orlaghgahan.ie

I hope you stay safe, healthy and connected together.

 

Podcast Spotlight – Sex, Love & Addiction 101 with Dr. Rob Weiss

Podcast Spotlight – Sex, Love & Addiction 101 with Dr. Rob Weiss

There is no doubt that Sex, Love & Addiction 101 with Dr. Rob Weiss is the best podcast available out there right now for anyone seeking information, insight, opinion and expert advice about all aspects of sex addiction, porn addiction and sexual recovery.

Dr. Rob Weiss is a leading expert in the field of sex and love addiction and sexual recovery and also author of 10 books about sexual recovery, porn addiction, intimacy and infidelity. He hosts this wonderful informative and easy to listen to podcast with many expert guests who share their experiences, research, and knowledge with listeners.

Dr. Weiss is the Chief Clinical Officer of sexandrelationshiphealing.com and founder of seekingintegrity.com where you can find additional information and support for sex and pornography addiction including online support groups.

This podcast is not just about sex and love addiction. It explores the many aspects of intimacy, connection, sexuality, healing, self-development and relationships.

Sex, Love and Addiction 101 which is available on Spotify, Apple iTunes and most podcasting platforms also focuses on important issues impacting partners effected by sex and porn addiction, relationship breakdown, trauma, infidelity, betrayal and the relationship recovery process. Partners need help and support too in order to take control of their own health and well-being and to make important decisions about their own healing and recovery process.

This podcast is an excellent recovery tool for anyone starting sexual recovery and for those who want to stay focused on maintaining their sexual recovery and sobriety. It can also be helpful for therapists and partners who want to better develop their understanding and awareness in order to support someone through sexual recovery in a compassionate and empathetic way.

With weekly podcasts focusing on the various aspects of human sexuality and sexual behaviours, Dr. Weiss talks openly and comfortably about topics which many of us would struggle to discuss and address in our daily lives with partners or friends. His kind and compassionate approach alongside sharing his own personal experiences will help listeners to reflect on how best to address and talk about their own personal dilemmas and hopefully seek out professional help.

The reason I suggest this podcasts as a recovery tool to many of my clients who come to therapy for sex and relationship problems is because it touches on problems that come up for clients that they believe are uncommon or stigmatized. These include problematic pornography use, women and porn, infidelity, affairs, betrayal, sexual compulsivity, love addiction, fantasy, fetish, relationship breakdown and relationship healing. Many topics that clients simply feel are off limits to discuss openly outside of professional therapy.

One of the best ways to get focused and motivated about recovery and understand your problems from an all-round perspective is to listen and learn from the experts. The great thing about podcasts is that they are often topic specific, available instantaneously and easy to listen to privately in your own time.

Don’t know what to listen to first? Here are some of my favorite episodes…
  • Defining Love Again After a Betrayal with Michelle Mays
  • Help Her Heal with Carol the Coach
  • About Disclosure with Mari Lee
  • Let’s Talk about Porn Addiction with Dr. Rob Weiss
  • Going to Therapy Online with Forest Benedict
If you would like to talk to a professional Psychotherapist about a sex and relationship problem, sex and pornography addiction, infidelity, affair, sexual recovery, intimacy, fetish or any related concerns you can book an appointment with me online at www.orlaghgahan.ie and schedule a professional telephone and online therapy session.

 

 

Hold Me Tight Online Couples Course by Dr. Sue Johnson – 50% OFF

Hold Me Tight Online Couples Course by Dr. Sue Johnson  – 50% OFF

Hold Me Tight: Your guide to the Most Successful Approach to Building Loving Relationships by Dr Sue Johnson is available as a book and audio-book and comes highly recommended by many Relationship Counsellors and Marriage Counsellors around the world. 

You can also listen to Dr. Johnson being interviewed on many relationship podcasts talking about Emotionally Focused Therapy, attachment, healthy relationships and relationship healing.

Hold me Tight is available as an online course for couples to help them work through the practices and principles together in their own time. Right now, you can get 50% of Dr Sue Johnsons Hold Me Tight Online Couples Course at holdmetightonline.com

For all of us, the person we love most in the world, the one who can send us soaring joyfully into space, is also the person who can send us crashing back to earth. All it takes is a slight turning away of the head or a flip, careless remark. There is no closeness without this sensitivity. If our connection with our mate is safe and strong, we can deal with these moments of sensitivity. Indeed, we can use them to bring our partner even closer. But when we don’t feel safe and connected, these moments are like a spark in a tinder forest. They set fire to the whole relationship. – Dr. Sue Johnson – Hold Me Tight

If you would like to talk to a professional Psychotherapist and Relationship Counsellor online about your relationship contact me at www.orlaghgahan.ie or email info@orlaghgahan.ie

Find out more about online therapy here or book your appointment securely online using Acuity Scheduling here.

