Therapy… Counselling… Two words that bring about a particular and uncomfortable stereotype. Psychotherapy in films and television does not accurately portray the process and benefits that it can provide. This has made many people worried and skeptical about therapy as a whole and ingrained in the belief that it can be a waste of time and money. But that’s not true at all. Therapy can be suitable for anyone. You don’t have to have anything detrimental to your health happening for you to benefit from therapy.
But why therapy? Therapy has been proven to improve the symptoms of multiple mental and bodily health conditions. Through therapy, you can learn to discover, recognize, and develop techniques to address the symptoms that may come about. These skills last and will continue to grow outside of your therapy sessions.
Many people aren’t sure what to expect when attending a therapy session. So, let’s address some of those big misconceptions.
You will not be walking into a room with an oversized couch where you’ll be asked to lie down and close your eyes or stare at the ceiling. However, that can be a possibility if it’s something that would make you feel more comfortable. It’s more likely that you’ll be sitting on a chair or couch across from the therapist who is also sitting.
Everyone expects that question. The question that makes you want to roll your eyes or laugh. “So, tell me about your childhood.” This is not something that your therapist will ask you. A therapist will never dive into trauma without it coming up naturally. There could be an instance where you are discussing something that happened to you that day, and through the conversation, it could end with “in my childhood, this happened” and discover a connection. This process is typically called Solution-Focused Therapy. Your therapist can guide you through this discovery while providing you with psycho-education.
Many people believe you must be diagnosed with some type of condition to receive treatment. However, that is not the case. Whether you have a diagnosis or not, the treatment is the same. Therapy is available for you to use how you see fit and how you believe it will help you best. Your therapist is there to help facilitate and even guide you through the process.
In many depictions of therapy, the person/character will have a “eureka” moment. It’s that moment they overcome their issues with one big cry, confession, or realization. In actuality, therapy can be broken down into a series of breakthroughs. There will be times that you may discover or experience a realization that you can then work on. Both in and outside of your therapy sessions.
Most people believe that you only attend therapy because there is something about you that needs to be fixed. This is entirely untrue. In therapy, it isn’t possible to be “cured” because mental illness, negative beliefs, and maladaptive behaviours are not diseases. Therapy can help you discover strengths and teach you new skills that will assist you in dealing with the challenges that arise in life.
Now that we’ve covered some of the misconceptions about psychotherapy, let’s talk about the main question here:
Should You Try It?
It’s a question that plenty of people ask themselves, and many sit on the fence for a long time. If you’re at a complete loss or don’t even know how to start thinking about it, here are some questions you can ask yourself.
- Is something affecting your daily mental health, how severe it is?
- Would you like to better understand yourself, your values and your goals?
- Would you like to improve your relationships?
- Do you feel stressed, anxious or overwhelmed?
- Are you struggling with powerful emotions such as anger, grief, envy or depression?
- Would you like to break negative behaviour cycles?
- Do you struggle with negative self-talk?
- Would you like to be more confident and assertive?
- Is there a situation you would like to change?
- Are there unsolved problems negatively impacting your life?
Whether or not you feel comfortable talking / communicating, your psychotherapist can work with you on different topics to keep the conversation going. There is never going to be dead silence or that awkward moment.
One of the most important things to remember when finding a therapist or considering therapy is feeling comfortable. Now, you’re never going to be entirely at ease. That’s the whole point. However, the best person to assist you is someone you feel comfortable around or vibe with; personality is extremely important.
Our Psychotherapist (Qualifying) Cristina has specialized training in Art Therapy as well as talk therapy. She specializes in mental and emotional challenges and developmental disorders such as; ADHD, ODD, PTSD, adoption and foster children and families.
Our Psychotherapist (Qualifying), Corey, takes a Cognitive-Behavioural and Narrative approach to most mental health concerns. He works with adults, teens, and couples and has a focus on anxiety, depression, anger management, trauma, process addictions (i.e. sex, food, internet/screens), men’s issues, Christian counselling, and grief.