Do you have trouble communicating? Do communication issues affect your day to day life? Here is some useful information you will find helpful.


What are Communication Issues?

Communication issues may potentially develop in any circumstance or social relationship. It can be easy for individuals to misunderstand or misinterpret others, and these misunderstandings may lead to arguments or tension in personal, platonic, or professional relationships. In some instances, conflicts may arise, and these conflicts can make communication even more challenging. It may be helpful to have the support of a therapist or other mental health professional when exploring the reasons why communication issues occur or while working through any distress or difficulty that occurs as a result of frequent communication issues. 

Types of Communication Issues;

A number of factors may contribute to communication challenges between two or more parties. Differences of opinion may lead to disagreements between friends or co-workers, and this can contribute to communication difficulties. Those who seek counselling for relationship concerns may frequently cite communication issues as a reason for seeking treatment. 

In some cases, difficulties may develop as a result of different cultural background or personal experiences. Because communication styles often differ vastly between cultures, a person may be able to say the same thing to two individuals who belong to different cultures and be interpreted in two completely different ways. Individuals communicating in their native language to non-native speakers and individuals communicating in a language other than their native language may also find it difficult to understand or interpret certain subtleties or nuances that native speakers of the language may readily pick up on. This type of issue may lead to confusion or conflict or in some cases be interpreted as rudeness, when none was intended.

Further, because of cultural differences, an issue that is considered to be a communication problem by an individual from one culture may not be found problematic in the least by an individual from another culture. 

Poor physical or mental health may also lead to a breakdown in communication between a person seeking treatment and the person providing care. A person experiencing illness or distress may grow tired of communicating issues to one health care professional after another or find it difficult to describe a particular issue, and this can become a barrier to treatment. Situations that might contribute to communication issues include:

  • Childhoodstress
  • Physical and mental health issues
  • Trauma
  • Misinterpretation of another person’s statements or motivation
  • Failure to understand another person’s point of view
  • Cultural barriers
  • Linguistic differences
  • Inaccurate assumptions andstereotypeswww-theaoc-org-67
  • Stonewalling
  • Secrecy and deception
  • Inflammatory remarks or behaviours
  • Poor listening skills

Verbal vs. Nonverbal Communication

Communication can take place via verbal (written or spoken words) or nonverbal (facial expressions, gestures, body language, posture, eye movements, and so on) means. Though the differences between verbal and nonverbal communication have been known for many years, rigorous research on both forms of communication only began in the 1960s. Initially, researchers viewed verbal and nonverbal behaviours as separate channels that are independently coded and capable of transmitting different types of messages with different meanings and functions. But while it is true that verbal and nonverbal messages may be different or even conflicting, researchers today posit that these messages are related and, when studied together, provide a more holistic understanding of social interaction. One major contributor to the modern-day comprehension of verbal and nonverbal communication is Albert Mehrabian. In his research, Mehrabian discovered that a listener may adjust the relative importance assigned to verbal and nonverbal behaviours depending on a given situation. One’s date might say, “I really like you” but avoid eye contact, seem distracted, or frown often, which may lead one to question the truthfulness of the statement.

Who Does It Effect?

Any of us can experience communication issues at any stage in our lives. It does not matter what gender, ethnicity or religion you are, we can all experience them. Communication is frequent in intimate relationships; they cause a lot of relationship troubles. Some couples talk frequently about day-to-day issues and activities and consider themselves to be good communicators, when they may in fact be neglecting discussion of issues that have a significant impact on the relationship.

The most obvious reason for communication issues may be down to disabilities. Communication issues may arise with those who are deaf or blind as some may not know sign language. This will cause barriers when trying to communicate. Other disabilities may include Alzheimer’s disease or someone who has suffered from a stroke.