 

20% OFF Couples Workshop Online – The Art and Science of Love Online

20% OFF Couples Workshop Online – The Art and Science of Love Online

Do you want to work on your relationship together at home in your own time? Now you can watch The Art and Science of Love Online edition at home with your loved one. This is a two day couples workshop for couples who want to learn more about healthy happy relationships. The Gottman Institute is providing a 20% discount on this online course from 30/4/2020 to 15/5/2020 using promo code SOCIAL20ASL.

Dr. John and Julie Gottman founders of The Gottman Institute are experts in relationship research for over four decades and they know what makes love last, what are the predictors of divorce and how to develop healthy friendship, intimacy, connection, understanding and respect in your relationship. They have turned their live workshop into a online couples workshop.

This online workshop is over 8 hours of the most up to-date research, tools and strategies for couples and includes a downloadable manual.

If you would like to talk to a professional accredited Psychotherapist & Relationship Counsellor online about your relationship visit www.orlaghgahan.ie  or contact me at info@orlaghgahan.ie

Healing From Betrayal & Infidelity – An e-book Resource For Partners & Spouses

Healing From Betrayal & Infidelity – An e-book Resource For Partners & Spouses

Finding out your partner or spouse has betrayed you in some way is devastating and traumatic. Partners go through a process or stages of emotions such as shock, disbelief, anger, hurt, depression, questioning.

Betrayal in relationships can take many forms, it is often confused with infidelity which is a form of betrayal. Other types are being secretive, dishonest, disloyal, lying, disrespectful and lying by omission in a relationship. Betrayal is essentially breaking or breaching the trust and commitment developed between two people while at the same time creating a false sense of safety, security and reality.

Discovering your significant other has a secret sexual life is a traumatic event. As a result, many betrayed partners and spouses deal with traumatic stress symptoms such as physical pain, increased anxiety, insomnia, depression, poor self-image, overeating, substance abuse, and sexual withdrawal. – Mari Lee

Sadly betrayal can develop in relationships were one person is experiencing problematic behaviors and sexual addiction and porn addiction. Sexual betrayal leaves partners feeling confused and traumatized as they start the process of piecing their lives back together.  Many partners of sex and porn addicts and those who’s spouses have had affairs are faced with the healing and recovery from betrayal and infidelity.

There is healing and support for anyone faced with healing from betrayal and infidelity. It is recommend that you seek the support of a professional Psychotherapist who understands what you are going through with experience of infidelity, affairs and sexual addictions. They can help guide and support you through your own healing process and that of your partners what ever the circumstances. They can also help you understand the process you are going through and discuss how to navigate rebuilding trust in the relationship. This may take the form of a formal disclosure process with your partner, identifying non negotiable ground rules in the relationship and working towards making important decisions and choices about your relationship future together.

This insightful and helpful e-book resource called Healing from Betrayal – An e-book for partners and spouses of Sex and Pornography Addicts by Mari Lee can help you understand more about what you are going through and how to cope in the aftermath of a betrayal, infidelity or affair. Mari Lee is a Licenced Sex Addiction Therapist (LCSAT) in the USA could help you understand more about your own healing process and the steps to take next. You can listen to Mari Lee on popular podcasts about sex and intimacy such as Sex, Love and Addiction with world renowned therapist Rob Weiss.

This e-book which costs around $20 to download will help you understand more about betrayal, sex addiction, sexual recovery, the disclosure process and your own important healing from trauma and recovery process.

Mari Lee also has a wonderful workbook called Facing Heartbreak – Steps to Recovery For Partners of Sex Addicts which I have on a recommend reading list for my clients who come to therapy for partners recovery and support.

Many people who come for counselling have either discovered that their partner has betrayed them (discoverer) or has been told that there has been a betrayal or infidelity (discovered). There is professional support during this difficult time. Couples if they work together can and do rebuild relationships, trust and commitment again with the right support.

