Do I really need 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, 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 therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns and overcome whatever challenges you face.
How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, grief, stress management, addiction and other life challenges. Many people also find that counsellors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life.
Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy 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 behaviour 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 therapy like?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. Solution-focused therapy interventions include goal setting, looking at times when things are better, exceptions to problems, scaling symptoms and progress throughout the therapy process, skill building and identifying strengths and resources to be used to assist in reaching your goals.
It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process - such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviours or taking action on your goals. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.
Why do people go to therapy and how do I know if it is right for me?
People have many different motivations for coming to psychotherapy. Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well. Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks.
Therapy can help provide some much needed encouragement and help with skills to get them through these periods. Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life. In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make changes in their lives.
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and therapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. Every therapist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. This is called “Informed Consent”.
Only you have the right to tell your own story and what is shared in counselling is treated as confidential and will not be shared with any office or individual outside Harmony Counselling Services without your signed consent. I will do my utmost to protect your confidentiality at all times. Individuals in couple or family counselling are responsible for their own handling of confidences shared in the group. Under some circumstances, all professionals are legally and ethically bound and free to disclose certain specific and relevant information to appropriate individuals or agencies.
These circumstances include
- if there is a reason to believe that a client in counselling is a danger to themselves or may do harm to another person;
- if there is a reason to believe that a child has been, is, or may be in danger of neglect or abuse;
- in response to a court order; or
- if a client reports reasonable suspicion or knowledge that a resident in a Long Term Care Facility in Ontario is suffering or has suffered harm as a result of abuse or negligence by staff in the home.
In other cases, I may share specific and relevant information with appropriate organisations without your consent. These circumstances include if I have reason to believe that another counsellor has caused or is likely to cause you harm, or in a medical emergency. Or if a court has subpoenaed your records.