Does anyone really need a reason to go to counselling or try out some talk therapy? Probably not. But in case you’re on the fence about whether or not to give counselling a try, here are a few really good reasons to make the leap.
1. YOU’VE LOST YOUR PURPOSE
Remember when you knew exactly what you wanted to do and went out and did it? If that feeling wasn’t one you felt this morning, or yesterday, and you can’t remember when you felt good about your day, you may have lost your purpose. Sometimes, in the business of life, we lose sight of why we do what we do and we’re left wondering if this is all there is. Or why we should even bother. Sound familiar?
It’s easy to be excited about life when you’re young and fresh and just starting out. I was so focused in university and grad school. I knew exactly what I wanted to do and why. Fast forward 20 years later and I wasn’t so sure anymore. I had achieved all of my goals and yet I was grumpy and kind of lost. Cue the phone call to a therapist. (Yes, therapists also go to therapy because we believe in the process and know it works.) A few weeks later and I found my purpose once again. It looked nothing like my original purpose 20 years ago and that’s perfectly fine. Changing lanes is cool. Therapy can help with that.
2. YOU FEEL OUT OF CONTROL
Whether it’s at work, at home, or in your relationships with others, you feel kind of like you’re losing control. Maybe you’re snappy and cranky with your kids or partner. Maybe you’re overwhelmed at work or with life in general and you feel like everything’s sliding. Maybe that wine club you joined isn’t just for fun anymore and you’re gobbling the leftovers like a dog let loose at the Christmas table. Regardless of what’s going on, if you’re feeling like you’ve lost control of life, the situation, or your personal self control, therapy is a good idea to help gain perspective and make positive life changes. Feeling in control of your life and of your choices really is the best feeling ever.
3. YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVING FEELING
Relationships can feel stagnant and stuck, particularly when we have kids and lead busy lives. If you’ve ever looked at your partner and wondered what happened, or felt like somethings missing in your relationship, couples counselling is a great idea. If your partner isn’t sure, it’s okay to come alone in the beginning to explore where these feelings, or lack of feelings, have come from and get some ideas for putting the relationship back on the front burner.
Sometimes there are big things, like infidelity, or problems with the kids and counselling makes perfect sense in these situations. But a lot of the time, there’s nothing you can really put your finger on. Maybe you argue about the same old things and nothing ever gets resolved. Maybe he’s begun to feel like a stranger. Maybe she’s never home and when she is she doesn’t have much to say. And maybe you’re just in the rut of raising kids and have forgotten that you two came first.
4. YOUR FAMILY IS CHANGING
Maybe you’re coping with a separation or pending divorce. Maybe you’ve met someone new and it’s getting serious but you’re worried about how things will go with your children from your previous relationship. Maybe your kids have entered that fun phase known as teenagers and you have no idea where your sweet little girl went and why she hates you all of a sudden.
Or maybe you’ve just had your first baby (or 4th) and it’s nothing like you’d expected it to be. Why are you so freaking tired? When did you last shower? Where is this maternal glow that everyone is talking about? Because while everyone else seems to be glowing away you’ve got a funky little stain on your shirt and you can’t remember when it got there or where or when you’ll be able to do laundry again.
Parents back in the dating pool? A little bit of “where is this going” counselling is a great way to help you two figure things out around issues like living together, remarriage, step-parenting, dealing with his or her kids, different parenting styles, and managing the exes.
Family counselling is great for getting everyone at the table to work on issues that families face. It’s a safe place where all members can speak freely and have their voices heard and begin to make changes that growing families sometimes need to make. If you’re stuck trying to figure out things like boundaries, rules, and structure, counselling is a great way to work through those things.
And for tired new moms, it’s exactly the place to figure out your new normal.
5. YOU KEEP REPEATING THE SAME OLD PATTERNS
If you find yourself repeating similar patterns and old mistakes, counselling is a great place to explore the whys and hows of breaking the old ways of doing things and learning new ways to live better. Clues that you’re repeating old patterns come up when you start notice that all of your relationships have similar patterns. or that your new partner is a lot like your ex. Or you’ve started a new job but you’re having the same problems as you did in your last workplace. This is where counselling can help. You can learn where this pattern started, why you keep repeating it, and how to get unstuck. Counselling will give you a safe place to talk about and explore what’s really going on and how to move forward without constantly paddling in circles and wondering how to make things different.