If you would like professional help and support visit me at www.orlaghgahan.ie

Coping With Cancelled Fertility Treatments During COVID-19

Coping With Cancelled Fertility Treatments During COVID-19

If you are going through assisted reproductive treatment, IVF and fertility treatments right now or had planned to start your consultation process no doubt you will be devastated to have your treatment plans temporarily suspended or cancelled with no clear date when they may recommence.

It will be difficult for anyone who has not gone through the ups and downs of failing to conceive naturally to truly empathise with the dept of disappointment couples are experiencing as a result of fertility clinics suspending treatment around the country. There is also another level of distress facing couples which is the potential financial impact of joblessness and unpredictability of the near future which may bring fertility treatment plans to an abrupt halt.

This is a challenging and stressful time for everyone adapting to the changes COVID-19 brings to daily life. On top of this stress, coming to terms with suspended fertility treatments will lead to a whole range of mixed emotions not to mention the physical and emotional consequences depending on where you are in your treatment phase.

You are not alone in your feelings of disappointment, frustration, anger, pain and loss or what ever it is you are feeling right now. In recent weeks the number of women and their partners contacting me with their concerns and for support has significantly increased. They are mostly seeking information on how best to support and look after each other and ask about coping tools and skills.

On a positive note, this has been the catalyst for couples to reach out and then sit side by side at home talking openly together to a Fertility Counsellor online about what they are going. Talking to a fertility counsellor about fertility and infertility is something many may not have considered before even though it is recommended by most fertility clinics.  What they gain from the experience of online therapy, I hope, is a closeness and understanding of how to support each other in a positive and effective way. Also learning to trust that they have already developed their own coping skills and resilience through their fertility journey and to keep practicing what has been working for them already.

All couples and especially women, mentally and emotionally prepare themselves for the start of fertility treatment, and this is no easy task. They are often working through the five stages of grief and loss in silence after long periods of time failing to conceive or after repeated miscarriage. Assisted reproductive treatment or IVF, marks the end of trying naturally and the start of putting faith in science and a medical model which can feel very much out of their control.

There is a parallel process of letting go happening alongside a hope and expectation that treatment will result in a healthy pregnancy. Anticipating the possible outcomes alongside the worst and best case scenarios is part of that mental preparation and this can be an additional source of long-term stress and anxiety depending on how you are coping all round.

Couples most likely effected with be those who are right in the middle of treatment, already heavily invested both physically and financially. Many will have spent months going through investigations, test and are now physically preparing for treatments such as egg collection and embryo transfer. Going through IVF required significant planing and aligning of home, work and social life for both partners, another source of ongoing stress. This unexpected suspension of treatment plans may hit psychologically like another loss for the couple adding to an underlying cycle of grief and loss.

“Having optimum psychological, physical and emotional health while managing a fertility health problem will at the very least support you to undertake treatment without being emotionally overwhelmed by it and, based on the research available, is likely to enhance your chances of conceiving while doing so.” – Ann Bracken author of Mind Body Baby

Most fertility clinics are still available by phone and continue to provide online consultations to communicate with their patients and I would encourage you to contact them if you have questions and concerns about your treatment. Fertility counsellors have also moved their practice online using secure Telemedicine Software designed for clinics and healthcare settings like DOXY.ME to meet their clients and are a sound source of professional therapeutic support.

What can I do if my fertility treatment is cancelled?

It is important that you look after yourself in a holistic way during this time of adjustment, unpredictability and disappointment.

Re-framing how you think about these next few weeks or months of social distancing will help you to manage your overall mood and mindset.

Consider this time as an opportunity to both love and rest your body so that when the time comes for treatment you will be feeling calm, prepared and physically well.

Try not to think too far into the future but at the same time enjoy making plans that will support your fertility journey and treatment plans.

Take time out and read a good book or listen to an audio book which will help you to prepare mentally and emotionally for the journey ahead. There are lots of good books available about fertility and self-care. Podcasts are an excellent source of information and insight around natural and assisted fertility.

Continue to stay in-tune with what’s happening in your body, keep up your basal temperature monitoring if you had been doing so and keep tracking your menstrual cycle.

Try not to personalise this global pandemic by using unhelpful internal monologues like ‘why me’ and ‘why us’ which I am sure you are familiar with saying. These will only increase your sense of things feeling out of your control.

Spend extra time talking and connecting with your partner about how you are feeling and coping, being open and honest will bring you together.

