Living Legacies Counselling Service

If you are going through hell – keep going!

Lynda Hannah is a trained and experienced counsellor as well as being the director of Living Legacies:

me smiling (1)One of the routes to Living Legacies was through listening to people struggle with grief and blocks in their emotional healing. I heard so many stories about loss, including the deaths and funerals of their family members, and how they could have been much better, and healthier, that I started to realise there was a great need which was rarely being met, and in some people it became a huge, gaping hole.
It was for a family-focused, personal and holistic approach to the subject of death, dying and funerals. For some people it was simply permission to grieve. For others it was a sense of participation and belonging, of contributing something worthwhile to a generally unpleasant process. For some it was a need to leave this planet in a slightly better state than they found it. For others it was about simplicity, and reclaiming the act of letting go of the body, and the life, without too much pomp and ceremony.

Everyone has their own personal beliefs, values and needs when it comes to dying and grieving, and it’s these unique aspects of each individual that are often ignored or repressed. I believe that we have a right and a responsibility to express ourselves through the way we live our lives, and this includes how we let go of our lives – and each other – and move on.

My training is in humanistic existential counselling, which is a rather silly way of saying that my particular interest is in the big questions of human existence: Why am I here? What is life? What is death? Is there anything more? What is the meaning of it all? What is my purpose? And, as a counsellor, I don’t offer answers but I can help you to explore your own thoughts, beliefs, feelings and values to discover a way through.

For some people being confronted by a major loss may be the first time they’ve felt the need to evaluate their own answers to these sorts of questions. Most people have concerns of some sort about death or, more commonly, about dying. It’s important to have someone to talk to about them. I believe that the more prepared we humans are the better we cope with the inevitable. We can’t change the fact that it’s going to happen, we can only change how we choose to deal with it.

Personal counselling offers a confidential and creative opportunity to explore – mainly through words but sometimes pictures or models – the issues, challenges and sometimes overwhelming feelings that we experience at various times in our lives. Sometimes it just involves conscious and skilled listening; other times it entails tools and techniques to find clarity.

Often there are no easy answers but the process of exploring your emotions, possibilities, and priorities is helpful and usually essential, especially when examined holistically in the context of the past, present and future.

Some of the tools I use include:

Interactive Drawing Therapy
Play of Life (Small Figures)
Narrative Therapy (storytelling)
Neurolinguistic Programming
Non Violent Communication
Mindfulness practice
Herbal Medicine (To support the counselling process there are also herbs which can help to reduce anxiety, improve mood, support the nervous system and reduce insomnia, when appropriate. I am a qualified medical herbalist.)

I have experience in working with grief and loss, depression, stress and anxiety, redundancy, life transitions, parenting challenges, recovery from abuse (physical, sexual, emotional), surviving domestic violence, weight loss, self-esteem issues, anger management, and relationships.

It’s easy to feel you’re stuck in a vicious downhill spiral that’s very hard to get out of. Personal counselling can support you in reversing that cycle so you can regain control of your life again, and start to live it joyfully.