At some point in everyone’s life, there will come a time when we require extra support. Unfortunately, therapeutic support is often stigmatized, even in a society that has come to embrace and recognize the importance of mental health and its initiatives. When I tell people that I am training to become a psychotherapist, common comments include “Oh, so you’re going to help crazy people?” or some highly misconstrued idea that I will blame all of their problems on their parents or their childhood experiences. Many of these misconceptions come from TV shows and/or movies, misleading people’s understandings of the significant benefits that therapy can bring. Common misconceptions also include the idea that if you go to a therapist you will be seen as crazy, weak, or a failure. Others may even fear what other people will think of them if they reach out for help. Unfortunately, these misbeliefs cause people to bottle up their issues instead of seeking out external support, which will only add to existing emotional, physical, and/or mental distress. Seeking help when you need it most not only exhibits significant levels of self-awareness, but it also shows resourcefulness in ones ability to manage their own needs. Therapy has come so far, and has truly evolved to meet the unique needs of each individual.
Some general benefits of psychotherapy:
A safe space to share and organize your thoughts
Focuses on coping with feelings and working collaboratively to problem solve/change behaviour patterns that contribute to unwanted symptoms
Helps to promote self-awareness and understanding of emotions
Helps to promote the skills that are necessary to navigate and manage life transitions
Has been proven to improve mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing
Will help you to develop the skills to improve relationships
Provides you with the tools to cope with and overcome future obstacles and to function better on your own
The therapist is an objective and knowledgeable third party that will listen and provide feedback in a confidential and nonjudgmental manner
Now, why is therapy right for you? People seek therapy for a wide range of reasons. Whether it is for the treatment of specific mental illnesses, to coping with major life transitions, hoping to change certain behavioural/emotional patterns, coping with chronic illness, seeking to improve relationship skills, looking to manage and balance life responsibilities, hoping to increase self-esteem and self-awareness, to coping with loss, and more. As you can see, therapy can be beneficial for various concerns, and will ultimately be a safe place to explore these issues. Lets work together to destigmatize therapy, and clear up these common misconceptions, to ensure people are able to get the support and care that they need to reach their fullest potential.
Written by Rochelle Brandt, PITC Student Therapist. Learn More about Rochelle.