It is not easy to set yourself apart in the virtual world, so I am going to do my best by showcasing my skills in a series of blog posts. This introductory series covers various topics related to initiating counselling and psychotherapy.
This post discusses four signs you might be ready to try psychotherapy.
Many people consider seeing a psychotherapist but aren’t sure it is for them. It is important that you enter psychotherapy at the right time to ensure it is productive, giving you value for your money. Since it is not a service covered by public health care plans (Boo!), you have to invest personally.
Have you tried everything you can think of?
Has what you’ve been doing for years suddenly stopped working?
Are your days filled with more negative emotions than positive ones?
Do you keep having relationship problems and don’t understand why?
Do you find yourself saying “enough is enough”?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, read on. This post is to help you decide if you are ready for psychotherapy.
1. You've tried everything else
When people first come to counselling, I ask what things they have tried. Few say nothing but some don’t realize how much they have already tried. Some have tried prescribed medications, others turn to other substances. Many distract, waiting for the moment of discomfort to pass. People manage symptoms using what they have available. But as their lives become increasingly complex, those ways of coping stop working.
The fact that you have already tried several things says something about the likelihood you’ll find psychotherapy effective. Psychotherapy requires persistence and dedication, it requires trying different things, all of which you’ve already demonstrated.
There is a reason you are considering counselling, and whether or not you realize it, it is because you want to grow. Trying several things means you are willing to work for your personal growth. Being willing to work and being willing to learn is essential for successful psychotherapy.
2. Your negative emotions outweigh the positive ones
Life will always have some negative emotions. That is inevitable. But moments of negativity should be limited and intermittent, not constant and unending.
Life has so much beauty, but many are unable to enjoy it. Instead, they are consumed by feelings of anxiety, depression, or anger. Life is too short to waste time constantly recovering from negative emotions. But shedding these familiar emotional states is not easily done.
If you know there is more to life but can’t seem to access it, then it might be time to ask for help. Psychotherapy can help you learn to better manage those pesky negative emotions. From challenging our thoughts to learning to set effective boundaries, personal growth is about having a healthier relationship with yourself.
3. You keep having relationships problems
Everyone deserves to have that warm, comforting feeling of being in a safe and loving relationship, but for some, no matter how hard they try, it never works out. It is a hard truth that not everyone has healthy relationship patterns, and taking time to reflect on how we behave can teach us a lot.
Maybe you’re single and want to work on yourself, or maybe you’re in a relationship you don’t want to lose. Whatever the reason, if you see a pattern interfering with your enjoyment of life, do something about it.
I believe having a healthier relationship with yourself will allow you to have healthier relationships with others. Work on your relationship with yourself, or work on yourself for a relationship. Either way, psychotherapy may be able to help.
4. You have reached the point of “enough is enough”
This is what brought me to counselling almost ten years ago. It was that sense that things couldn’t keep going as they were. People reach a point where they decide to make changes rather than continue on their current path.
Those who have been here know they are willing to get uncomfortable if it means it might improve their situation. At that moment, you recognize that you MUST take care of yourself. Some start to prioritize self-care as we begin to recognize our worth.
Unfortunately, as people feel better over time, they lose the motivation to continue prioritizing themselves. Counselling can offer support during these times of high motivation to keep you on track for longer.
I believe everyone would benefit from counselling and psychotherapy, but not everyone is ready for it. The timing matters. Motivation matters. Now might not be the right time, but if you feel ready to try psychotherapy, contact us at your preferred coordinates (online, email, phone) or click here to book your free consultation today.
LAH Counselling is not a crisis service. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, mental health crisis, or there is a concern you may hurt yourself or someone else, contact 9-1-1 (for residents of Ontario) or go to your nearest hospital emergency department. You can also click here for a list of crisis services.