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I’ve never talked to anyone. I’m used to handling things on my own. Aren’t people who go to therapy weak?

Absolutely not. People who seek help are far from weak. They possess the awareness to recognize when they require support and the courage to reach out for it. Seeking assistance is a natural part of life, as everyone encounters moments when they could benefit from some guidance. During our collaborative work, we will assist you in exploring and identifying your strengths, and together we will develop strategies to minimize the impact of the challenges you are facing. 

What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?

The distinction lies between someone who possesses the ability to tackle a certain matter and someone who possesses the specialized training and expertise to address it professionally. A mental health professional is equipped with the knowledge and skills to assist you in approaching your situation from a fresh perspective, teaching you new coping strategies, offering different insights, and providing a non-judgemental space for you to express yourself. Additionally, counselling sessions are entirely confidential, ensuring that your personal information remains private. Lastly, if you have been confiding in a friend or family member about situations that evoke intense negative emotions, there is a risk that once you begin to feel better, you might unintentionally distance yourself from them to avoid reminders of the difficult period you went through. 

Why shouldn’t I just take medication?

It is important to note that while medication can be effective, it is not a comprehensive solution for all challenges. In some cases, combining medication with counselling proves to be the most beneficial approach. Our collaborative work is specifically tailored to delve into and examine the issues you are facing, while also focusing on identifying and utilizing your strengths to help you achieve your personal goals. By addressing both the underlying and building upon your strengths, we can work towards a more holistic and comprehensive path to healing and growth. 

How does therapy work? What do I have to do in sessions?

Since every individual has specific needs and goals when seeking counselling, the therapeutic process will naturally vary from person to person. By understanding your individual  circumstances, experiences, and objectives, we strive to create a therapeutic environment that fosters growth, healing, and personal development. During our sessions, your active participation and openness are important as we engage in open discussions, allowing you to share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences, while we collaborate to explore and address the challenges you face. Together, we will work towards gaining insights, developing coping strategies, and setting goals aligned with your desired outcomes, all within a supportive and non-judgemental space. 

How long will it take?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to provide a one-size-fits-all answer in a general FAQs page. Each person's circumstances are distinct, and he duration of counselling required to achieve your goals depends on various factors. These factors include your level of commitment, the nature of your challenges, and the underlying factors that led you to seek counselling. Therefore, the length of your therapeutic journey will be tailored to your specific needs and will evolve based on your progress, needs, and aspirations. Rest assured, our efforts will be dedicated to supporting you throughout your unique journey towards positive change and helping you accomplish your desired outcomes. 

I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?

We are delighted that you are fully dedicated to maximizing the benefits of your therapy sessions. There are several actions you can take to actively contribute to this process. First and foremost, maintaining an open and honest mindset is essential. By being willing to explore your thoughts, emotions, and experiences with vulnerability, you create a foundation for meaningful growth and self-discovery. Additionally, setting clear goals and objectives for therapy can provide a sense of direction and purpose, allowing us to focus our efforts on areas that are most important to you. Taking an active role in the therapeutic process by sharing your feedback, concerns, and questions helps ensure that our sessions align with your needs and preferences. Moreover, practicing self-care and integrating the insights and strategies discussed in therapy into your daily life can greatly enhance the effectiveness and long-term impact of our work together. Remember, therapy is a collaborative journey, and your active engagement and commitment will greatly contribute to achieving your desired outcomes. It is also crucial that you practice self-compassion throughout this process and be kind and patient with yourself. Recognize that healing and personal growth require time and effort, and embrace setbacks and challenges as normal aspects of the journey. 

Why is it so difficult for me to change my habits, despite recognizing their negative impact? What steps can I take to initiate change?