Verbalise and acknowledge your thoughts and feelings especially your low mood feelings like sadness and disappointment which will begin to ease with time.

Continue planning for your future and practice positive affirmations to help you feel in control rather than letting your mind catastrophise the future which I hear a lot of from clients.

Turn towards your partner rather than away in this difficult time. Make regular bids for connection, have fun and share fondness and admiration together. Connect on an emotional, romantic and intimate level. Avoid engaging in unnecessary perpetual problems and conflict. These are strategies from Gottman method couples therapy for improving and enhancing healthy relationships.

Get your running shoes on and burn off excess stress and adrenaline which will help regulate roller-coaster emotions by going for a swift walk or run out in the fresh air. This is one of the best ways to quickly change your mood and mindset and will in turn ensure you sleep better.

If you find you are struggling and need to talk to someone, many professional fertility counsellors like myself are supporting clients and couples face to face online which you can do from the comfort of your own home. Online fertility counselling is the same as face to face counselling and could help you to cope better together.

Your time will come soon to recommence your fertility treatment and this is an opportunity to be as prepared as you could ever be. In the mean time if you would like to book an online fertility counselling session click here to book securely with Acuity Scheduling.

Improve Your Relationship at Home Without a Couple’s Therapist With These Gottman Relationship Tools

Improve Your Relationship at Home Without a Couple’s Therapist With These Gottman Relationship Tools

If you want to improve your relationship with your partner or enhance intimacy and connection together then here are some great Gottman Relationship Institute tools and resources for you to try out, with or without the help of a couple’s therapist.

Many couples around the world are practicing social distancing and self-isolation due to COVID-19 which means that the relationships dynamic may change. Some couples will become more stressed and strained while others will flourish and thrive through adversity. This time shared at home is an opportunity to reconnect and try something new.

If you are both going through a difficult time together or are unable to attend face to face relationship counselling or individual therapy right now, then these resources will help you to focus on making things better without the help of a professional therapist. Many psychotherapists and relationship counsellors are now providing online therapy and telephone counselling which you could also consider.

You are 50% of your partnership and you can influence your relationship in many positive ways while also learning about your own emotional and relationship needs.

Most people do not know or understand exactly what makes happy healthy relationships and we tend to just go with the flow and hope things work out for the best. Dr. John and Julie Gottman are experts in relationships and have studied couples for over 30 years. They know what makes marriages succeed or fail, they talk about striving for ‘the good enough relationship’ and not the perfect relationship which quite simply does not exist.

If your partner is reluctant to give your relationship the attention it deserves right now, do not panic. As a relationship counsellor, I can tell you that there is often one person far more invested in trying to make the relationship better. You are 50% of your partnership and you can influence your relationship in many positive ways while also learning about your own emotional and relationship needs.

Here are some excellent resources from the Gottman Relationship Institute that I hope you will find helpful right now, what ever your circumstances.

Small Things Often Podcast – Listen to recently launched Gottman Institute podcast which provides simple short tips in less than five minutes which can help you to improve your relationship. Learn about staying connected, understanding, listening, problem solving, attunement and the principals of making your relationships work. Available on Apple and Spotify.

The 7 Principals For Making Marriage Work book by John & Julie Gottman – Learn exactly what makes relationships work or fail from the experts in relationships based on over 30 years of research from 30,000 couples. For couples wanting to get to know each other better, why not try out their latest book ‘Eight Dates – Essential Conversations For a Lifetime of Love‘. Both are available from your local book shop and on www.bookdepository.com

The Marriage Minute – Sign up to the Marriage Minute Newsletter – It’s a resource of tools, articles, videos, exercises, and more, all founded on Drs. John and Julie Gottman’s four decades of research and clinical experience, delivered straight to your inbox.

Couples Workshop Online – The Art and Science of Love Couples Workshop – Just launched last month and based on the 2-day couples workshop all across the USA, its is for couples and clinicians of all ages. This couples workshop, 8 hours duration is now available to watch together online from the comfort of your own home. This is a excellent way of focusing on your relationship in your own time.

You and your partner will learn how to foster respect, affection, and closeness in your relationship. You will build and share a deeper connection with each other. You’ll learn how to keep conflict discussions calm, how to break through conflicted gridlock, and how to strengthen and maintain the gains in your relationship.‘ – The Art and Science of Love

The Gottman Relationship Blog –  A relationship blog by professional relationship experts for individuals who want to learn more about relationships, communication, conflict, trauma, healing from affairs and infidelity, marriage and couples therapy. Use the search function to narrow down your search.

