Do You "Need" Therapy?
In today's culture, counselling is generally viewed as a last resort, a crisis intervention, something we do when we have exhausted our own resources, or when we are feeling stuck with the same old problem. Talking with a professional counsellor can assist you to find new solutions, gain support, and chart a path through difficult seasons of the journey of life.
There are times along the journey of life, outside of crisis moments, when we have a vague sense that something is not as it should be, a gnawing ache that something is missing, or off kilter. Counselling can help in finding clarity about values and exploring the meaning and purpose of life, or assisting individuals to connect with their passions and creating a life that is "juicy," and deeply satisfying. In such instances, counselling becomes more like having a coach for the road of life.
Martha Beck , author of Finding Your Own North Star, offers two questions that can help evaluate if counselling would be helpful for you:
- Do I always, or almost always, feel joy in living?
- Do I have a loving, open, honest relationship with at least one other person?
These can be hard questions to answer as, sometimes, it depends on the current context of your life. As an example, if you have just experienced a traumatic loss and you are walking through grief and bereavement, then expecting to be joyful is probably not realistic. However, if there are extended periods of time when you do not experience any joy in living, then finding out why may be a good idea. Beck suggests that if you answer no to one, or both, questions then counselling could improve the quality of your life.
Counselling can be helpful even when you are not in crisis, in fact counselling can be part of an overall wellness plan that helps to prevent crisis. This is especially true regarding marriage and intimate relationships. Waiting until a relationship is in crisis makes change much harder to do. Our most important relationships can really benefit from regular “tune ups” in order to keep them running smooth: passionate, enjoyable and meaningful!