When is the right time to seek help or commit to therapy?
The answer to this is subjective – all mental and emotional life is quintessentially a personal experience – but also cultural. In France, clients tend to consult a psychologist as a last resort, when they start losing control of aspects in their daily existence. This is because engaging in psychotherapy is still seen as something out of the ordinary. In English-speaking cultures, this is much less the case. In many circumstances, people will consult a psychologist or counsellor as a matter of basic health practice and maintaining a balanced lifestyle.
What kinds of issues can be raised or dealt with in therapy?
Classically, psychologists help clients with issues such as depression, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, personality disorders, bipolar disorder, sexual issues, addiction issues, adult ADHD, schizophrenia, feeding and eating disorders, to name some of the main disorders that may arise during the course of a lifetime. You can find out more about mental disorders here. Different forms of therapy – accompanied by medication or without medication – can treat these disorders and alleviate the client’s suffering. The form of therapy I have chosen to use and the one I am trained in for these disorders is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which achieves extremely good results consistently in the scientific literature and on field. You can find out more about mental disorders here.
This is not to say that you should wait for a disorder to develop before seeking help. A guide to help you decide would be to ask yourself some questions:
Is this situation or this period in my life causing me mental strain, distress, anguish, stress, sadness, or suffering? Is the situation making me feel uncomfortable or out of my depth, out of my reality (I don’t recognise myself anymore)? Is there something I want to change about my life, my habits or myself, without anything necessarily going wrong in life at the moment? Have I developed some particular habits which are undermining my relationships and making my daily life difficult to cope with and interfering with my ability at work? Is there something I need to learn how to do in order to improve my relationships?
CBT gets results in treating most major disorders such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and chronic insomnia. Find out more about CBT here.
I just need some support…
Sometimes we don’t need to work on some specific aspect of ourselves, or use therapy to heal from trauma or overcome a mental disorder. Perhaps you need some support from outside family and your social network in order to get through a rough patch you’re going through now (e.g, loss of a loved one). In this case, the therapist becomes a support person: someone who will listen and offer support for however long you need.
Supportive therapy can help with grief issues and is based on the therapist engaging in a fully emotional, encouraging, and supportive relationship with the client. Find out more about how supportive psychotherapy works by following this link.
Sometimes, we may want to seek external help or advice because the questions we ask ourselves about life and human are not being resolved or have been going round in circles for years.
Different techniques can be great for exploring the self. How about trying bibliotherapy, writing therapy, existential counselling? I offer these services.
Do you think you may be suffering from a mental disorder? Find out more about mental disorders here.