The Gott Sex website – A unique website created by The Gottman Relationship Institute for couples who want to learn how to develop intimacy, make real love and have deep and meaningful sex.  The Gott Sex is a series of online videos couples can watch together and includes information and exercise to help them learn more about each other.

Thinking of starting couple’s therapy? The Gottman Relationship Checkup is a clinical tool your Gottman therapist uses for your couples therapy assessment sessions. The questionnaire consists of 480 questions about friendship, intimacy, emotions, conflict, values, and trust, as well as parenting, housework, finances, individual areas of concern, and more. It costs $30 to complete and the full report goes directly to your Gottman Method couples therapist to discuss in your couple’s therapy sessions.

Find your local Gottman Method Couples Therapist here or want to talk to a professional therapist online, click here. You can read more on my latest blog about if online therapy could help you and what are the benefits.

Stay safe, stay connected and stay supporting each other.

 

Update on Services – Telephone Counselling and Online Counselling Available Daily

Update on Services – Telephone Counselling and Online Counselling Available Daily

From 20th March 2020 Counselling and Psychotherapy appointments and general consultations will only be available by telephone and online. Face to face appointments have been suspended and will be available in the coming weeks. This is in line with the HSE and IACP guidelines to help support social distancing and flatten the curve of COVID-19 in Ireland. Looking after your mental health in a time of crisis is very important so that you can also support your family and wider community the best way you can.

Appointments are available every day and every evening Monday to Friday.

Online therapy is provided using secure HIPAA compliant Telemedicine Software called DOXY which is used by health clinicians around the world to provide professional services to their clients online.

You can view, book and pay for your appointments here.

Appointments are scheduled by secure Acuity Scheduling booking software.

Payments are processed online securely via STRIPE.

 

Telephone Counselling – Minding Your Mental Health in Crisis

Telephone Counselling – Minding Your Mental Health in Crisis

Telephone counselling provides professional therapeutic emotional support which is non-judgmental, confidential and supportive no matter what you are going through. Telephone counselling is suitable for a wide range of problems, people and circumstances. It can be a wonderful support for anyone effected by illness or disability who may be restricted by mobility but who wish to access professional emotional support from home. Talking to your professional therapist by phone should be as reassuring as meeting them in person.

How we communicate is changing and evolving around the world and therapists are adapting their practice to meet the needs of their patients. Many professional therapists are now covered and insured to provide therapy face to face, by phone and face to face online using different technologies.

Telephone counselling can be effective and solution focused, helping clients to express their needs and find solutions to their own problems. The power of talking and feeling truly heard and understood is powerful beyond measure. In a world where all we do is communicate, rarely do we listen to hear, rather we listen to respond. Telephone counselling provides a medium for connection and self-expression and a safe space to discuss your inner thoughts, worries and fears with someone trained to understand what you may be going through.

The current situation in Ireland with the COVID-19 pandemic is a global and national emergency. Many people who are in self-isolation or impacted by COVID-19 are unable to go about their usual daily routine. Most of use are slowly adapting and coming to terms with the impact of this unexpected pandemic which is causing stress, worry and anxiety. A separation from loved ones in an effort to protect each other. This is a complete change of lifestyle and connection for most of us.

The power of talking and feeling truly heard and understood is powerful beyond measure.

Times of crisis and social isolation effect mental and emotional health and your general sense of well-being particularly for those already experiencing life stress. It is very important to focus on staying healthy and thinking positively. Connecting with family, friends, loved ones and also colleagues in any way possible helps keep a sense of normality.

If you feel that you need extra support at this time from a professional IACP Accredited Counsellor & Psychotherapist than telephone counselling may be an option for you to consider. You can find a full list of professional accredited Psychotherapists at www.iacp.ie.

Online therapy and telephone counselling is available to view and book online at www.orlaghgahan.ie

Online Therapy – Could Online Therapy Help You and What Are The Benefits

Online Therapy – Could Online Therapy Help You and What Are The Benefits

Bad weather, travel disruptions, illness, crisis or just simple convenience, whatever your reasons for turning to online therapy, you can now talk to a professional therapist in the comfort of your own home, work and abroad.

