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Adrienne Benson

Who Needs Psychotherapy?

Who needs psychotherapy?  The better question is, who WANTS psychotherapy?!

Fortunately, it seems that the stigma attached to seeking help for mental health is slowly dissipating; yet for many years individuals seeking out the services of mental health professionals were embarrassed; plagued by the social construct that there must be “something wrong” with them or that they must somehow lack willpower.

The opposite is true.  Almost everyone can benefit from talking to an impartial, non-judging (two hallmarks of a good therapist) third-party.  One of the  benefits of psychotherapy comes in the form of just speaking your reality out loud.  In modern western society, we are often so busy running from place to place, working long hours and making every effort to check things off the “to-do list” that we don’t take the time to even think about our mental and emotional health and wellbeing, let alone take concrete steps to improve it.

Those individuals brave enough to embark on a journey toward improved mental health, whether through psychotherapy sessions, guided self-help, or any other means are doing themselves and those around them a huge favour.  Your improved well-being improves the lives of all of those around you.  Think about it…..  when you’ve had a good night’s sleep and generally feel well, aren’t you more likely to pay a compliment to a friend?  to take the dog out for a walk?  to walk that extra block to recycle rather then waste?  This is the global impact of good mental health and self-care.

Psychotherapy is not reserved for people experiencing deep and disturbing pathologies (although there is a role here as well). Psychotherapy is for everyone who seeks to: (a) improve well-being (b) see the benefit of obtaining alternate perspectives (c) learn about and obtain support in implementing tools and techniques for enhancing mental health. Psychotherapy is even for those just looking to carve out some space in their busy lives to dedicate to improved well-being.

Going to the gym is an accepted and endorsed form of self-care dedicated to one’s physical health; while going to Church or yoga are common ways of attending to one’s spiritual health.  Psychotherapy attends to mental and emotional well-being. Psychotherapists obtain specialized training in conversational techniques designed to help individuals solve their own problems (a concrete and transferrable skill).  Psychotherapists do not have the answers to everyone’s problems as no two individuals are the same.  Instead, psychotherapists offer alternate perspectives, probing questions, self-care and self-exploration tools and more, in consultation with you, to help you achieve your desired outcome. Psychotherapists encourage you to own your own experience of life and contribution to challenges that you may be experiencing.  This is a primary way in which psychotherapy differs from talking to a friend.  Where a friend is likely to echo your comments and offer support and sympathy; a therapist also gently encourages you to understand your own role within your challenges and successes; thereby allowing you to build upon your strengths and own and address your challenges.

People who seek out psychotherapy or self-help do not have something wrong with them.  In fact, quite the opposite.  There is something very RIGHT about seeking to improve one’s well-being.  It often takes time and hard-work, and things can get more difficult before improvement begins… yet persevering through this and achieving a greater degree of wellness benefits you and those around you for the rest of your life.

This blog is designed to help everyone seeking to improve their well-being.  My approach to psychotherapy and wellness is not to pathologize (although in some cases achieving a diagnosis from a medical doctor becomes necessary in order to achieve a more targeted approach to improved individual wellness), but rather to accept that most of us could benefit to some degree from improved mental and emotional well-being.  Self-inquiry provides the knowledge necessary to select targeted/individualized approaches to improved well-being. This Blog attempts to offer probing discussions and concrete samples of therapeutic tools and techniques to help you on your way to improved health and wellness.  The blog does not take the place of psychotherapy sessions and does not claim or promote that any one strategy or concept can or will work for you; instead it provides information for your consideration as part of your individual approach to wellbeing.

I hope that you will enjoy reading this blog and I encourage readers to send my their feedback via my contact form on the main website.

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