Counselling can be an intimidating process to think about and something that many people put off for a long time, often waiting for the “right time” to start. The task can seem overwhelming to enter into a relationship with someone you do not know and decide to talk about an issue that has perhaps has caused anxiety or pain in your life for some time. The truth is that it is not easy! The positive news is that it gets better and relief is possible. After meeting someone you can connect with and open up to – the possibilities are endless!
I have heard many clients say:
“I wish I would have started this journey long ago, I don’t know why I put it off for so long.” and, “I feel so much better when I come see you, It is so nice to be open and talk to someone who is really listening and supporting me.”
Here are some things to consider when looking for a counsellor and initiating therapy:
Do some research and choose someone you think you might connect with but go in with an open mind and see if you feel a connection. This is very important. It is OK to decide you want to try someone else, therapy is about YOU and not about pleasing the counsellor or your loved ones.
Find a qualified professional that focuses on what you want to address. Counsellors have different experiences and interests- it is best that you find a therapist that is a good match. Ask them if they will provide a free consultation to see if you both think that they are qualified to help you through your struggle.
Only attend therapy if you want to, not because someone told you that they are going to therapy and think you should too. Everyone is different and needs support at different times in their life for different reasons.
Try to be patient with the counselling process and remember that like everything in life, therapy has its ups and downs. Some sessions will be very helpful and other sessions will be difficult and potentially upsetting. Be open and honest with your counsellor as to how you feel and how the process is going. This will ensure the best possible outcome for you.
Its hard to find the “right time” to start therapy. There are many bumps in the road of life and if we waited for a calm time that might never happen. If you are contemplating therapy it is a good idea to start to look into options and consult a few professionals. If you start therapy and decide that you are not ready then it is ok to stop and then start again when you are ready.
Counselling is not a cure for something but more of a journey to get you on a better path. Many things can assist you in life to be healthier and although mental health is vital for growth and development, physical health including diet and exercise as well as positive motivators i.e.) goals, employment, children- also play significant roles. Counselling can assist with goal planning as well as setting some personal healthy limits and boundaries in your life.
Meagan Hamilton is a Registered Clinical Counsellor at Evoke Wellness Centre in Mission BC. She offers free 15 minute consultations and is currently accepting new clients and referrals. Email Meagan at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 604.217.6003 to book an appointment today!
Consultations can be done in person at Evoke or on the phone. Assistance with ICBC claims can be provided.
“Happiness is an inside job” – William Arthur Ward