Anger – KCLR Radio

On July 16th, I was invited on KCLR (local radio) to talk about Anger. Listen below.

Relationship Difficulties – KCLR Radio

On April 13th, I was invited to talk on KCLR (local radio) about Relationships. Listen below.

Separation – Divorce

The end of a relationship comes with a complex set of emotions such as denial, anger, guilt, rejection, sadness, regret, depression and anxiety. These are all normal reactions and the sequence and intensity of these emotions can vary depending on whether you were the one to initiate the separation or the one who has been left.

In either case it can be difficult to know how to move on and what to do next and there may be a lot of mixed feelings and uncertainty, which can be very stressful.

Some people will feel deep down that their relationship is not salvageable, that there is no hope in trying to stay together.

It is natural to want to ignore these feelings at first, as any alternative to being together is too hard to contemplate.

Little by little it becomes harder to avoid recognising that the relationship is irretrievable and sadly, this is sometimes a one-sided awareness – the other person in the relationship may not share the same feelings or want to talk about separating.

At Insights Counselling Carlow, I am trained to work with the emotional impact of separation and divorce.

Here you will find the help you need to express the huge range of feelings, the anger, the hurt, the sadness, the confusion and the fear.

You will find the support to help you through the difficult and complex emotional process until you feel ready to move on.


Sarah Sutton.  MIACP

If you are contemplating counselling and would like to know more about how I work, you can phone/text me now at: 086 4063043


If you notice that you are feeling very stressed in your life whether it be caused by work/ family/ other, it may be an indication that it is time to look at the cause(s) of your stress.

Often times it is how we think about certain situations; the pressure we put on ourselves, which causes us to feel stressed about them

Counselling will provide you with the calming, non-pressurised space to temporarily step away from your stressors and look at them more objectively.

Taking this time to look at your life and the situations/ relationships which are causing you stress, will give you clarity around how you can take better care of yourself and lead a happier, less stress-filled existence.

At Insights Counselling, Carlow, I will provide you with the space you need to step out of your life and look in.

From this objective, calming view point you can examine what has been causing you so much stress and decide a way forward which is healthier for you and those around you.

Sarah Sutton. MIACP

If you are contemplating counselling and would like to know more about how I work, you can phone/text me now at: 086 4063043

Alcoholism & Other Addiction in a Family Member

When a member of your family is in addiction i.e. alcoholism, drug abuse, gambling, sex addiction, food addiction, etc; it can really feel like an emotional rollercoaster.
Feelings of frustration, anger and hurt can be a daily occurrence.
It can be hurtful and very difficult to understand when your loved one continues to place alcohol/drugs/food etc before you and others in your family.
Loving somebody who is in addiction can vastly affect our own self- esteem, causing depression, anxiety and sometimes, feelings of hopelessness.

If you feel you would like to talk to someone, about how you are affected by addiction in your family, Counselling Carlow can provide a safe, confidential space where you will be heard, understood, and validated.
When a loved one is in addiction we can tend to focus a huge amount on them and their addictive behaviours.
At Counselling Carlow, you will be encouraged towards bringing that focus inwards, onto you; looking at how you can nurture and take better care of yourself.

Sexual Abuse

If you have been sexually abused in the past you are probably very aware of how your life has been impacted by the abuse.

It may feel very difficult to conceive of coming to counselling about your past abuse and for many survivors of abuse; it can take some time into their counselling, for them to feel comfortable and safe enough to mention it.

Whether you bring your abuse in on the first day or choose to hold it back until you feel ready, you will be met with acceptance, understanding, patience and encouragement.

As your counsellor, I will be alongside you as you begin your journey towards a more healed existence.

For more information or if you would like to make and appointment:

Carlow Counselling   086 4063043


Anger is a very valid emotion and yet for so many of us it can be difficult to admit to our feelings of anger.

This is often reflective of how anger was expressed in our family of origin or whether it was permitted at all.

Naturally then, if you are noticing a lot of anger inside, it can feel very disconcerting and even frightening.

You may notice that you are snapping at people you love and anger can often be accompanied by depressed feelings.

Anger can often be the by- product of feelings (e.g. sadness) which were not expressed at another time or during another event. For some people, their anger is previously repressed feelings, which can no longer stay down.

Anger can also be as a result of our current circumstances.

Feelings of anger can be our inner selves telling us that there is something missing in our lives.

What do you need that you are not getting in your life, Relationship, Job, Family of Origin???     

Love/ Power/ Recognition/Security/ Fun??

At Counselling Carlow you will be facilitated and emotionally held as you gently look at your inner anger and its origins.

For more information or if you would like to make and appointment:

Carlow Counselling   086 4063043

Panic Attacks

Many people experience panic attacks and there can be various and very individual triggers for their attacks.
Regardless of the stimulus, panic attacks are very frightening and debilitating and can make day to day life a real struggle.Panic attacks are very often experienced alongside symptoms of depression and/or as part of an anxiety disorder.

