At Compass Health Group we treat a range of people with a variety of health, lifestyle & psychological concerns. The below profiles may help to give you a better idea of why some people come to see us.
Both Jane & John express that there is nothing really wrong with their relationship & express that they feel awkward & silly that they are even accessing couples counselling. When asked what would signal to them that there was something wrong with their relationship they cited: physical domestic violence, infidelity & an excess of yelling &/or tears (but not boredom). It is difficult however for them to name positive aspects of their relationship, outside of their children or material acquisitions (like their house, car & so on). It is this vague sense of dissatisfaction that has caused them to seek counselling intervention. The communication style for them is that Jane will ‘nag’ & escalate to yelling & John withdraws. Jane says she has mostly stopped nagging as it is not working but feels a lot of pent up frustration. John believes withdrawing helps Jane to calm down. They both want things to be different but are not sure how that can happen.
Judy is in her early twenties & is working at what she describes as an ‘OK job’ as a graphic artist. She smokes a packet of cigarettes a day (sometimes more) & is a social drinker. She presents as listless & feels that life is meaningless with the odd fun weekend thrown in. What Judy would really like is a regular boyfriend who ‘is there for her’. Beyond that, she is unable to state what she would like her life to look like (though she is easily able to express what she doesn’t want her life to be). Her boss suggested she seek psychological treatment as she has had a number of days absent from work & has noticed a steady decline in her creative ability. Beyond that, she is not sure why she is here for counselling.
Stephen is in his early 30’s & has come to counselling at the insistence of his partner. He states that she has been unhappy since their baby was born 8 months ago & that he can’t do anything right. He believes that she is the one that needs counselling (which she is seeking through another therapist). When asked for further information, Stephen ventured that he has bouts of extreme irritability, including road rage & frustration that money doesn’t go far enough, & that he works for ‘dickheads’. He admits to yelling at his wife at times but mainly he just drinks & watches TV, & just tries to ignore her when she is irrational. Stephen is surprised when the therapist tells him that constant irritability is actually a sign of depression.
Linda is 39 years of age & states that she is about 20 kilos heavier then she would like to be. Linda works for a banking organisation & states that she is happy in her job & well liked by her colleagues. Her job is sedentary & she believes that she has gained weight steadily over the past 6 years (with a couple of major weight loss stints in this time). The first time she lost weight was through a pre-packaged food program & she said the weight just ‘fell off her’ as she was very strict with it. She gained the weight back though & a few more kilos within 18 months. The second time she tried to lose weight was through an exercise program at the gym. She worked very hard at it & felt better for it, though was frustrated that she really only managed to lose about 3-4 kilos. She went to her GP to check if she had an underlying physical issue that was stopping her from losing weight. These tests came back clear & her GP suggested seeing a psychologist for health coaching. Linda is not sure how a psychologist can help as she already knows ‘all there is to know about diet & exercise’. After a few health coaching sessions she is surprised at how much her motivation, thoughts, moods & emotions impacts her eating & her ability to consistently exercise.