Many of us think therapy is self-indulgent or for people with some mental illness but in effect therapy can benefit anyone. Some need it in response to unexpected changes in their lives, while others seek self-exploration and personal growth. It actually takes a lot of courage and self-reflection to recognise that our life is not how we want it to be or our hopes and dreams haven’t been fulfilled.
As we move through life, we experience various changes – it might be the loss of a job, career change, divorce, birth of a baby, miscarriage, illness, relocation or death of a loved one. Life changing events can trigger strong emotional responses such as pain, regret, anger, fear, shame, helplessness, resentment, relief, guilt or sadness. Each of us reacts differently to life’s stresses.
By becoming aware of how you are handling these pressures and turning points, you can discover ways to face transition head on. Rather than look to the past with regret, you can seize the opportunity to rebuild your life, change the way you think, change the way you do things for the better and discover new ways to cope with your circumstances.
Why pay to talk to a therapist when you can talk to friends or family for free?
How often do family and friends give you their honest opinions/feedback when you share your problems or concerns with them? Their immediate reaction is either minimise the problem or ignore it or skirt around the issue because it’s not their place to tell you the truth. Your loved ones are too emotionally connected to you to be objective and their views on your issues can also be coloured by their own past experience. You avoid overburdening your family or friends with your distress by internalising your feelings or acting out in other ways that could affect your well-being.
Herein lies the benefit of therapy. For an hour, you can share all of your thoughts and feelings without feeling constrained, you can be honest about your emotions without being judged or worry about how they might impact on your relationships with the therapist.
Some of the benefits of therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your personal goals and values
- Resolving the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Finding new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Communicating effectively – learn how to listen to others, and have others listen to you
- Breaking unhealthy patterns of behaviour and developing new ones.
- Discovering new ways to solve your problems.
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting your self-confidence
“My counselling experience with Isabelle has been thorough, caring, thought-provoking and the start of challenging and re-wiring the hard-wired. I’ve become more open, considerate, aware and optimistic, as well as emotionally stronger. I felt challenged and aware. I’m very grateful for Isabelle’s help in finding the doors that need to be found.” – LB, 2013