Do I need a counsellor or therapist?
Life is a journey, and there are multiple times throughout our lives that we may find ourselves needing a bit of support, guidance, and help. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, there is strength in reaching out for help. As the journey changes, so does the type and form of therapy needed. For the therapy process to be effective, we obviously need to be seeking help in the right area and from the right person. There will be different times in your life when you experience all these different scenarios and will need to call on a range of therapies and specialists.
When any type of mental health or emotional concern affects daily life and function, therapy may be recommended. Therapy can help you learn about what you’re feeling, why you might be feeling it, and how to cope.
We all know the question we ask and answer multiple times a day:
‘Hi, Sue. Are you well?’
‘Hi, Angela. Yes, very well thanks and you?’
The question here is ‘Are you well?’, or are you hurting inside and just not talking about it, or even acknowledging it? It has become a robotic response to say that we are well without even REALLY thinking about it. Or maybe we have, but don’t want to appear ‘unwell’.
Consider the questions below, how well are you?
1. Are you happy?
2. Are your thoughts or words toxic and negative?
3. Do you have intrusive thoughts?
4. Do you value your role in the workplace, home and community?
5. Are you happy with your weight?
6. Are you happy with your self-image?
7. Do you find it easy to get up in the morning?
8. Do you find it easy to trust people?
9. Do you find it easy to meet and get along with people?
10. Are you able to name and deal with your emotions?
11. Do you have goals and a plan to achieve them?
12. Do you know how to deal with stress?
13. Do you know how to deal with conflict?
14. Do you spend time with people that appreciate you and love you?
15. Are you happy in your own company?
16. Do your relationships have healthy boundaries?
17. Do you feel supported?
Asking yourself the question do I need a counsellor or therapist, becomes easier when asking yourself these questions.
Our thoughts trigger our feelings; our feelings propel our actions and our actions become our habits.
So, how do you think about yourself and your life?
Take 5 minutes to check in with yourself by doing our Mind, Body, Wellness Questionnaire and see which areas of your life, mental health and wellness may need a little attention. Self-reflection allows us to look neutrally at our thoughts, feelings, emotions, and actions. It enables us to identify areas for improvement and areas where we are strong. If used correctly, it also allows us to develop positive self-talk and, therefore, a positive self-image.
Who can benefit from Counselling? Do I need a counsellor or therapist?
If you need to recover from a past trauma, explore past relationships and why they could be causing problems in current relationships, work through depressive thoughts or episodes, process a divorce or the loss of a loved one or overcome anxiety and anxious thoughts, then it may be best to see a counsellor or psychologist.
Any normal person who is facing a difficult situation that he or she has not been able to resolve alone can benefit from counselling . In other words, everyone (even counsellors themselves!) needs counselling at some time or another. It’s not a matter of being weak but just sensibly recognizing when you could do with a little help. Life is difficult enough, why add extra pressure and stress when it can be halved by simply sharing it with someone? Sometimes we punish ourselves even further by refusing to accept that we need an outsider’s perspective.
We all have a story: we have all had ‘something’ happen that has affected, shaped or changed us. Your Story Matters! There are so many specialists waiting to listen: to listen to YOU, to listen to YOUR story. Never think it is too big and shameful and never believe that it is too small and unworthy. They don’t care what it is; they care about you. They come with no preconceived ideas about you and leave with no judgements of you.
Why do I need a counsellor?
Every one of us needs therapy to vent out. That doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you mentally. You can talk to a friend, family member or colleague and that may be helpful. But at times there can be actual emotional and mental turmoil that even your friends and family don’t understand. If it isn’t dealt with correctly, it can lead you towards bigger problems like depression and anxiety. It is then that a therapist will be more useful and probably a better idea.
Very often friends and family are not easily accessible, or we just do not want to share with them what has happened or how we feel. They may also not be able to help you; they may even be a part of the problem. A counsellor is neutral and objective and is trained to understand and help. An outsider’s perspective is gold and a neutral sounding board to hear our thoughts and work through our emotions is sometimes all we need. Although our friends and family have the best of intentions, they sometimes bring their own feelings and context and make an already confusing situation even muddier.
How will online counselling help me?
As you describe your problem or tell your story, the very act of saying it out loud and, in essence, ‘releasing’ it will already be helpful, freeing and healing. Expressing your feelings to a person who is not judging you is immensely powerful. The counsellor will then help you to understand yourself, your feelings, and the problem more fully with a wider lens. Suggestions and various options open to you may be given. In some situations, a single session will be enough but in many cases, you may require more and/or ongoing sessions. The process will eventually move you into a space where you are able to help yourself more effectively.
So, whether you have been through a major life trauma, are struggling with day-to-day struggles, need a bit of direction or simply want to work towards being the best version of yourself, think about seeking counsel. It is the best sounding board you can invest in. Lighten your load! You deserve it.