There is a common myth or feeling that people need to see counsellors or psychotherapists when they are at a crisis point in their lives, whether this be the result of a relationship breakdown, redundancy, the loss of a loved one or for any other stress caused issue. It may be the case that some people only consider the option when consulting their GP, and when faced with being prescribed anti-depressants. The taboo around mental health is so powerful that many people are afraid to admit to their colleagues or their friends that they are feeling unable to cope for fear of being considered to be mentally unwell.
The resultant effect of this state of affairs is depressing. We are seeing record levels of individuals regularly taking anti-depressants, high levels of alcohol and or drug dependency, in addition to significant numbers of people committing suicide, particularly young men. Counselling and psychotherapy, far from being a last resort therapy, is there from an early stage and can really help individuals to understand what is going on, and can help them to look at their lives through a new lens. This can help self-empowerment and finding new solutions to what may seem to be persistent and intractable problems. It can also help individuals to find meaning in their lives and a way forward.
I also work with couples who are happy in their relationship but who are striving to find a common language and understand why they may react to particular things in the way that they do.
Something that is often overlooked is that happy events in life can also lead to stress – marriage, looking to move in with a partner, going to university, going abroad to work, competing in sports. Psychotherapy can help individuals to overcome mental blocks and achieve to the best of their ability.
It is never too early to consult with a counsellor and psychotherapist, and may be the one thing that you wished that you had done far earlier.