While the stigma around mental disorders is slowly starting to shift, an Australian Bureau of Statistics National Survey found that around 65% of people experiencing mental health illnesses didn’t seek assistance. This is astounding given counsellors and psychologists can provide a safe environment for individuals, couples and families to share their thoughts and feelings free of judgement. Personally, I know people who without the help of experienced professionals say that they would probably not be here. It might sound melodramatic to the skeptic in you, or if you’ve never been touched by the mental illness in any way in your life, but the truth is, it is an extremely difficult struggle and any bit of support and understanding can go a long way.
My friends consulted their counsellors or psychologists for a number of reasons including:
- depression, stress and anxiety including during exams and key transitionary times in their lives
- relationship issues including dysfunctional family relationships and those with partners at the time
- grief and loss including the passing of beloved family members and pets
Experienced therapists can also assist you with many other issues including chronic illnesses, family violence, phobias, eating disorders and anger management to name a few. There are a number of different forms of therapy and methods that counsellors and psychologists can employ to assist you. Below are just 3 such ways:
Psychotherapy is generally a longer term therapy. which relies heavily on the collaborative relationship between you and your therapist. This method employs a range of psychological approaches and helps you work towards change by exploring your thoughts, feelings and behaviours. As a result, psychotherapy can be used to help you understand yourself better and in the treatment of conditions such as depression, anxiety and stress.
2. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, commonly known as CBT, focuses on learning to shift your thoughts and feelings to affect positive changes in behaviour. While it’s know as a is a short-term form of psychotherapy, CBT can still take many months to successfully overcome unhealthy patterns and behaviours.
CBT helps treat a range of mental health conditions including OCD, eating disorders and insomnia.
3. Relationship, Marriage and Couples Counselling
Relationship counselling isn’t just for individuals! Whether you’re married, separated, dating, or experiencing issues with other people in your life, it is good to talk it out with an independent person. While it’s natural to be apprehensive about entering into couples or relationship counselling, it is important to appreciate that counsellors and psychologists are trained professionals who are not there to take sides or judge you. The end goal is to maintain an harmonious, sustainable relationship with others is paramount. This is great not just for your relationship, but to your overall health and wellbeing. After all, it takes a lot of energy to continue arguing and be in a perpetual stage of conflict.
It is best to consult a different therapist for your relationship, marriage or couples counselling sessions than you do for any individual sessions you attend. It’s also worth noting that not all counsellors and psychologists provide both individual and relationship counselling services.
If you’ve been putting off seeing someone to help you through a difficult period or to generally navigate the murky waters of life, I can tell you that all the feedback I’ve heard from people who have taken that leap is that it has been the best thing for them. Don’t be in the 65% statistic of people who don’t get some help, there’s nothing wrong with it contrary to any stigma that suggests there is.
There are many qualified, experienced practitioners out there – the key is to find the right person who uses the right methods/form of therapy for you. To take a step in the right direction, visit avaana.com.au to see a range of counsellors and psychologists near you.