Counselling & Psychotherapy

Oakville, Burlington, Mississauga, Milton areas for Marriage Counselling, Couples Counselling, Stress and Depression Counselling, Life Transition Counselling Services FAQ

Who comes for counselling or psychotherapy?
Many people still believe that only those with serious mental health issues seek out therapy.  You have to be “crazy”.  Today, our lives are more complex and complicated and multiple stresses impinge on us from many directions. It is common that both men and women of all ages, all ethnic and economic backgrounds and in all walks of life seek counselling assistance.

Some of us turn to family and friends to try and sort through challenges and stresses that come up.  Many of us are embarrassed to confide in those close to us.  If the difficulty exists with those with whom we are closest, we may not have anyone to whom we can turn.

Counselling provides a non-judgemental safe environment where a trained professional can listen and ask questions to help you reflect and look at yourself and your situation from a different perspective.  Whether the stress or challenges you face are with family or at work or with yourself, a therapist can help you feel less overwhelmed with your worries, your depression and your anxiety.  Together you and your therapist can collaborate and develop a plan to address your difficulties and seek to remedy them.

Is counselling different from psychotherapy?
Counselling and psychotherapy are closely related. In both these processes, your emotional, psychological, physical, sexual, spiritual and relational selves are examined through a holistic perspective.  Counselling is a shorter term process that is geared to more specifically address the current situation.  Although there certainly may be issues that arise that trigger experiences from your past, the focus of the sessions is around dealing with the here and now and finding a resolution for your current personal difficulties. 

Past experiences are addressed when they impede your ability to deal with the present.
Psychotherapy is a longer term process that looks more closely at how your past experience impinge upon your ability to make significant changes in your ongoing relationships. Past hurts and wounds that continue to impact you are explored to assist you in developing coping strategies and self-awareness about what triggers you and how you can respond in a healthier fashion.   The goal is to enable you to feel more comfortable with who you are and thereby improve the quality of your life.  

In the process of psychotherapy, the here and now provides the context in which you are able to observe and recognize negative behavioural patterns and self-defeating ways of engaging with others and realizing your personal goals.

How can counselling and psychotherapy help?
This is a process of self-awareness with me as your therapist working actively as your guide.  As a therapist I do not advise you but rather challenge you to be curious about yourself and your situation.  Having a trained professional who remains non-judgemental and not invested in a particular outcome allows you to look at yourself from a different perspective and hopefully gain some insight that enables you to make changes.This is a process that not only provides perspective and support, but also focuses on developing both coping skills and strategies in a healing framework.

Is therapy right for you?
We are almost all raised to believe that we ought to be able to solve our own problems and that to seek assistance is a sign of either failure or inadequacy.

I believe that most of us do need help at some point in our lives when we feel overwhelmed by our feelings and/or the situation.  It takes a good deal of courage and strength of character to acknowledge that we are human and that we can use a helping hand.

No one likes to air their ‘dirty laundry’.  To overcome one’s sense of shame and talk about one’s innermost thoughts, feelings: hurts, pains and fears is difficult, but it is an important first step on the path to making significant changes to enhance the quality of your relationships and your life.

Sometimes it is not so much that there is a specific problem that needs a solution, but how we go about living our lives and connecting to others that needs to be addressed.

Take your time and find a therapist that is right for you.  It is vital that you work with someone with whom you feel comfortable talking and in whom you feel confidence, respect and trust.          

Why come for therapy?
People seek therapy for a wide variety of issues.  The first call is often made after struggling with an issue for a fair period of time and feeling that no progress is being made.  Overall, people call because they are unhappy and depressed about their lives or feel anxious and overwhelmed with the stresses they are facing.
People are worried about issues in their personal lives or problems they are experiencing either at work or at school or difficulties they may be having maintaining a job or staying in school.
Many people seek help when they experience difficulty in developing and maintaining a relationship.  Relationship issues may come into play not only with married couples, but even when people are just beginning a relationship.  Many people have not had positive role models to learn how to be in a healthy relationship.  Issues such as trust, intimacy, communication, conflict resolution, infidelity often lead to difficulties in relationships.
Some people are unhappy within themselves and the quality of their lives.  They do not feel comfortable in their own skin sometimes literally but often figuratively.  They lack self-confidence and self-esteem.  They are unable to be assertive and have little self-respect.  They find that they cannot achieve what they would like to in their lives.

Sometimes traumatic childhood or adult experiences are difficult to overcome and make it difficult for people to move on in their lives and make healthy connections to others or maintain a strong commitment to another.
When people move to a new location and lose their supportive network, sometimes they struggle to adapt to their new situation.  This is true of all life style and life stage changes.  People face parenting challenges, separation or divorce, job loss, change or retirement.  They may have to cope with a sudden loss or become the care giver for their elderly parents.
All these changes can be unexpectedly stressful and result in an increase in either anxiety or depression. Talking to a trained and non-judgemental therapist can often help gain perspective and free one up to explore new healthy and healing options.

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