Facts & Statistics

  • A poll undertaken by I CAN showed that only 43% of parents of 0 – 5 years’ olds were able to correctly identify the stages of communication.
  • A YouGov poll, undertaken by The Communication Trust, of 349 teachers found that only 27% had received training around speech, language and communication and 81% felt they would benefit from more training on this issue.
  • The Bercow Review of Services for Children and Young people with Speech, Language and Communication Needs (2008) found that 77% of parents who responded did not get the information and support they needed when they needed it.
  • It also found that 12% said that they ‘needed to know where to look’. Many felt alone because speech, language and communication needs was not understood by frontline staff (health visitors, doctors, early years and teachers) or family members.
  • 50-90% of children with persistent speech, language and communication difficulties go on to have reading difficulties.
  • Two thirds of 7 -14 year olds with serious behaviour problems have language impairment.
  • At least 60% of young people in young offender institutions have communication difficulties.
  • Those with a history of early language impairment are at higher risk of mental health problems e.g. 2.7 times more likely of having a social phobia by age 19.
  • The Bercow Review (2008) found that at the end of primary school, although nearly 80% of all children achieve the expected level in English, just 25% of children with long term communication difficulties reach that level – a gap of almost 55%.
  • This review also found that at the end of Key Stage 4, the ‘attainment gap’ between children with communication difficulties and their peers is marked. Just 15% of children with communication difficulties achieve 5 GCSE A*- C or equivalent compared to 57% of all young people.
  • When language difficulties are resolved by the age of 5 and a half, students are more likely to go on to develop good reading and spelling skills. This good performance continues throughout their school careers and they pass as many exams on leaving school as children without a history of speech, language and communication difficulties.


Examples of People with Communication Issues


“Learning Communication Skills in Therapy”Malita’s Story –



“The Ultimate Communication Horror Story”Michelle Agner’s Story –



“Recovery is a Lifelong Process”James Piercy’s Story –



“I am now Confident that I can Keep on Getting Better…”Mike McCall’s Story –



“Speak up, never be Ashamed…”Andy Nicholson’s Story –


How Can it be Treated?

The AoC can help you if you are looking to improve communication & start communicating better. We are HCPC (Health & Care Professions Council) registered and also members of BACP (The British Association of Dramatherapists). We have a team of highly skilled, professional counsellors and associate therapists to help you through with the use of creative art therapies.


Creative art therapies involve using arts in a therapeutic environment with a trained therapist. You do not need to have any artistic skill or previous experience of dance, drama, music or visual art to find arts therapies helpful. The aim isn’t to produce a great work of art, but to use what you create to understand yourself better. In arts therapy, your therapist helps you to create something — such as a piece of music, a drawing, a play or a dance routine — as a way of expressing your feelings, often without using words.


Creative art therapies can be offered in group sessions, one-to-one or with family therapy depending on your own preference. We will match you to our best suited therapist/counsellor to help you with any of your issues. All our counselling is strictly confidential and nothing said in the therapy space will leave the room.


There are many different modalities in which creative arts can be offered to you ranging from the following;


Offers profound reflection on who we are and the roles we play. These art forms are also centrally concerned with how people change people, for better or worse, and the sort of connections they make with each other, e.g. superficial, conflictual, brutal, deadened or deeply enriching. Drama and puppetry can also offer vital insights into ‘situation’: how past situations are still colouring those in the present. Working with puppets is ideal for circumventing a reluctance to speak about feelings.

Sculpture offers a person the power to speak through touch. Its power lies more in the emotional resonance of substance. Sculpture invites a sensual engagement with the world. Clay expresses qualities and forms of feeling, directly, plainly, free of the clutter of any associations of the everyday.

Literal words can misrepresent, underplay, hide rather than reveal and frequently offering only approximations to any recalled experience. In poetry as a multi-sensorial form, ‘amplifies the music of what happens’ (Seamus Heaney). ‘A poetic basis of mind’ (Hillman) can lead to a far more profound experience of life.

Clients choose from a whole world of miniature people, animals and buildings and arrange them in the controlled space of the ‘theatre of the sandbox’. This theatre then offers a profound overview of important life issues. Once feelings are organised and externalised in sandplay, they can be contemplated from a distance, and then assimilated.

The dynamic forms in music are recognisable as vital forms of felt life: the rises and falls, the surges and flooding’s, the tensions and intensities, the changes in tempo, the dissonances, harmonies and resolutions. We know these forms intimately in our emotional experiencing. Music can convey the full qualitative and energetic aspects of an important relationship, atmosphere crucial event, or ongoing situation.

