Ageing, death and dying

Although we all know that one day we will die, we are generally reluctant to think about death. We live our lives as if we are going to be around forever.

This avoidance of thoughts around death is a natural defence. It would be very distressing if our own mortality was constantly at the front of our minds. However, as we get older or face illness, reality breaks through the defence and we are sometimes confronted with painful thoughts and feelings about dying.

Talking about our mortality with loved ones can be challenging, particularly when they still want to deny the inevitable. That’s when therapy can be really helpful. A therapist can listen to your distress without pushing it away or being overwhelmed by it. Just speaking your thoughts and feelings about death out loud can be very healing in itself.

You may also feel confused or conflicted about your mortality. Our ideas about death and the meaning of life are shaped by our culture, religion and family, as well as our previous experiences of others’ deaths. Understanding these influences in therapy will help you to accept your mortality with clarity.

Those who know they are going to die soon often experience a whole mix of emotions, and it can be helpful to explore these in counselling. They may feel relief that their pain will end, sadness about leaving their loved ones, anger that their life is being cut short, anxiety around what comes after death, and more.

The challenges of older age

Ageing brings many challenges aside from the increased awareness of mortality. It can be frightening and frustrating, especially in a culture that celebrates youth. 

Growing older may involve, for example:

  • losing friends and loved ones
  • loneliness and isolation
  • regrets over how you’ve lived your life
  • fear and frustration around any physical deterioration
  • worry about the future

Of course, the later stages of life can be a happy time too. Often people have mixed feelings about ageing. For those who are struggling, though, counselling can help. 

Sadly, counselling still has a stigma among some older people. Fearful of being seen as weak, they endeavour to deal with their pain alone. There’s nothing weak about coming to therapy. It’s a brave decision and one that can improve your life immeasurably.

Our clients have reported great results!

Mr K
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“I was attending sessions at One Therapy practice for about 1 1/2 years. I am very happy with the result, sessions there really helped me. I am really grateful to my therapist. Someone recommended him to me as a high professional and it proved right, thank you.”
Mrs M
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“I can only provide positive comments on my sessions with (my therapist). This was my first experience with a therapist, and she managed to make me feel comfortable. And I must say that the sessions were helpful and efficient.”
Mrs E
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“My therapist was extremely helpful, considerate and understanding. I felt she properly understood what the issues I had were, and their underlying causes, and I feel I benefited considerably from the sessions with her.”
Mrs N
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“I immediately felt completely at ease as they were very professional while showing genuine care and interest in helping me. I was able to confront many issues which I had so far chosen to ignore despite their negative effects on my personal relationships and happiness. I would have no hesitation in recommending (One Therapy) to anyone looking to improve their relationships and self-esteem.”
Mrs L
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“I learned a lot about myself and about the relationships I make with other people. I was able to see where I was going wrong and I now make better personal choices. Thank you, again.”
Mrs R
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“I can’t thank you enough for the help and support I got from my appointments. I would highly recommend therapy to anyone now. Therapy helped me in more ways than I could have imagined. Please tell (my therapist) how grateful I am for her help.”

Death anxiety in younger adults

Death anxiety is fairly common in people of all ages, even when death is not imminent. Healthy younger people can become hyper-aware of their own mortality, leading to a persistent and irrational fear of death. 

Anxiety about death can be very distressing and may prevent people from engaging fully in life. Often, anxiety around death is inherited, so it can be useful to explore your family’s attitudes to death in therapy. In this way, you will develop a more realistic, less anxious relationship with death.

Death anxiety can also follow trauma. Near-death experiences naturally make us more aware of our mortality. For some this can feel positive, encouraging them to live life to the fullest. For others, life following the trauma feels too dangerous and they restrict their activities to keep risks at bay. Therapy can help with the fear and support the client to, at their own pace, start living more fully again.

What to expect in counselling

When I trained as a psychotherapist, me and my fellow students were given the assignment of doing something we’d never done before. The course tutors wanted us to get in touch with how scary it can be to do something new, to feel the fear of the unknown. I chose to …

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How does therapy help?

