How do I know if I need counselling?
There are many misconceptions out there about ‘counselling’ and ‘therapy’. And the negative stigma attached to these terms is usually why most people don’t seek help in the first place.
Experiencing some form of mental health issue is common these days. In fact, according to the Black Dog Institute one in five Australians aged 16 – 85 years old experience a mental illness in any year. The most common mental illnesses are depressive, anxiety, and substance use disorder.
But even if you don’t feel you have a mental health issue, we all experience periods of stress, sadness, grief and conflict at times – and seeking counselling can be extremely beneficial in these situations to help you to move forward in life.
There’s no ‘life training’
Most people attend educational training or learn new skills in the workplace every day, but when do we get training about life? There is no book that tells us how to manage stress or what to do throughout life’s ups and downs – we just do the best we can with the skills and tools we have.
However, sometimes life presents us with challenging situations that leave us feeling stuck and unsure of how to move forward. Sometimes we find ourselves feeling lost and in need of support to get back on track.
Have you been considering counselling for a while – but unsure if you really need it, or whether you’re just ‘going through a rough patch’?
Here are 7 reasons why therapy could be beneficial for you -
1. You’re experiencing harmful thoughts
Thoughts about self-harm and suicide can be confusing and frightening and are often a result of great emotional pain.
Harmful thoughts can be linked to a mental health issue, so seeking professional support to understand and address any underlying issues is important so they don’t escalate in the future.
If you or someone you know are in crisis and needs help right now, contact 000 or Lifeline on 13 11 14 for immediate support.
2. You feel isolated and alone
If you’re experiencing a stressful period or struggling with a mental health issue, you might feel that nobody else in the world understands you. You might feel that you have to deal with everything on your own. But this isn’t the case at all.
Speaking with a professional counsellor one-on-one is one option, or you might choose to seek group therapy with other people in similar situations to you and experiencing similar emotions. This can help produce both a sense of comfort and hope that you can, and will, get through this difficult time.
3. You’re suffering from past trauma
Whether you’ve experienced a death in the family, traumatic accident, marriage breakdown, or job loss, past trauma can be lessened through counselling. These feelings are unlikely to go away on their own and, in some instances, dealing with grief can impair daily functioning, such as sleep, and lead to withdrawal from life.
A counsellor can help you to address the trauma and learn how to manage your emotions so you can take the next step forward – one day at a time.
4. You’re experiencing substance abuse
If you’ve turned to drugs, alcohol, or gambling as a way of coping with life’s stressors, then it’s time to reach out and seek support. These addictive behaviours can lead to much bigger life problems and impact your ability to function day to day. Having some form of therapy, whether it be individual or group, is highly recommended.
While you may not feel it’s a problem or that you’re addicted, has a loved one made a comment about your habits? If yes, then it might still be time to explore further and seek some professional support.
5. You’re undergoing family issues and/or relationship strain
Relationships can be hard work. If you’re experiencing an issue with a family member or haven’t seen eye to eye with your partner for some time, you’re likely to be feeling stressed and/or anxious about what the future holds.
Counselling can be very beneficial in these situations, even if your family member or partner doesn’t end up attending the session. You can learn how to cope and deal with the situation, and perhaps bring the other person along at a later date once you’re feeling more confident, focused, and at ease with the situation.
6. You’re coping with a big change
If someone close to you has been diagnosed with a chronic illness, or perhaps you’ve been diagnosed yourself, this scary life change can create massive uncertainty for the future. Counsellors are trained to help people with these types of life adjustments. Remember – you don’t need to go through hard times unassisted and on your own.
However, a big change in your life isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Perhaps it’s a new career, an addition to your family, or a move to a new city or country. In these situations, a counsellor can help you to identify your goals and develop a plan to achieve them without being overwhelmed.
7. You’ve lost all sense of joy and motivation
Are you lacking motivation and finding it hard to be happy – but can’t explain why?
In this situation, there’s probably something underlying that’s impacting your ability to experience joy and life in a way that’s important to you.
Seeking counselling support can increase your awareness and understanding of your concerns in a way you mightn’t have considered in the past. Many people wait too long before seeking help, and then begin to feel overwhelmed and struggle more in everyday life.
If you’re feeling alone, overwhelmed or struggling with any of the reasons above, seeking counselling support is an important step towards gaining a clearer mind.
If you’re still unsure if counselling is for you, feel free to contact me on 0404 032 636 for a free 15-minute phone chat to see if I can help you.
Do you need Counselling Support?
If you need counselling support, contact Kylie Lepri for a FREE 15-minute phone call to discuss your situation and find out how she can help. Call us now on 0404 032636 or book your free phone call online.
Kylie Lepri is a registered Psychotherapist, Marriage & Relationship Counsellor, Clinical Supervisor, and Training Consultant. Since 2003 she has helped individuals and couples work through life stressors, develop new goals and create better relationships. Get Kylie’s FREE ebook: 5 Proven Strategies to help manage stress today, by joining her newsletter below.