Talking to a professional therapist is getting easier thanks to the internet and new technology and it has so many great benefits. Online therapy is convenient, effective and allows you to talk to a professional therapist in the comfort of your own home, at work or from anywhere around the world when you need it most.

One of the top advantages of talking to a therapist online is that you are no longer restricted geographically by location when it comes to finding the right professional therapist for you. You can literally search the world for someone who you feel suits your needs best. Online therapy is increasingly popular with all types of people, particularly those who are already comfortable communicating and working online both socially or professionally.

Counsellors and psychotherapist are trained to provide professional therapeutic support to people in a time of crisis or who are effected by an unexpected traumatic event.

Who can benefit from online counselling?

Online therapy is suitable for all types of people, profiles and professions. It is particularly popular with people who are already using the internet on a daily basis and for those newbies to e-counselling, it shouldn’t take too long to get the hang off. Clients with disabilities and medical conditions who may be restricted physically can now access therapy without needing to leave home.

Online therapy is a great option for the Irish ex-pat community abroad as it allows native Irish people to talk to a professional therapist who they feel they can connect and identity with better than perhaps a local speaking therapist.

New mothers and parents who are often restricted by childcare can now get the support of a professional therapist online without having to leave home or arrange childcare.

Professionals with hectic schedules and busy diaries, shift workers and anyone struggling with work life balance may find online therapy more suitable to their demanding lifestyle.

Business owners and the self-employed who cannot afford to spend time leaving their office to get to a therapy practice and also businesses who want their staff and managers to access therapy from the workplace can benefit for online therapy. Essentially online counselling can be beneficial to many people who want to talk to a professional in confidence virtually at the click of a button.

What are the benefits of online therapy?

The obvious benefits of online therapy are accessibility and convenience. Being able to talk to a professional therapist in the comfort of your home or work saves time, money and potential stress travelling and parking.

There are several other benefits you may not have thought off that might make you seriously consider going online for therapy and finding a therapist.

Typically, therapist who work online provide an online booking system on their website which means you can view, book and schedule your appointments online without having to phone and check if their diary suits your schedule.

Most online booking systems allow you to reschedule or cancel appointments directly saving you time and hassle if something come’s up that means you can’t get to your scheduled appointment. This is really handy for most people, particularly professionals and parents who know that things can come up unexpectedly.

Most online therapist and counsellors provide online payment facilities so that you can pay for your appointment in advance using your credit or debit card. No more needing to get to the ATM to withdrawn cash ahead of your appointment.

The nature of online therapy means that you can spend time researching and finding the right therapist for your needs around your country and even the world rather than being restricted to a therapist that is local to your area who may not be the right type of therapist. With online therapist directories such as onlinecounselling.com and psychologytoday.com you can profile therapists who specialise in specific fields, problems, conditions, faiths and therapy models which may be the best fit for not only your specific needs but also your unique personality.

Many professional therapists are trained in either general counselling and/or specific fields and they also have a perfect client which they know they work best with and get good results. That perfect client could be you. Finding the right therapist fit can mean getting results and making progress faster. Make sure to read up on their website bio to check if they have related training in the problems you are experiencing.

Online therapy can be a positive therapeutic intervention in a time of crisis. Crisis’s happen unexpectedly and being able to talk to a professional therapist quickly and conveniently can be the difference between coping well or not being able to function at all.  Counsellors and psychotherapist are trained to provide professional therapeutic support to people in a time of crisis or who are effected by an unexpected traumatic event.

When is online counselling not appropriate?

While online therapy has many benefits, it is also not the best option for everyone. Clients who are well used to the intimacy of face to face therapy in the room with their therapist may find it difficult to adapt of virtual therapy. It also requires a level of technical ability and may not be suited to people who find it difficult to use computers and the internet in general. People who find it difficult to communicate and express themselves may find online therapy an unsuitable and more challenging. It is also not suitable for anyone under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Finally, men and women who are experiencing severe mental health problems, risk of self-harm and suicidal tendencies are recommended to seek advice from their medical professional directly and attend traditional face to face professional therapy instead of online counselling.

Therapists like myself who work online with clients regularly are used to helping make new clients feel more comfortable with online therapy.  Just like with regular face to face therapy it takes time to get used to talking with your therapist online and develop a therapeutic relationship. Preparing for your online therapy session in advance can make all the difference to your online counselling experience.

If you would like to find out more about online therapy and online counselling visit www.orlaghgahan.ie

Professionals can connect with me on DOXY.ME,  SKYPE at orlagh.gahan or via Linkedin.

