Starting Therapy Because You Feel Like It! Reasons Why Counselling is Important: Part 1Feb 16, 2023
This blog post is based on our latest Fiercely Fabulous Life podcast on the topic. “Starting Therapy Because You Feel Like It!” With people taking mental health more seriously, it can be easy to get lost in the specifics of mental health. Below, you can read a digestible summary of the words of Shelly Qualtieri as she gives you key reasons to start therapy, even when you are not in crisis! Working on your mental health is as important as working on your physical health, and it is important to be proactive on this journey. If you’re not sure that therapy is a thing for you, read below for some tips and tricks that will help.
Today, we are talking all about how counselling can help. Why do we need counselling? What does it look like? What are some new things we can get out of counselling, and why would we even want to consider it? When you might be in a place you don't think you really need counselling, believe everything is fine. After all, why fix what isn't broken? When there doesn't seem to be an issue right at hand, there's not any crisis happening at the moment why would you consider a session.
Personal development: Counselling can actually be something that helps you become a better human and grow in ways you didn't even know you could. It can help you gain more insights and spark development in you personally and professionally. Developing new qualities, new traits, and behaviors—maybe you've looked at mentors or different people and thought, "I don't know if I could get there." It's not a crazy and wild thing to have people come to my office and say, I don't know what I want to talk about today. I'm not sure if there's anything on the agenda, but I want to come in for a tune-up. I have lots of clients say that. Because they're not in crisis, maybe - I just want to grow. I am sure as a human I'm missing things I could be better at, I could be more effective at, I could be prepared in a different way if a challenge does creep up.
- Prevention: I love, love, love when I have people come to sessions and they want to be in a place to learn, and prevent, and are not in a crisis. They want to maintain their mental health and wellness, to keep their mental agility. Prevention is to build against future challenges that might arise. It's the same thing as our physical health. For example:
“You want to prevent heart disease from ever happening.”
You want to be able to put strategies, skills, and practical steps into place that will help you to prevent becoming unwell. It’s the same thing with our mental health. We want to be able to take steps with our mental wellness to prevent future challenges. And if they show up, they might only be a little tiny molehill and not a huge mountain. So prevention in therapy is a beautiful thing.
Therapy can also help in understanding where you come from.
There are medical things out there now with Ancestry and 23&Me, where you actually figure out where you come from in a genetic way, where your history is, but sometimes when we come to counselling and we're looking at things from a counselling context, what have we learned from our family?
What are you mirroring from your childhood?
You may have patterns you've brought into your relationships with your kids, with your partner, with your friends. Sometimes we don't see that until we break it down.Using a tool we call the spiderweb (in our sessions) we look at the things in your life that are sticky and tricky so we can really understand where you've come from. (In Therapy) we look at our history and our past to see how this has shaped who we are as an individual.
Therapy can help us in breaking old habits, and old patterns we get stuck in. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Think about your relationships, when you're looking for a job, or how you run away or avoid certain things. What are your patterns telling you? Maybe you could do things better or differently in the future so you're not replaying the same old tape, the same old patterns over and over again. This is what happens to us as humans. We get stuck in a pattern that's comfortable and we need to push our way through that. We need to grow, we need to step into the fear. And sometimes it takes a therapist, an outside person to help you understand what those habits and patterns are.
Ditching bad habits.
We all have habits we could break.
- Maybe it's quitting smoking.
- Maybe it's not getting into tricky hard relationships.
- Maybe it's trying to actually stick to a gym schedule and meeting with your nutritionist.
How do we create our new normal? How do we build new patterns? How do we build new habits so these become normal? The best predictor of our future behavior is past behavior with strong, healthy, adaptable, positive habits that push us. It doesn't mean it's going to be easy, but they will actually help us to grow. (In therapy) we're improving, we're feeling more peace, we're having a lot more satisfaction in our lives.
Maybe it's about trying something new. Maybe you've never trusted anyone enough to talk to. Maybe having a tried and true mental health specialist who values you, who has no judgment, who has no buy-in, other than helping you become better, unpacking the challenges, creating a new normal, helping you see past patterns, and developing new ones.
Really, what do you have to lose if you try seeing a therapist? It could be that it gives you a neutral space to be able to talk, to be engaged, to be able to connect with yourself.
The words in this post have been edited to be easily readable and accessible for all, to get the full context of the conversation listen to Shelly Qualtieri’s podcast here and on all platforms, and learn more about us below:
Official website: www.shellyqualtieri.ca
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