Mental Health CounsellingEverybody has issues that they need to deal with, or rough patches in their life that they cannot negotiate alone. In some instances, a GP may not be the best option (due to time constraints), but can help refer you to a counsellor who would be better placed to talk you through what is bothering you.

Simply put, a mental health counsellor is:

a trained professional who can help you work through your personal problems. The counsellor helps you to resolve problems in a positive way by helping you to clarify the issues, explore options, develop strategies and increase self-awareness. (Better Health Victoria)

Depression is a common reason for seeking mental health counselling, as is anxiety. Dealing with grief or relationship problems are also rationales why counselling may be needed.  A counsellor is trained to help you through these issues via talk-based therapy, but they are not doctors (and cannot prescribe medication).

However, counsellors are typically professionally qualified with training at the university level.  It is recommended that you ask about a potential counsellor’s training and prior experience when engaging their services; should you proceed to a formal counselling session, there should be several factors to consider if the counselling is to be successful.

  • Do I feel comfortable?
  • Am I able to talk freely about deeply personal thoughts and emotions?
  • Is the counsellor paying attention to me?
  • Do I feel they understand and respect me?
  • Can I imagine seeing this person on a regular basis?

With Peter Winter’s high degree of training – a Diploma in Counselling, as well as Community Services (Case Management) – rest assured, you’re in good hands. Peter prides himself on his easy accessibility and is willing to help you work through your issues step-by-step. Talk to Peter today.

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anxietyWorrying about the future is not unusual – we all do it. However, when the anxieties and pressures of everyday life get in the way of living the day-to-day, that’s when it’s time to step back and take a breather (literally). If you are concerned that anxiety is becoming more than you can manage, here are some simple tips to help you cope.

  • Avoid stressors if possible – if you know what triggers you, and if it’s something you can work around, do so.
  • Think positive
  • Keep a sense of humour – learning to laugh at little things may be one of the best coping strategies you can develop.
  • Maintain your perspective – situations cannot always be controlled, and they will pass; tomorrow’s another day.
  • Be proud of your accomplishments
  • Count to ten – a tried-and-true method of alleviating anxiety.
  • Breathe deeply – ditto.
  • Eat right (and don’t skip meals!)
  • Get plenty of sleep

What people often fail to recognise is that anxiety is normal, and it is an important part of our survival instinct. It becomes a problem when we see danger in even the smallest things, and the anxiety becomes overwhelming. If you feel that this is happening to you, talk to Peter about reinforcing your coping strategies.

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One of the many services that Peter Winter specialises in is life coaching…but what isn’t immediately obvious is the number of disciplines that life coaching involves. As it’s person-centred therapy, each approach undertaken with a given client is unique, but several facets are common in the course of hiring a life coach.

Life coaching can involve:

  • career counselling (in cases where the client feels that they are in a rut in their job or career, or is having difficulty find work)
  • affirmations (positive reinforcement via means of specific personally-positive phrases)
  • encouraging Positive Adult Development (“emotional expansion, growth, and improvement…continuing throughout adult life.”)

Ultimately, what is to be gained from undertaking life coaching is to obtain a fuller sense of worth about oneself, and from there improve other aspects of a client’s life: their self-confidence, how they manage their relationships, their personal happiness. It can be a intense process of discovery, but the end goal is to move beyond one’s comfort zone and start making things happen. Living in the present moment is something that eludes most people, as they are concerned about their jobs, their relationships, and other extraneous factors; getting engaged with a life coach clears that all away and boils it down to what you want out of life.

If you’re in need of the services of a life coach, talk to Peter today.

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Anger might get you into hot water if you don’t learn to keep it in check when you need to.

Peter Winter often deals with young people who have to take court-ordered anger management classes. These are different from his standard Anger Management courses, which are more involved and holistic. In this context, Peter is required to concentrate on more immediate issues, whilst keeping to core principles and treatments. Given that it is a legal requirement that the person being treated attend the course, it is more likely that Peter will focus on the more obvious problems concerning the client, in order to fulfil the court’s mandate.

Tactics to improve one’s anger management skills include some of the following:

  • owning one’s anger, rather than blaming the other partyanger
  • learning compromise and acceptance, and that one can’t always be in control of every situation
  • counting down from 100
  • relaxation techniques
  • changing one’s thinking by not dealing in absolutes

Anger can become a habitual response to even the smallest infractions, and learning to spot stressors whilst identifying personal responses to same (physical, emotional, cognitive & behavioural) are good behaviours to learn. It might even save your life! Talk to Peter today if you feel that anger is getting on top of you.

 

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Peter Winter prides himself on having multiple approaches to getting to the root cause of a client’s problems. While he will often stick to cognitive therapy so as to talk things through with a client, sometimes other methods are called for. This is where alternative therapies come into the picture.

BodyworkAlternative therapies

Peter is a firm believer in the positive benefits of cranio-sacral therapy. Discovered by physician John E. Upledger, cranio-sacral therapy is “a gentle, hands-on approach that releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve whole-body health and performance.” (Per the Upledger Institute website.)  It involves light touching to manipulate the body’s innate energy, in order to promote healing.

Meditation

Contrary to popular belief, meditation does not always involve long periods of chanting a obscure mantra. What meditation does involve, however, is an open mind and a willingness to embrace a higher state of being through concentration. Meditation, in its purest form, is simply paying attention to what your mind is trying to tell you – it is also perfectly safe and a proven means of dealing with depression and anxiety.

If you feel that traditional methods of dealing with mental health issues are not working for you and are willing to try something different, contact Peter today about trying alternative therapies.

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Communication in relationships

Relationships, at their core, are an exchange of ideas between people who care for one another deeply. The measure of how well those ideas are taken on board by the other party, though, can determine the health and longevity of the relationship. Communication is important at every stage (and in every kind) of relationship – […]

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Counselling For Alcohol Addiction

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His wife threatened to leave him because of his alcohol addiction Andrew called me after his wife was threatening to leave him if he did not look at his addiction to alcohol. He was quite distressed over this issue and the anxiety was causing him to drink even more. We started to work together on […]

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Peter’s Counselling Testimonial

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Peter here with a very recent testimonial that a client is willing to share. I hope it helps you too… Life was a constant battle When I first made contact with Peter I felt that maybe life was meant to the constant battle it had been. My relationships were in chaos and every little thing […]

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How’s Your Self Worth?

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What you think of yourself is more important than what other people think of you As a relationship counsellor, if I could put my finger on one issue that tends to come up for most people, it is a feeling of self worth. You may identify with the feeling of not good enough and this may […]

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I Feel A Lot Calmer Now…

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Stress and worry were really getting Shane down After the first minute of our first counselling session I recognised that Shane was seriously unhappy. Although he greeted me in a cheerful voice and with smiling lips, his eyes and body language told a different story. Shane has a job he enjoys, with good prospects for […]

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