Changing habits can be difficult due to the deeply ingrained nature of our automatic behaviours and the resistance that comes from the purpose or fulfillment they provide. The process of changing habits involves self-awareness, efforts, and consistency. It requires identifying triggers and motivations, developing alternative strategies, and implementing them consistently. To begin changing your habits, it is important to set clear and specific goals while ensuring that they are measurable and attainable. Starting small and focusing on one habit at a time can prevent you from feeling overwhelmed and increase your chances of success. Additionally, instead of merely trying to eliminate a habit, it will be beneficial if you consider replacing it with healthier alternatives that fulfill the same underlying needs. Lastly, creating a supportive environment and surrounding yourself with understanding individuals and helpful resources can make a significant difference. Keep in mind that setbacks and resistance are not uncommon, but with support and perseverance, positive and lasting changes can be made. Our skilled staff are here to provide the necessary tools, strategies, and support for navigating the process of habit change and achieving desired outcomes. 

What are some prevailing misconceptions and stigmas surrounding mental health? How can we, as a society, work towards reducing these stigmas?

Unfortunately, misconceptions and stigmas surrounding mental health continue to persist in our society. One common misconception is the belief that mental health issues are a sign of weakness or a personal failing. This undermines the fact that that mental health conditions are medical conditions that can affect anyone, regardless of strength or character. 

Another misconception is the assumption that people with mental health conditions can simply "get over it". This misconception underestimates the complexity of mental health issues and suggests that individuals can easily overcome their struggles through willpower alone. It fails to acknowledge the need for professional intervention, treatment, and ongoing support. Recovery from mental health conditions often requires a comprehensive approach involving therapy, lifestyle changes, social support, and  medication if necessary. 

Yet another misconception is that mental health conditions are not real illnesses. This stigma dismisses the legitimacy of mental health conditions by suggesting that they are fabricated or exaggerated. In reality, mental health conditions are recognized as legitimate medical conditions with a biological and psychological basis. They require appropriate diagnosis, treatment, and support, just like physical health conditions. 

To combat these misconceptions and reduce stigmas, society can take several steps. Education plays a crucial role in raising awareness and promoting accurate understanding of mental health. Encouraging open conversations and fostering supportive environments where people feel comfortable sharing their experiences can also contribute to destigmatization. It is essential to advocate for equitable access to mental health services and resources, ensuring that individuals can seek help without fear of judgement or discrimination. By fostering empathy, compassion, and understanding, we can create a society that supports and embraces mental well-being for all. 

How can I use affirmations effectively?

To use affirmations effectively, choose affirmations that truly resonate with you, align with your goals and values, are positive, and meaningful to you personally. Consistency is key when it comes to affirmations. Set aside dedicated time each day to repeat your affirmations. By incorporating affirmations into your daily routine, you create a consistent practice that reinforces positive beliefs and helps shift your mindset overtime. It is important that you go beyond mere words and truly embody the emotions and feelings associated with your affirmations. Visualize yourself already experiencing the desired outcomes, as it helps create a deeper connection between the affirmations and your subconscious mind. To maximize the effectiveness of affirmations, consider combining them with other positive practices. For example, incorporate visualization techniques, where you vividly imagine yourself living your affirmations. You can also complement affirmations with meditation or mindfulness practices to cultivate a calm and receptive state of mind. Lastly, be patient and persistent. Change takes time, and affirmations are not a magical quick fix. 

Remember, the effectiveness of affirmations varies from person to person. What works for one individual may not work as effectively for another. It's important to find an approach that resonates with you and feels authentic. If you're uncertain or would like additional guidance, please don't hesitate to reach out to us as we can provide valuable support on your affirmation journey. 

What are some questions I can ask my therapist during my first therapy session?

During your initial therapy sessions, we encourage you to ask questions that will help establish a compassionate and genuine connection with your therapist. This is a valuable opportunity to ensure that both you and your therapist are aligned and working towards your well-being. Here are some questions you may find helpful:

  • What approaches do you use in therapy? 
  • Can you share your experience and training in addressing my specific concerns? 
  • How frequently should I attend therapy sessions?
  • How will we work towards the goals I have set for myself during our sessions? 
  • How will my confidentiality be protected?
  • How will we measure progress in therapy? 
  • How can I support my therapy outside of sessions?

