This blog is not a substitute for therapy, but provides evidence-base education for the purposes of self-help and information.
You Can See A Therapist For More Than Just Depression & Anxiety
There is a belief that persists among certain groups of people that the only reason you should see a therapist is if you are at a point where you can no longer cope, where your life is on the brink of ruin. This might have been how it used to be, but things have changed significantly in the world of mental health care in Canada. Just like you see a doctor to work on preventing illness (to check your vitamin levels, get a flu shot, or for a quick physical), it’s a good idea to see a therapist to catch behaviours and symptoms before you are in full blown crisis mode. Virtually everyone can benefit from therapy at some point in their lives.
Below are just a few reasons to reach out and get support from a counsellor.
Feeling isolated or alone
If there is one thing we are all probably fed up with at this point, it’s the isolation of the last few years. Even introverts need community and loved ones around them and extroverts have been hit especially hard with the social isolation folks have needed to endure. Being isolated can definitely make a person feel depressed, lonely and just not quite themselves. Feeling isolated or alone is one of the most common reasons that people seek therapy — especially since the beginning of the pandemic. Counselling (virtual or in person) provides a trusting, non-judgemental relationship between you and your therapist that can ease feelings of loneliness and provide support to get through these tough times.
Going through major life transition
Change is inevitable, but certain life transitions can be easier to navigate than others. Graduating from school, starting a new job, changing careers, getting married, starting a family, the death of a loved one, getting divorced, or preparing for retirement can all be a reason to reach out to a therapist. Each of these events can have a significant impact on your mental well being and a counsellor can teach you skills to navigate these transitions so that you come out the other end wiser and grounded in your new sense of self.
Insomnia or sleep challenges
Almost nothing can be so disruptive as a bout of sleeplessness. Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for your mental and physical health. If you’re having trouble sleeping and you’ve exhausted the medical interventions that might help, your next stop for help is seeking out a counsellor. A therapist can help you explore why this is happening and dig deep to the root of the issue as well as providing you with information on healthy sleep habits.
Improving relationship skills
Healthy relationships are essential to a happy life. If you’ve noticed a pattern of losing touch with friends or that relationships with significant others always seem to end at a predictable point, you might have some behaviours that are preventing you from making long term connections. Therapy can help you recognize unhealthy relationship or communication patterns and provide tools to form more authentic, long lasting connections with people. A good therapist may also be able to support you in learning how to express your feelings more effectively, if that’s been a challenge in the past.
A desire to become more self confident
Confidence is something that impacts your relationships, our careers, and your physical and emotional health. If you’ve been struggling with low self esteem, a therapist can help you get to the root of your confidence troubles. They can help you identify and reduce negative self-talk and learn how to practise self-compassion.
Searching for your life’s purpose
Our search for meaning in this life is something that has become more relevant these past few years. A shift in your perspective, as the world has shifted is only natural. But what do you do with the feeling that what you’re currently doing in life is no longer aligned with your values? Therapy can help you discover your passions and forge a new path forward in life. It’s a great place for self-reflection and exploration. Therapy can help you to explore who the best version of yourself truly is. A therapist can support you in reflecting on your strengths and weaknesses and show you how to implement positive changes.
Resiliency is a great emotional skill to have and one that you can definitely build within yourself with the support of a counsellor. Being resilient means you have the ability to get back up after life knocks you down, and that you have a capacity to recover from stressful or challenging life events. Seeing a therapist can help you learn to keep things in perspective, accept change, acknowledge your personal needs and maintain hope.
Learning to use mindfulness for your mental health
Depression is a sign that you’re still working on overcoming certain aspects of your past, while anxiety is a sign that you’re focused too much on what might happen in the future. Mindfulness helps to ground you in the present moment and can stop those anxious thoughts of the future or ruminations over the past. A therapist can walk you through mindfulness practices that’ll improve your ability to remain aware and present.
Seeing a counsellor when you are feeling “okay” may help you to feel….great!
While psychiatrists and psychologists at hospitals and crisis centers are definitely here for you should you be in a mental health crisis, most private mental health clinics do not provide this level of support.
What psychotherapists in private practices and clinics offer is clear, solid guidance for when you are mentally stable (if you’re depressed, you aren’t actively suicidal, if you have a mental health diagnosis that requires medication, that is already being medically managed), but could be doing better in your life. Many people are beginning to recognize the benefits of seeing a therapist to improve their quality of life. If you feel like you’re ready to begin therapy, the Registered Psychotherapists and counselling therapist interns at Christina Janiga Psychotherapy can help. We offer psychotherapy for individuals in Burlington and across Ontario. Contact us to book a consultation.