Online Therapy – 10 Ways To Prepare For Your Online Counselling Session

Online Therapy – 10 Ways To Prepare For Your Online Counselling Session
Online therapy has many advantages in today’s modern fast paced world where time is precious and accessibility is essential. It allows you to be able to talk to your chosen professional therapist in the comfort of your own home, workplace or while travelling abroad about anything that is on your mind.

Online counselling is a different experience from being face to face in the same room as your local therapist so making sure your online session goes smoothly for you both is important. 

For many people, especially those comfortable with working and communicating online already, it is a convenient and increasingly popular way to access professional therapy with the right therapist for you.

Being prepared for your first session can greatly improve your overall personal experience of online therapy so that you will want to keep working and connecting with your chosen therapist. Online counselling is a good way to focus on self-care and personal development while also addressing any problems you may be experiencing.

It may be a completely new experience for you to talk to a professional therapist about your inner world and put words on your thoughts and feelings, but rest assured you’re in good hands. Any type of personal therapy be it face to face or online takes time to get used to. Your therapist should guide and support you through your online therapy session.

As you establish a relationship with your therapist you will hopefully get more comfortable talking to them over the course of your online sessions just like traditional couch therapy. Try to relax and be yourself as much as possible.

How Can I Get Ready For My Online Counselling Session?

Here are 10 ways to get the most out of your online counselling sessions. These are my tips combined with some great advice for online counsellors from Clay Cockrell, an online counselling expert and founder of onlinecounselling.com. I hope these will help you get the most out of your next online counselling sessions. To book an online therapy session click here

BE PREPARED. Make sure that you have the correct platform access and contact links for your counsellor before your session starts. I often use SKYPE for online therapy, and I connect with my clients via SKYPE the day they book their session so there are no delays on the day of therapy. Depending on the platform your therapist is using you may need to download software and set up a new account in advance. Read up on any emails your therapist sends you well before your session, these may also contain important details regarding client patient confidentiality.

GOOD LIGHTING. Visually it’s important that your therapist can see you clearly during your online video sessions. It can be helpful to be in a bright room or have a desk lamp close to your laptop or device to improve lighting quality around your face and upper body. Therapists are trained to read body language, facial expressions and visual ques so good quality lighting can enhance the communication and connection between you both and allow for a better sense of eye contact.

INTERNET CONNECTION. Good quality internet connection means that your online therapy session won’t be interrupted. To help improve your internet connection and network speed close down all other applications on your PC. This will also prevent you from being distracted by any PC notifications, messages or pop-ups during the session.

GOOD QUALITY SOUND. Using earbuds or headphones will greatly improve the quality of your conversation with your online therapist. They will ensure that you can hear every word that your therapists is saying and helps drown out distracting background noise. Wearing earbuds can help keep you more focused during sessions. They may take some time to get used to at first, if it feels difficult to adjust to using them you can reduce to one if that feels more comfortable.

BACKUP PLAN. In the possible event of poor internet connection or a PC crashing which can happen unexpectedly on the day, it’s helpful to have your therapists contact number to hand so that sessions can continue over the phone rather than ending abruptly due to IT problems.

RELAX. It can take some time to adjust to talking to a therapist via video-link as you start to develop a therapeutic relationship and get to know your therapist and share your inner world. Relax and try to enjoy the experience as your therapists guides you through the process. Sessions will generally have a good flow with a natural start, middle and end feel to them.

PRIVACY. Ideally find a quiet comfortable private room away from any distractions so that you do not need to worry about being overheard or interrupted during your online therapy session.

GOOD COMMUNICATION. Always face your video cam so that your therapist can see and hear you clearly. Try not to cover your face or mouth and sit comfortably close to your laptop or device. Your therapist will be doing the same. Don’t be afraid to tell them if you are having difficulty hearing and seeing them from your side.

GET COMFORTABLE. We want you to get the most out of your online therapy session so it’s important that you can really talk openly and let your therapist understand your world. Good therapy is about relationship building. The more comfortable you are during your session the more you will relax, open-up and be honest about how you are really feeling. Find yourself a comfortable space to sit for the session, get yourself a coffee if that helps you to relax while talking, whatever works for you. Some clients use diaries or notebooks for note taking and sharing during sessions.

