Sarah Lewin - Inner Smile TherapiesCounselling and Psychotherapy in Nottingham

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Counselling/Psychotherapy & Hypnotherapy in Nottingham and Mansfield

"supporting you with your mental and emotional wellbeing"

Welcome to the Inner Smile Anxiety Clinic- Your first step to feeling calmer, more confident and in control so you can live the life you want and Smile again.

I'm Sarah Lewin. a BACP registered Counsellor, Psychotherapist and Hypnotherapist based in Nottingham NG5 and Mansfield NG21 . I also offer Online Counselling and Hypnotherapy sessions from wherever you are in the UK.

Is anxiety holding you back from living the life you want?

Do you feel you could be getting more out of life, could be happier if only you felt better about yourself, and the world, and had more confidence?
It can be difficult and life limiting to live with that constant fear of judgement, of failure, of not being good enough. But it can be overcome. You can change. But are you ready?

I have 20 years experience of working with anxiety, panic and phobias, as well as building self esteem.

The are many reasons we feel anxious. It can be as a result of unresolved childhood trauma, experiencing bullying at school, the menopause, the end of a relationship, or the loss of a job. There is also of course a lot going on in the world that is really worrying and stressful, not to mention the cost of living, and it is out of our control to change any of this and there is so much uncertainty and this uncertainty only fuels our feelings of stress, anxiety and depression.

Sometimes just talking with a professional in a non-judgemental space can be really helpful alone. But having the opportunity to explore your past and how it has impacted how you feel in the present, will give you greater self awareness for moving forward in a more positive way to create a more fulfilling future for yourself, where you are in control and not the anxiety.

Maybe we have all now heard of the fight/flight/freeze response to stress. This is a natural survival instinct that happens unconsciously via our nervous system. A threat is perceived in our brain (the amygdala/hypothalamus) and our body goes into survival mode when all kinds of responses happen such as fast and shallow breathing, sweating, digestive problems, or shaking to name a few. This is all in response to the levels of adrenalin and cortisol being released into our bloodstream, which over prolonged periods can be damaging to our health.
We can look at how you perceive the world, you core and limiting beleifs and values, which can help to give you a different perspective on you life as well as your future. We can learn relaxation techniques and how to reconnect with yourself.

If you want to read more about Anxiety, then click here

If you would like to read more about me, fees and Counselling click here to go to another page

What we have learned can be unlearned. The brain can be rewired .

Do you feel worthless?
Are you confused and feel like you are going crazy?
Are you in a difficult, unhappy relationship. Maybe not even sure why you are unhappy.

I have experienced more and more people attending therapy due to being in a toxic relationship, which results in deep feelings of shame and unworthiness. As a result of this I have done further research and training in narcissistic abuse and trauma to understand the causes and treatment.

Are you a victim of Narcissistic Abuse, or a toxic relationship?

You may be left feeling confused, anxious, panicky, depressed, worthless and afraid of the future as well as new relationships.
This is completely normal and understandable. But you can recover.

Let me be clear here that not all narcissistic abuse happens in an intimate relationship. You could be the child of a narcissist, the employee of a narcissist, the sibling of a narcissist or the friend of a narcissist.

Whoever the narcissist is in you life, you will be struggling in your relationship with them, and how they make you feel about yourself.

Over recent times the term narcissist has become a common term for anybody how is selfish and arrogant. However not everyone who is selfish and arrogant is a narcissist, and often they are very charming and successful and the only one that gets to see their true personality disorder is the victim.
Lets not underestimate the damage and trauma that can be caused from a relationship with a narcissist.
Its likely they would have criticised and belittled you, probably humiliated you in front of other people. They can never take responsibility for anything and will always blame others.
Well, what I can tell you now is that it is not your fault that the relationship hasn’t worked. A relationship with a narcissist will never be a healthy, fulfilling one.

