The pressures student life can be immense and certainly should not be underestimated. The range of concerns and issues are as wide as can be imagined and everyone has their own unique story.
Having been a student who has faced his own challenging times in the study and adapting when I was younger, I certainly have personal insight into how difficult these times can seem and how levels of importance can sometimes lose their level of perspective. Anxiety, depression and many other concerns are extremely high in student populations so even though I doubt it seems that comforting, I hope on some level you realise that you are not alone – at all!
The intensity of social comparison and having to fit in perceptions of being successful, studying well, being popular, being exciting, engaging and motivated, by its very nature involves a lot of pressures that can seem so daunting, harrowing and impossible at times.
Sometimes Universities are not always supportive and fail to understand their student’s needs. Sometimes staff are not approachable for all issues you might be facing. Often there is a time-limited counselling service within the universities which can be infallible for many students but others would prefer something different or independent to the services being offered.
I offer quite a unique perspective in terms of applied relaxation, hypnotherapy for stresses and anxieties, mindfulness based approaches as well as being someone who is independent to where you may study.
Students make up a lot of my client group and there can be such a range in stories. From desiring relaxation to cope with difficult exams or finding the motivation to deal with flummoxing and difficult essays, to those personal stories that often involve greater concerns of identity or traumatic experiences, dealing with being the victim of crime or feeling ‘burnt out’ – are just some examples some of frequent concerns.
In its own right Manchester can be an unusual and testing city. For many there are cultural challenges and differences. Sometimes the social world student’s find themselves in are worlds apart from places and people of comfort and shared interests.
Sometimes people find themselves isolated, sometimes taking too many recreational drugs or substances, or drinking too much, too regularly that pessimism and anxiety creeps in. For others the housing situation is difficult and friendships and relationships can fall apart. Often facing expensive and uncertain times in the difficult job market questions often leads to questions such as “is this even worth doing” and “is this even what I want to do with my life” or “is this it”? Such existential crisis can be so overwhelming and debilitating, especially alone, when these thoughts can loose perspective.
Practising as a psychotherapist, counsellor and hypnotherapist I use models that should hopefully aligned with personal concerns of the client. The scope of theoretical differences are important in offering people their best opportunity for insight, catharsis, self -soothing and self -compassionate means to move forwards with their own personal concerns.
Frequently I would say that many students, whether they are fresher’s to undergraduates and postgraduates experiences, commonly sense feeling separate and apart from other people. Frequently there is doubt that they can cope with current circumstances or even being compassionate, mindful and accepting of their own abilities or experiences or the possibilities of a hopeful future beyond the trappings of perceived ‘success’.
Often student’s being in their late teens or early 20s means a time of facing a somewhat inevitable though painful growth period in facing up to traumatic times from childhood or adolescence. Being a student can also bring back so many unresolved issues that people might want to seek assistance with, especially when the tendency of feeling ‘I have to put a brave face on’.
Inevitably being tested in such a way that is often difficult in terms of assessment and the stresses these cause. These do not only happen on an academic level but often in the social and peer circles where students can feel isolated from cliques, the hyped up “Student Utopia” (far from planet earth) and perceptions of what the “coolest, freshest and trendiest” should be like! Missing this ‘bar’ often leads to self-recriminations! Too often it’s very easy to be pulled into the hype!
In a sense taking away the mythology of the must’s, should’s, has to’s and because’s are important in the therapeutic dialogue to gain a sense of control and resilience. Discovering and learning who you really are is the aim of good and committed therapy!
I try to make my approaches is compassionate and is understanding as possible so that students can develop kindness and perspective as to what they’re going through, in understanding the difficulties and uncertainties that come with deciding different paths. I also offer £35 for 60 – 70 minutes of counselling, psychotherapy and counselling which is £10 off of my regular prices.
Though many students might feel alone at times and experiences can seem so debilitating, I imagine there are still many students in Manchester at this very moment struggling with doubts and fears of their own.
Here are three downloads I have recorded several student’s have said to me they have found useful as it emphasizes self-compassion, being kind to yourself and being present minded above and beyond catastrophizing.
Self-compassion hypnosis (29 mins) http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?sckshya81b0pdqk
Also here are two short mindfulness based meditations to give you an idea of mindfulness based CBT
This one is just two minutes http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?wns2037qsks08nz
& this one is just five minutes http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?j6q861518m268z1
I do urge students to seek wise counsel, discover their options, rights and resources and to gain insight into and empowerment within difficult experiences. Perhaps reading this blog you might want to discover how therapy could be appealing or beneficial for you?
Do contact me with any questions or concerns to see if I could be of any help or assistance with what you’re currently facing. Students of Life Unite!
Keep on keeping on and take it easy on yourself.
Best wishes for now