Archive | December, 2018

Counselling — A powerful method of healing and growth.

19 Dec

s therapy really worth it?

How would the therapist understand, she hasn’t been in my shoes?

I can chat with my friends; do I really need to spend all that money talking to an unknown person?

It seems like the hobby of the rich who have all the money to spend!

Don’t you get dependent on the therapist and need to bounce off every little thing with him/her?

These and more, are some of the questions I am asked, when I tell people that I’m a mental health therapist.

Misconceptions like these prevent people from reaching out for help — timely help, which could have beneficial effects in making people more at peace with themselves and their environment.

When we encounter unpleasant or traumatic experiences, we are usually told to cope with it — ‘Its Life…You need to put it behind you and get on’. But there are many who never really learn to cope with strong emotions, or go through great distress.

That’s when you will benefit from some therapeutic intervention.

No doubt Therapy is no magic wand that that helps you get rid of all your issues; What it really does is — help you navigate through your thoughts and feelings, build helpful behaviour, recognize and challenge the negative thought patterns that recurrently pop up in your brain. Its then by building resilience and opening your mind to new thought channels, that you are able to steer your boat through life’s umpteen challenges.

Of course you could talk to a friend, but its way different. Friendships are a two-way street and it involves sharing mutual struggles. Friends may not be completely objective in their opinion. During the times when you need someone to listen to you completely, where you can talk about anything without having to listen to the other person’s experiences or opinions, its a non judgmental counsellor that fits your needs. Your counsellor, being an expert on mental health issues, would be able give you the tools to manage your life.

Most people think they can sort out their difficulties, and for most times they can; but sometimes they find themselves like in the middle of a swamp — Stuck, and maybe stuck for years. Counselling helps you identify your unhelpful thought patterns, show you the link between your thoughts and your feelings, and assist you in overcoming these unhelpful thought patterns so that you can live the life you want.

Look around you and you can see that ‘Busyness’ is in the air. There are times when there’s so much bottled up inside of you. One gets so caught up in the day to day humdrum of life that you have no time to pay attention to, or process your feelings of pain or guilt or remorse. As much as your family and friends are caring and supportive, there may be certain things you are not comfortable sharing with them. The thoughts that overwhelm us or stress us out need to be addressed. Dedicating time to talk about them and process them in a non judgmental and safe atmosphere is not just cathartic but also frees your mind of confusion and brings in the component of well being into your life.

No doubt people with diagnosed mental health issues benefit from therapy but therapy isn’t only for them. Therapy is beneficial for anyone whose –

· Thoughts and Feelings are overwhelming, so much so that it interferes in their day to day functioning or keeps them high strung all day. Sometimes you aren’t even sure why you feel so stressed. A Counsellor assists you in sifting through your feelings and helps you connect the dots.

· Low moods persist and although life seems alright on the outside but you feel stuck in certain areas of your life. Unpacking your thoughts and beliefs can help identify, and move past your perceived stumbling blocks.

· Trauma, like the loss of a loved one, divorce, job loss can send you reeling. You sometimes simply don’t have the resources to cope with what’s happening in your life. Times like these require you to seek professional help so that you do not get sucked into a spiral of negative thoughts that make you feel helpless or hopeless.

· Unexplained physical ailments like frequent headaches, stomach upsets, aches and pains leave you feeling preoccupied with your health, so much so that you disconnect from activities that gave you pleasure earlier.

Therapy works and the the earlier you get help, the easier it gets to resolve the issue and live a life that you were meant to live.

There are those that believe that therapy is expensive — If one would look at therapy as a way to maximize your wellbeing, much like you would work with a personal trainer to get physically fit, then therapy is a worthwhile investment towards your mental health.

‘Nothing in the world can torment you as much as your own thoughts.’ So money spent on alleviating your distress is definitely money well spent.

There are many reasons why one might choose to go in for therapy and none of them need you to be ‘crazy’ or ‘weak’. Going for therapy requires courage- Courage to lay bare your thoughts and feelings and allow another to help you understand yourself and alleviate your distress.

No doubt its hard work, but the end result is well worth your money and time.