"Thanks so much. Its been invaluable" Client A

Emotional Abuse
Narcissists are emotionally abusive and manipulating. But the complex thing about it is that it is rarely even noticed until much later on when the victim begins to realise that there is something just not right about the relationship and how they feel around their partner, and about themselves. It can be very subtle and creeps up on you.
Narcissists are very insecure. They have a deep need for approval and admiration, and a total inability to be genuinely intimate and loving. They are very selfish and self-centred, and only interested in getting what they want.
Due to their charming nature they may be extra nice to everyone around as its all about winning people over, building whats know as narcissistic supply so they always have people around who admire them and give them attention. However when you confide in someone about the relationship people would struggle to believe you.

You are probably feeling many things right now. Anxious, depressed, fearful, confused, angry and so much more
In some cases, in the beginning the narcissist will be super charming, looks after himself, probably successful, or talks like he is. They might sweep you off your feet, provide excitement and fun. Then it all changes. Within a short amount of time they start criticising you and belittling you, compare you to other “amazing” people and claiming you don’t match up. They claim they do so much for you and you are so ungrateful and take them for granted.

Narcissists love drama. They may create conflict to push you away, they make you work hard to make things right. Until next time, nothing is settled for long
They might try to turn you against your friends and family, to break down your support network, and maybe they control all of the finances so you have no indepence. They want you to become totally dependent on them so that they can have control over you.
There are several different types of Narcissist and they are not all the same. They may be on the spectrum or have full blown Narcissistic personality disorder.

The term gaslighting comes from the film “Gaslight” where the husband began doing things to make he wife think she was going mad. It is so called because he would turn the lights up and down and when she mentioned it he would say he hadn’t noticed it and that it was all in her head.
This is a common trait of most narcissists. They will make you believe something happened that didn’t or vice versa or that they didn’t say something which you know they did. It’s a confusion tactic, designed to manipulate and control, and leaves the victim feeling uncertain and vulnerable.

"The last 6 months have been an immense help for me and for that I'm very grateful. Thank you!" - Client B

If you are vulnerable, or empathetic then you will be a great catch for a narcissist. A relationship with a narcissist can be very detrimental to you emotional and physical health and can take a long time to get over.
You are likely left with little self confidence or self esteem, doubting yourself, criticising yourself and feeling generally worthless, which then means you might indulge in uphelpful behaviours such as addiction, lack self care and be vulnerable to getting into another abusive relationship.

You probably really loved them and maybe still do. These kinds of relationships can take a lot of getting of as you don’t really understand what went wrong or why.
It is important to recognise narcissistic traits to help protect you from further abusive relationships in the future.

Emotional Abuse and Trauma
Being in a long term relationship with a narcissist can lead the victim to develop C-PTSD (the C meaning complex)

You may be living in perpetual fight, flight or freeze survival response. Physical symptoms associated with this would include;
Shallow breathing
Rapid Heartrate
Feeling panicky
Loss of appetite
Digestive problems
High Blood Pressure

Due to the devastating emotional and psychological impact of narcissistic abuse, you could be experiencing any of the following;.
Feeling hopeless
Emotionally numb

C-PTSD Symptoms include;
Easily startled
Feeling on Edge

How Counselling can help
As a Counsellor/Psychotherapist, I have worked with many clients over the years presenting with issues around narcissistic abuse, although they didn’t always realise it when first coming to Counselling. I then went on to do further training and research in this area to find ways to help clients recognise the traits of an abuser and to better understand why they may be attracted to these types, and how to heal from the trauma.
Counselling can help you to reduce your feelings of anxiety and better understand yourself, rebuild your self-esteem, to realise the importance of strong boundaries in moving forward into new relationships and as is usually the case, to begin to heal the trauma.

If you feel you want to read more on the subject of Narcissism, you can visit my blog post here

Sarah Lewin - Counselling/Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy in Nottingham
The Magnolia Therapy Centre, Nottingham, NG5 2EF
Ransom Wood Business Park, Mansfield NG21 0HJ - Map

07938 537146

Email me here

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