MANAGE EXPECTATIONS. Clients can expect a lot from personal therapy in the first few sessions. They are often hoping therapy will ‘fix’ their situation or that the therapist will tell them exactly what to do. Remember online therapy is a talk therapy and is not prescriptive. The first few sessions are often about giving you space to talk openly and freely about your circumstances, getting your thoughts inline so that both you and your therapist can assess and get a better understanding of the situation or problem before any intervention is explored. Talking and expressing yourself is therapeutic and healing and is a large part of the therapeutic process even if you do not feel like you are making any practical headway. I like clients to end sessions with one or two simple practical things they can focus on between sessions.

 

25 Signs You Might Have A Problem With Pornography

25 Signs You Might Have A Problem With Pornography
How much pornography is too much pornography?

A commonly googled question and one my clients often ask early in therapy but there are no recommended healthy pornography viewing guidelines. It is better to consider what is healthy or unhealthy for you as an individual rather than focusing on duration or quantity of use. There are many signs of problematic online pornography use which are not measured specifically by time or quantity alone but are related to behaviours and consequences associated with using it.

The problem with pornography is that it can become difficult to differentiate what’s healthy and normal when you are your only reference point and so few people are talking about it.

This article is part two in a series of articles about Overcoming Pornography and is to help individuals and partners understand a range of possible signs of problematic pornography use. If you identify with one or more of the below sign’s you might have a problem with pornography and should consider seeking professional help. Find out what it is like to be 365 days in recovery from pornography addiction after being a habitual user for over 10 years and what my client wants you to know about giving up porn.

You do not have to be a pornography addict to benefit from counselling. In my practice, clients often come for sex therapy and addiction counselling before it escalates into a more serious problem and just want support changing their behaviours while addressing other problems they are dealing with. Therapy can provide non-judgemental professional support and advice for clients and couples experiencing any signs of problematic pornography use. It is important to spend time finding the right professional therapist for you. Read more about practical ways to give up online pornography.

It’s worth mentioning that many people who use pornography do not have difficulty controlling or stopping when they want, and it does not affect them or their relationships in a negative way.

What are the signs that you might have a problem with pornography?

Here are 25 signs that you or your partner might have a problem with pornography and that the problem could be getting worse over time. It includes some links to external sites which readers may find helpful.

  1. Porn is negatively effecting your physical, mental or emotional health.
  2. You have tried to stop and give up many times but have failed over and over.
  3. You no longer enjoy regular natural healthy loving sex and intimacy like you did in the past.
  4. You are experiencing signs of erectile dysfunction with a partner but not alone.
  5. You are over sexualising the world around you including people, places & situations.
  6. The content you are viewing conflicts with your core values and beliefs as a person.
  7. You are viewing online pornography for more than 11 hour a week.
  8. You believe you couldn’t live without pornography in your life.
  9. You are experiencing signs of Compulsive Sexual Behaviour Disorder.
  10. You choose viewing pornography alone to intimate real sex with your partner.
  11. You have developed performance anxiety and are fearful about real sex.
  12. When you are having sex with your partner you are thinking about pornography and are not present or connected with them.
  13. Relationships have ended because of your pornography use.
  14. You are hiding your porn use from your partner and do not like that you are keeping secrets from them.
  15. The content you are viewing is making you feel bad about your body and that you are not good enough.
  16. It’s making you turn away and disconnect from your partner, family and friends.
  17. It is affecting your sexual health in a negative way.
  18. You feel you need to be watching pornography to have good sex.
  19. You are influencing your partner to watch pornography even though they do not want to.
  20. You are now watching pornography during working hours or in the work place.
  21. You are using work property such as phones and laptops to access sexually explicit content and pornography and as a result risk losing your job.
  22. It is leading you to view other sexually explicit websites that might end your relationship.
  23. You are putting your children at risk of being exposed to pornography at home on your devices.
  24. The content you are viewing is verging on illegal.
  25. The content you are viewing is illegal.

As a general rule of thumb if something in your life is effecting your health and well-being in a negative way or is causing you mental or emotional distress then you will probably be happier without it.

The problem with pornography is that it can become difficult to differentiate what’s healthy and normal when you are your only reference point and so few people are talking about it. Problematic pornography use does have different types of consequences but you can live a happy healthy life without pornography.

If you are experiencing problems giving up pornography, then talk to someone and get professional help. To book an appointment face to face in Ireland or worldwide online via SKYPE click here. 

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