Do I “Need” Therapy?
This is a question I hear a lot— not only from clients, but from friends, family, and even the occasional stranger I encounter in my day-to-day life. Many people think that psychotherapy (also know as “talk therapy” or simply “counselling”) is for people with “serious” mental health concerns. When you think “therapy”, your mind might automatically conjure images of a person who isn't in touch with reality, has multiple personalities, or is so anxious they can’t leave the house. Many people recoil from the idea of going to therapy because they don’t think the problem they’re dealing with is severe enough to need attention, or that “only crazy people go to therapy”.
I’m not surprised that a lot of people have these ideas, because the way media and literature have typically portrayed mental health is by presenting very extreme and shocking images — images of conditions and scenarios which are typically quite rare and often portrayed in sensational, inaccurate, and unkind ways. The fact of the matter is, the people I work with are simply “regular, every day” people who are struggling in some aspect of their lives— and they may be managing living with a diagnosed mental health condition.
In reality, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) reports that 1 in 5 people will experience a mental health concern in any given year, and that by the age of 40, 50% of people will have experienced a struggle in mental health. If you’re feeling poorly right now, you’re not alone, and you’re definitely not “crazy”. Here are some scenarios you might recognize, which might count you among millions of Canadians who could use some mental health support:
1. You aren’t feeling as well as you used to
You feel like you don’t have any energy, can’t sleep at night, or can’t relax. The things that used to be fun might feel like a chore, and it takes a lot of effort to do things and go places. Being around other people is simply exhausting. You might feel more angry, irritable, or down than you usually do. In short, you aren’t feeling quite like yourself and you want to feel better, because you aren’t enjoying life as much as you used to.
2. You’re having trouble in your relationships
Something’s going on in your relationships — a breakup, a new relationship, a change in your family structure — and it’s causing you distress. Many people experience significant changes in mood when relationships are in distress, and many people experience distressed relationships when something’s up with their moods! Sometimes it can be a vicious cycle, and you might need a helping hand to figure things out.
3. Something awful happened
It’s possible that you started experiencing changes in your mental health after something bad happened to you. Trauma impacts people of all ages, genders, and walks of life. Injuries, accidents, violence, death— these are things that we never anticipate happening to us or in our families, and when they do it can shake you to your core. You might need some guidance in how to feel okay again and heal.
4. You’re hungry for change
Maybe things are “okay” but they could be better. You’re thinking about changing jobs, or relationships — maybe moving to a different city. You’ve got some goals but you aren’t sure where to start. Often, people can feel frozen with indecision or overwhelmed by how far away their goals seems. A registered psychotherapist can help you sort out difficult decisions, and create an effective plan to meet your goals in manageable steps.
Do you “need” psychotherapy? I think the better question is, could you benefit from support and guidance on your journey to feeling better, healing, and meeting your goals? If so, feel free to give me a call at (226) 503-2212 or book online today, and we can discuss whether psychotherapy might help to get you where you want to be!