Aspen Counselling & Family Life Centre is located in both Mullingar, Co.Westmeath & Tullamore, Co.Offaly. We provide quality counselling and psychotherapy services to the local and wider community. We work with individuals, families, couples, teenagers and children. Our therapists are appropriately qualified and trained in assisting people to explore what is impacting on their lives and develop new insight into finding more positive ways in overcoming difficulties.
Our professional services are aimed at supporting personal growth and wellbeing, integrating all aspects of human experience.
What To Expect
Our centres provide a very warm and welcoming atmosphere. An appointment time is usually offered within one week of contacting the service. All calls are treated in the strictest confidence.
Aspen Counselling & Family Life Center works within the framework of the code of ethics of the IACP, (Irish Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy) FTAI (Family Therapy Association of Ireland) and the EPA (European Psychotherapy Association) Children’s First (2012) and best practice policy and procedures.
Affordable Counselling is provided for clients that may not otherwise be able to avail of counselling with a fully qualified accredited therapist. This service is afforded to clients who are on reduced income or social welfare. We provide this through community or external public funding supports when available.
Emotional Crisis – Crisis Intervention Support
A crisis may be precipitated by any number of potential unforeseen events including a death in the family, a violent crime, an accident, a sexual assault, sexual abuse, a natural disaster, a suicide, or violence, just to mention a few. Other less obvious situations may also be perceived as a crisis, depending on how they are interpreted by each person. Some examples here include the ending of an intimate relationship, receiving a very poor grade, losing a friendship, being asked to withdraw from school, parents divorcing, or the loss of a job.
Many circumstances and events can precipitate a crisis and it is one’s reaction, rather than the event itself, that defines it as a crisis. A crisis is created by an event which temporarily overwhelms our coping resources. During a crisis people tend to react in a number of ways.
Being able to identify yourself as being in crisis is important so that you can make a good decision on how to best manage your response. Some people may be able to manage a crisis with the support of friends and family, others may feel very overwhelmed and in need of additional assistance. The options you need to consider will depend on how severe you perceive your crisis to be.
General Strategies To Deal With Crisis
These are all strategies that you can try on your own, either before you seek outside support and resources or in conjunction with this assistance. Since a crisis, by definition, occurs when an event happens which overwhelms our coping resources, improving your coping strategies is crucial to better managing the crisis. Try one or several of the following strategies:
Talk To Someone About The Crisis
Talking to a family member, friend, relative, loved one, or counsellor is probably the most effective way of dealing better with a crisis. Research indicates that repeatedly talking about the situation which created the crisis can help people develop a new perspective on the event or events that triggered the crisis. As well, being with people you are most familiar with can be very comforting.
Remind Yourself That Your Response Is Normal And Temporary
Remember that your emotional, cognitive, physical and behavioral responses are all normal and to be expected when we are in crisis. Also, remember that these responses are time limited, especially if we utilize strategies and resources to deal with the crisis. However, the exact time frame for complete resolution of these symptoms is hard to determine and depends on a variety of factors.
Return To Everyday Routines And Habits
Re-establishing your old patterns and routines can have a very comforting effect after a crisis. As we return to the more predictable, it allows our nervous system to calm down and begin to return to normal. Since change is innately stressful, predictability after a crisis reduces stress.
Write Out Your Thoughts And Feelings
A journal of your thoughts and feelings can help significantly in your recovery, particularly if you do not have a lot of people to talk to. Using a journal will help you see the crisis more clearly and track changes in your thoughts, feelings and beliefs over time.
Allow Yourself An Emotional Release
Releasing your tension and pent up emotions during a crisis can be a powerful part of the process of recovery. Holding on to emotions does not allow us to move on and feel in control again. Crying can be one form of emotional release that can be very helpful.
Practice Self-Care Activities
Self-care usually refers to time spent ensuring that your basic needs are met in terms of adequate sleep, a healthy diet, regular exercise and fun or enjoyable activities. If your basic needs are not being met you will find it much more difficult to deal with a crisis.
Delay Any Major Decisions
If at all possible, always delay making major decisions until the crisis is over. During a crisis our ability to think logically can be severely compromised and therefore, there is a much higher chance we will make a poor decision.
Avoid The Use Of Alcohol Or Drugs
Alcohol and drugs will only further compromise your ability to make good choices and may increase your level of emotionality, putting you at greater risk for such things as self-harm or suicide. Since alcohol is a depressant of the central nervous system, it can also adversely affect your mood.
Give Yourself Time To Heal
Realize that this is likely going to be a difficult time for you and be patient with the many changes in your emotions that you are experiencing. Give yourself time to mourn the losses you may have experienced through the crisis.
If you are experiencing an emotional crisis, aside from depression and suicidal thoughts or intent, you may also benefit from additional resources and assistance. During your crisis, you may be experiencing a variety of feelings including anxiety, panic, guilt, shame, hopelessness, isolation, grief, fear, confusion, and aggression. If your crisis is making these feelings unmanageable, you might consider contacting our counselling service for support and guidance.