A Panic attack contains emotional, biological and psychological reactions. It begins with an emotional reaction (anxiety) to a stimulus, which in turn is the natural catalyst for a biological reaction i.e. what we feel or experience physically.
We then experience the psychological reaction i.e. our thoughts about and interpretation of the emotional and biological reactions.

The triggers for panic attacks can vary from person to person, sometimes being very tangible, like a fear of flying/open spaces or a cat phobia. But for a great many people the trigger is not external to them, but is actually their thinking. A certain mode of negative thinking is the trigger for their emotional reaction.

How we think determines how we feel and by that rational; for some people, their thoughts have the power to induce the same level of anxiety (emotional reaction) as an agoraphobic might experience in the center of a busy shopping center.

When we encounter our stimulus whether it is internal (a negative thought) or external (e.g. heights) we become anxious (emotional reaction).
When this happens our ‘fight or flight’ response kicks in mentally and we send messages to our body that we are not safe and that it needs to protect itself. Thus begins the various physical symptoms (biological reaction) we experience in a panic attack e.g sweaty palms/ quicker breathing/ butterflies in the tummy etc.

When we experience the physical symptoms in conjunction with the original feelings of anxiousness, we may feel even more panicked, about all that we are experiencing. We may misinterpret our symptoms as more catastrophic than they actually are i.e. thoughts that we are going to faint/die.

Any interpretation of these symptoms is our psychological reaction. This psychological reaction generally goes on to cause more anxiety and the panic cycle continues…..

In the case of panic attacks triggered internally, the thinking causes the emotional and biological reactions but it is how the individual goes on to interpret these reactions which dictates whether the panic will end there or become a panic attack.  e.g an interpretation such as “I am stupid…. Why do I feel like this…theres something really wrong with me”

It is strongly felt that it is our interpretation of our initial, emotional and biological reaction, which maintains and strengthens our panic and that if we change the way we interpret our initial symptoms of anxiety we can stop a stimulus induced, feeling of anxiety from becoming a Panic Attack.

Model of Panic

Model of Panic

Panic Attacks are extremely frightening for those who experience them and can make the sufferer feel very isolated if they are not sharing their experiences with others. It can feel difficult to tell others about what you are feeling when this happens for you.

At Counselling Carlow you will be facilitated as you explore what has been happening for you and what you have been experiencing.

You will be met with the understanding and the concrete belief, that each of us is different and experiences the world differently.

Relationship Difficulties

If you are experiencing difficulties in your relationship, Counselling Carlow can provide you with a space where you can explore the dynamics of your relationship from a more objective viewpoint. You will have the space to look at your relationship from the outside in, getting a clearer understanding of how and why, you and your partner are impacting on one another.

When we enter a relationship we all bring our own set of ideals of what happens in a relationship. This generally is a relationship template, which we adapted from our childhood experience, of how an adult relationship looks.
There can be positive and negative elements to our template but some difficulties arise when something we consider to be quiet normal relationship behaviour, goes completely against the grain of the template our partner brings.

At Counselling Carlow you will be facilitated as you look at the behaviours in your own relationship, both yours and your partners. You will gain a better understanding of the impact of these behaviours and the feelings, which arise from them; giving you greater insight into the dynamics of your relationship.

Positive communication is the key to any satisfying relationship and at Counselling Carlow, you can gain greater confidence in communicating with your partner in a way which is respectful to your feelings and theirs and thus non- threatening and vastly more satisfying.

“When we experience conflict or dissatisfaction in our relationships, we are being called on to develop something in ourselves that is weak, hidden, or unknown.”

Jett Psaris and Marlena Lyons.

Communication with a strong or abusive person

Communication with a strong/abusive partner or parent
Communication with a strong/abusive child
Communication with a strong/abusive person in work.

How we communicate with strong abusive people very much depends on our personal boundary. If we have a strong personal boundary, somebody with a strong abusive personality will not impact on us a great deal because we are contained within ourselves and have what is termed an ‘inner locus of control’. We may find this type of personality difficult to be around but they will not overpower us or make us question ourselves or manipulate us. Somebody who is abusive may be very angry inside and unfortunately it’s easier to externalise their anger instead of looking inside themselves at where their anger is rooted.

In essence then, communication with a strong abusive type personality will be more difficult if we are not sure of who we are and what we represent and most important of all; our self-worth. If we are not sure about our worth then an abusive, bullying personality will more easily convince us of our lack of worth.

Being around bullying and abusive behaviours is very unpleasant but if you need to communicate with a person like this you will do so more effectively when they are not getting their desired reactions; Compliance, Fear and Power.

At Insights Counselling Carlow, you will be facilitated as you look at the relationship, be it work related, a family member or a friend. We can explore how you feel about yourself and consequently, how you represent yourself and behave, in relationships. We can look at the origins of these behaviours and any elements of your relational self which you feel you would benefit in developing.