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Is seeing a psychotherapist a sign of craziness, weakness, or cause for shame? PDF Print E-mail

When I ask clients why they waited for so long to seek help, the most frequent answer I receive is that they were afraid to do so.

These are samples of their fears:

  • Only those with a mental illness such as schizophrenia, are in need of psychological help. Therefore, seeking psychological help means that they are crazy.
  • Only those who are weak need to see a psychologist.
    People feel that they are week if they admit that they need help to deal with issues related to their lives. By the time they arrive at our offices, the problems have caused hurt for them and those around them. For instance, occasional drinking may have become an addiction or a partner has an extra marital affair because the couple has not had sexual intimacy for years.
  • It is shameful to allow personal problems be known outside of the immediate family.
    Individuals end up denying that they have any unresolved problems at home or they are unable to control certain thoughts or feelings. By the time they seek help, the issues they are facing have significant consequences.
    For instance, if parents are unable to face the fact that their son or daughter has no friends and spend more than five hours a day in front of a computer, they only become aware of their son or daughter's problem when he or she is suspended from university. In other cases, parents do not recognize that as a couple, they cannot communicate and cannot agree on how to solve their difficulties. They therefore only see their problems when their children run away from home.

Feelings of stress, frustration, sadness and fear are not a regular way of life. People tend to forget aspects of their lives they have control over.

Have you become accustomed to feelings of stress, agitation, and unhappiness?

Which aspects of your life can you control?

What can you expect in therapy sessions? PDF Print E-mail

Many people who are in emotional pain often feel alone, trapped and helpless. They feel that no one, including themselves, can get them out of the state they are in.

In fact, working with a psychologist can help individuals find resources to move them out of their sadness, irritability, and fear.

Therapy sessions are a safe and supportive place where you can vent your feelings and thoughts.

While venting you thoughts and feelings is an important part of the work you do with a psychologist, you need to allow room for a psychologist to help you to identify the goals of the visit.

In general, people in trouble work on three broad goals: (1) controlling the symptoms, such as sadness or anger; (2) changing the patterns of their thoughts or behaviour; (3) dealing with the root causes of their difficulties. The length of treatment is therefore based on the goals you choose.

Some people have an expectation that by telling their stories, a psychologist can make them feel better. This is an unrealistic expectation.

Read more... [What can you expect in therapy sessions?]
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What is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is an unfamiliar and a relatively new concept for many people.

Psychotherapy is a joint and collaborative journey between an individual and a psychologist. Within a safe and supportive environment, an individual can talk openly about issues related to his or her life, career, studies, or relationship. By using scientific knowledge and procedures, a psychologist helps an individual to find solution(s) or resolution(s) for his or her challenges.