I’ve never talked to anyone, and I’m used to handling things on my own. Isn’t therapy for really serious issues?
Not at all, as everyone needs help now and then, no matter how trivial it may seem to you. One way to look at it could be that you are able to move through things more quickly than if you were to do it on your own. In our work together, I can help you explore and identify your strengths, deal with symptoms of your issue, address possible root causes, and find a different way forward.
What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?
Having the support of our family and friends is huge and not to be discounted. However, there are some things that we can’t talk to them about, such as if something is really personal and we feel embarrassed about it, or the issue is actually with them! As well, although they mean well, they simply may not have the knowledge to help you with what you are dealing with.
A mental health professional has years of education and experience, and can provide a safe place where you are able to open-up and share freely. They can help you approach your situation in a new way– teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Furthermore, counselling is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing my business.” Lastly, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, and you’ve been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the risk that once you are feeling better you could start avoiding that person so you aren’t reminded of this difficult time in your life.
Why shouldn’t I just take medication?
Sometimes medication alone is a vital and necessary part of the solution to our issues. Other times, counselling may be what is needed to feel better. Often medication with counselling may lead to the best outcomes. While I do not prescribe medication, it warrants consideration in how we can move forward. My focus is on counselling and how we can explore and unpack the problems you are experiencing. This involves expanding on your strengths that can help you accomplish your personal goals.
How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?
Since each person has different issues and goals for counselling, it will be different depending on the individual. I tailor my approach to your specific needs. Counselling has the best outcomes when you show up ready to engage, are open and completely honest, and willing to face your pain and “hard” truths.
How long will it take?
It depends. Sometimes change can occur instantly with as little as one thought or idea. Other times, change is a process that occurs over time. Although we all would like change to be immediate, it is important to have compassion and patience with ourselves as we work through things. My goal is to move through the process as quickly as we can, but it can take time and that’s ok.
I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?
Great question! Simply making the first step to reach out for counselling is a huge, so well done! Being open and honest with yourself, willing to face difficult things, allowing your pain to surface, getting in touch with your body and emotions, and working on homework between sessions – all of this will help you get the most out of your sessions.