Forms encapture the complex inter-relations between time, weight, space, flow. We know these forms intimately in our emotional experiencing, so much so that both movement and still pose can provoke all manner of resonance. It is also possible to work with what the body is already communicating symbolically, whether through posture, gesture and gait, or through illness and injury. Movement is integral to the very process of change.


If you would like to receive counselling from The AOC please fill out on of our online referral forms and send to You will have a choice of 3 different types of referral forms;

  1. For individuals or couples
  2. Family referral form
  3. Group referral form

Please select the referral form most suited to you i.e. if you would like group therapy, fill out the group referral form.

Simply click the following link to find out more information and complete one of our referral forms:

We provide our clients with high-quality, evidence based expertise in the form of personal therapy and counselling. To help anyone suffering with any type of eating disorder.

Here is an example of a creative art therapy from The AOC in more detail;


Dramatherapy is a form of psychological therapy/psychotherapy in which all of the performance arts are utilised within the therapeutic relationship. Dramatherapy addresses a wide range of personal and emotional difficulties. Clients who are referred to a dramatherapist do not need to have previous experience or skill in acting, theatre or drama. Dramatherapists are trained to enable clients to find the most suitable medium for them to engage in group or individual therapy to address and resolve, or make troubling issues more bearable. Dramatherapists work in a wide variety of settings with people of all ages:

  • in schools
  • in mental health
  • in general health and social care settings
  • in prisons
  • in hospices
  • in the voluntary sector
  • in private practice

Dramatherapists are both artists and clinicians and draw on their trainings in theatre, drama and therapy to create methods to engage clients in effecting psychological, emotional and social changes.  The therapy gives equal validity to body and mind within the dramatic context; stories, myths, play-texts, puppetry, masks and improvisation are examples of the range of artistic interventions a dramatherapist may employ.  These will enable the client to explore difficult and painful life experiences through a creative-expressive approach. Dramatherapists are trained in both psychological and arts-specific assessment and evaluation techniques. They are committed to generating practice-based evidence and deliver sound evidence-based practice.

The British Association of Dramatherapists (BADth)


We can also offer our clients integrative counselling;

Integrative Counselling

Integrative therapy, or integrative counselling is a combined approach to psychotherapy that brings together different elements of specific therapies. Integrative therapists take the view that there is no single approach that can treat each client in all situations. Each person needs to be considered as a whole and counselling techniques must be tailored to their individual needs and personal circumstances. 

Integrative counselling maintains the idea that there are many ways in which human psychology can be explored and understood – no one theory holds the answer. All theories are considered to have value, even if their foundational principles contradict each other – hence the need to integrate them. 

The integrative approach also refers to the infusion of a person’s personality and needs – integrating the affective, behavioural, cognitive, and physiological systems within one person, as well as addressing social and spiritual aspects. Essentially, integrative counsellors are not only concerned with what works, but why it works – tailoring therapy to their clients and not the client to the therapy.

Top Health Tips

  1. Identify yourself.
    Approach the person from the front and say who you are. Keep good eye contact; if the person is seated or reclined, go down to that level.
  2. Call the person by name.
    It helps orient the person and gets his or her attention.
  3. Use short, simple words and sentences.
    Lengthy requests or stories can be overwhelming. Ask one question at a time.
  4. Speak slowly and distinctively.
    Be aware of speed and clarity. Use a gentle and relaxed tone — a lower pitch is more calming.
  5. Patiently wait for a response.
    The person may need extra time to process what you said. 
  6. Repeat information or questions as needed.
    If the person doesn’t respond, wait a moment. Then ask again.
  7. Turn questions into answers.
    Provide the solution rather than the question. For example, say “The bathroom is right here,” instead of asking, “Do you need to use the bathroom?”
  8. Avoid confusing and vague statements.
    If you tell the person to “Hop in!” he or she may interpret your instructions literally. Instead, describe the action directly: “Please come here. Your shower is ready.” Instead of using “it” or “that,” name the object or place. For example, rather than “Here it is” say “Here is your hat.”
  9. Contact us – The AOC can help your overcome and put a stop to the sexual abuse you may be experiencing/experienced. Call or email us: 01384 211 168 /