Remember, your first session is an opportunity for you to gather information and ensure that the therapeutic relationship feels caring and genuine. Don't hesitate to ask any additional questions or express any concerns you may have. We are here to support you on your journey to healing and growth. 

What are some signs of a co-dependent relationship? 

A codependent relationship is a dysfunctional dynamic where one person assumes the role of caregiver and the other person takes advantage of this arrangement. Here are a few signs that you may be involved in this type of relationship. 

  • Lack of boundaries: In co-dependent relationships, both partners have difficulties recognizing, respecting, and establishing personal boundaries. Often in these relationships, one person disregards boundaries while the other person fails to assert their own. So, one person becomes controlling and manipulative while the other person becomes compliant and neglects their own own wishes. 
  • People pleasing: While it's normal to want to be accepted and liked by others, it's important to distinguish between these natural inclinations and the constant need to please others. People pleasers usually feel compelled to prioritize other people over themselves and they struggle to say no even when it compromises their own wants and needs. 
  • Poor communication: In co-dependent relationships, effective communication becomes challenging. The person in caregiver role is often unaware of their own needs and is hesitant to express them. Meanwhile, the dependent individual may engage in dishonest communication to maintain control. 
  • Dependency: This is a significant factor of co-dependent relationships, where one partner depends on the other partner to meet their needs and the other partner seeks validation and a sense of purpose through taking care of someone.  

What are some early symptoms of burnout?

  • Feeling overwhelmed 
  • A need for isolation and social withdrawal
  • Physical exhaustion 
  • Mental exhaustion 
  • Irritability 
  • Experiencing frequent illnesses
  • Neglected self-care
  • Lack of motivation

How can you prevent burnout?

  • Exercise: Exercise is very helpful in managing and alleviating burnout. It can help reduce stress, enhance the person's mood, increase energy levels, help with one's sleep, and more. 
  • Restful sleep: Quality sleep play san important role in preventing burnout and maintaining overall well-being. It helps with gaining a sense of calmness, improving focus, restoring mental and physical energy, and regulating emotions.
  • Establishing boundaries: Setting boundaries between your responsibilities and your own personal time is very important. This helps with creating some time for you to relax and enjoy the activities that bring you happiness. It also helps energize you to perform better at your responsibilities. 
  • Practice self-care: Make self-care a priority in your daily life. Engage in activities that recharge you and bring you joy such as meditation, hobbies, spending time in nature, and spending time with your loved ones.
  • Seek support: Don't be afraid to reach out for support when you feel overwhelmed or stressed. Talk to a trusted friend, family member, or a significant other to get some advice or simply get things off your chest. It can also be beneficial to consider speaking to a professional counsellor who can help you with navigating your emotions and alleviating your burnout. 

How can I support a loved one with a mental health problem? 

The support of loved ones is crucial for a person's recovery, goal achievement, and overall well-being. Providing care and emotional support is highly important in promoting healing. Practical assistance, such as managing medical appointments and daily tasks, can also make a significant contribution. As a close friend, family member, or a loved one, you and others around are the first to notice changes in mood, behaviour, self-care, or other areas that represent a decline in their mental health. So, this places you in a position to help them seek appropriate assistance early on and offer them hope and support during difficult times. 

Educating yourself about your loved one's mental illness is also a very effective and important form of support. Without understanding how the illness functions, misconceptions may arise which can also influence the support you provide to your loved one. You should also encourage your loved ones to speak to their mental health professional if they are experiencing any symptoms or discussing the adverse side effects of a medication. 

However, it's very important to understand that you are not responsible for causing your loved one's mental illness. Mental health conditions result form various factors such as genetics, environmental contributions, and life experiences. It's crucial to also take care of your own mental health and well-being while caring for your loved ones.