Introduction to Counselling
What is counselling/therapy and why does it work?
Counselling or Therapy, is focused on reducing a person’s symptoms, but more importantly, improving their functioning. How can we become more resilient, thrive despite stress, bouncing back from difficulties (such asACEs)? The answer is counselling. To be human is to have anxiety, but when anxiety or other symptoms interfere with a person’s ability to function in their social, occupational, or personal lives, talking to a trained professional can make all the difference. As much as one thinks they had a fine childhood, nothing is perfect, and experiences of rejection, failure, or hurtful actions done to us by others leave a mark, which are called trauma. In the words of one of the founders of therapy, Carl Jung, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
Must I be “messed up” or “crazy” (have some kind of psychological disorder) to see a counsellor?
Absolutely not, in fact it is better to come before an issue (e.g. having some conflict with your teen) gets worse and you end up in crisis. You have more psychological resources (mental energy) when you are doing better to learn what you need to. Clients not in any distress can learn to maximize and maintain what is going well, or learn coping skills they can use when life hits its inevitable rocky moments, allowing faster recovery.
Isn’t counselling expensive?
Many people have extended health benefits through their employer that cover much of the cost of counselling. Even if one does not, many counsellors have a sliding scale, or packages, that lower the cost of therapy significantly. An additional benefit of a packageis that a commitment of several sessions gives the client and therapist a more targeted and structured approach toward a particular goal they have in mind, and reduces client dropout at the point when therapy gets difficult, but before positive change can take place. Like pumping iron to build muscle, the first few sessions of counselling are often difficult, and when dealing with things like trauma in particular, often things will get harder for a while before they improve. A trained therapist knows this and goes at a rate that is manageable for the client, while expanding their window of tolerance—stretching a client’s ability to handle past and present emotional intensity so they can better handle the tasks of life in front of them. Attending therapy is an investment in one’s self that pays back many times over.
If you or a loved one are ready to get started on their counselling journey to better health and happiness, please contact us.
Richard Tatomir, MA, CCC