Is counselling and therapy right for me?

Seeking out counselling and therapy is an individual choice. There are many reasons why people come to counselling and therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems associated with stress, anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected events or changes in one’s life such as a flood, divorce or work transition. Many seek the advice of psychologist as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with a psychologist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Psychology services, through the use of counselling or therapy, can help address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, body-image issues, and general life transitions. Consulting with a psychologist is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives.


Do I really need to see a psychologist for counselling or therapy?  I can usually handle my problems.

Everyone goes through challenging situations in life and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you’ve faced, there’s nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, professional counselling or therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you’re at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking support from a psychologist. The professional services provided by a psychologist provide long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools, techniques, or strategies you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.


How can a psychologist help me?

A number of benefits are available from seeing a psychologist and participating in psychotherapy. Psychologists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Psychologists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from speaking to a psychologist depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from seeing a psychologist include:

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships
  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
  • Improving communications and listening skills
  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence


What is professional counselling or therapy like?

Every counselling or therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is standard for psychologists to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during the sessions. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts around fifty minutes. Counselling or therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviours. It is important to process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life between sessions. For counselling or therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. People seeking the help from psychologist are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives. Here are some things you can expect out of sessions:

  • Compassion, respect and understanding
  • Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
  • Real strategies for enacting positive change
  • Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance


Is medication a substitute for therapy provided a psychologist?

In some cases a combination of medication, counselling, and therapeutic interventions is the right course of action. Working with your treating general practitioner you can determine what’s best for you. It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause involves more than medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness.


Is therapy confidential?

In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychologist. No information is disclosed without prior verbal or written permission from the client.

However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:

  • Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse. The psychologist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The psychologist is required to notify the police.
  • If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The psychologist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.