Over the years that I’ve worked as a therapist, I’ve been asked numerous times by prospective clients, “How does counselling help?”  And I’ve yet to come up with a satisfactory answer. Not because I’m in any doubt that it helps, but because the ‘how’ bit is so hard to articulate concisely…

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Counselling for individuals

Personal counselling can be about anything that is on your mind.

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Couples counselling

Couples counselling provides space for couples to discuss problems in their relationship and find solutions.

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Our therapists

We have over 30 qualified and experienced therapists to choose from.

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One Therapy London

Counselling, psychotherapy, couples counselling in London since 2006

Therapist Andreea Gligore
Andreea Gligore

Andreea is a qualified and experienced integrative-relational counsellor who works with individuals, offering short- and long-term therapy Since completing her training, Andreea has been offering counselling services in private practice, the NHS and community services, working with clients on issues such as relationship dynamics, role and life stage transitions,...

Kensington

Therapist Roz Urquhart
Roz Urquhart

Roz is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, who offers both long- and short-term psychotherapy She works with a varied client group offering a welcoming, safe and confidential therapeutic space in which to help her clients explore and process the issues that are bringing them into therapy Roz supports her clients to focus on unconscious processes, inner conflicts and...

Oxford Circus

Therapist James Eve
James Eve

James is a psychosexual and relationship therapist who has been in private practice for five years He works with individuals and couples on sexual and relationship difficulties, understanding that these can be significant causes of distress in one's life Prior to working in private practice, James worked for the psychosexual team at Croydon University Hospital He is a...

Oxford Circus

Therapist Stamatia Lorentzou
Stamatia Lorentzou

Stamatia draws on a broad range of theories of psychotherapy She works collaboratively with her clients to understand the causes of their concern and find ways to move forward Stamatia offers both short-term and longer-term therapy She has worked in various organisational settings with individuals seeking to address relationship issues, low self esteem, separation,...

Bloomsbury

Therapist Amrita Athwal
Amrita Athwal

Amrita works with adults in an integrative way, drawing on various therapeutic approaches tailored to meet the needs of each client She provides a safe space to help clients better understand themselves She offers short term and long term therapy Amrita has experience of working with clients on issues such as trauma, addiction, depression, anxiety, relationship...

Bloomsbury

Therapist Ben Brackenbury
Ben Brackenbury

Ben believes that at times we all struggle with the challenges life has to offer and therapy provides a safe, confidential, non-judgemental space to explore this Ben works with individuals to make sense of who they are and how they respond to the world today, and to explore new ways of being Ben is also sensitive to how difficult it might be for a client to talk to a...

Oxford Circus

Therapist Evan Bates
Evan Bates

Evan is a psychodynamic therapist, offering both long and short term therapy He creates a non-judgemental and reflective space to help clients explore their difficulties and concerns Working together to understand the connections between past and current relationships, Evan supports clients in developing a deeper awareness of their recurring emotional patterns and further...

Soho

Therapist Janis Dellner
Janis Dellner

Janis offers an empathic, non-judgmental and safe environment where her clients can explore the issues that are currently troubling them  Janis works collaboratively to explore and challenge thoughts, feelings and behaviours that are no longer serving her clients’ wellbeing, interests and relationships with themselves and others  She believes it is through the...

Oxford Circus

Therapist Barbara Beyaz
Barbara Beyaz

Barbara brings a warm, non-judgmental, and accepting attitude to her work with clients As an integrative Psychotherapist, she draws from a range of theoretical perspectives which allows her to tailor therapy to the needs of the client Barbara thinks that healing and individual growth happen when difficulties in living are explored with empathy, and the client's unique...

Oxford Circus

Therapist Nicola Reeves
Nicola Reeves

Nicola is a psychodynamic psychotherapist and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) therapist Nicola believes in giving clients time and space to approach therapy in the way they need to approach it She finds this is the best way to develop a therapeutic relationship that allows feelings to be truly explored and evaluated As a psychodynamic...

Soho