Counselling is an extremely important tool for helping people with their problems. Most of today's illnesses start in the mind - we all exist in a turbulent world with many anxieties, stresses and strains. Witness how many stomach ulcers start in response to excessive worrying; how many headaches likewise, how the body tenses up when the mind is burdened.

At some time in our life we will all have had to experience the challenges of bereavement, illness, financial responsibilities, breakdown of relationships - to name a few. Naturally we need to come to terms with the situation, and know why it happened and how to cope with the fall-out. Even more we need to know how to release the emotions and feelings and move on with our lives.

Counselling is a way to explore the situation in safe, quiet surroundings, with someone who is impartial but sympathetic, who can help you to understand why you are reacting in the way you are and help you find for yourself the way to heal and progress. Often the very act of talking openly to someone who is not a friend and therefore not biased in any way, is all that is needed to get the problem into perspective. Very often people can push down inside unwanted or upsetting emotions and reactions to an event, and until those are acknowledged, healing cannot take place. I have had clients come with grief or hurt over something which has been buried for up to 40 years, and the relief and joy once they have "got it off their chest" has been almost tangible!

Counselling works wonderfully well with Reiki, too - as a Reiki Master I will often offer ten minutes of Reiki to help heal the client at the end of a session, and suggest a full hour's treatment as a way of optimising the healing effects of the counselling. In the old days there were many more support systems for people in crisis, but today with overworked G.P's, fewer pastoral visits from priests and vicars, and far-flung family networks as jobs take us away from familiar surroundings, Counselling fulfils a real need in the community.