Why I find counselling helpful
Being a therapist myself, I too recognise the importance of therapy and how it can positively influence my life. For those curious, I thought I would share some personal insights into why I choose to have counselling and why I value it.
By KARINE RAYSON
Therapy is by no means for the “weak”. It is for those who want to conquer personal challenges and succeed in life, a life where you can confidently express yourself and be content in your skin.
Therapy is for the courageous. It is for those who realise that talking and exploring the unknown will open yourself up to discover parts of you that you may have never have got to recognise or appreciate. For myself, making connections with my past and present is like a reawakening, where you can let go of the old and come into your own.
Therapy is more than just talking to a friend. You are talking with a professional trained to hold you within a space, really hear you, and be 100 percent present with you as they walk beside you on your journey of discovery.
On a side note, I remember seeing a therapist post yachting, and she was concerned that I didn’t have any roots in a particular geographic location. Living in so many different countries and with a love for travel, it was hard to commit to the idea. I intentionally lived a minimalistic life to pick up things and leave when I needed to and not be tied down by an accumulation of ‘stuff’.
My therapist told me to buy something to start the nesting process. Long story short, instead of purchasing furniture, I bought a Le Creuset pot, literally the heaviest pot ever!!! I thought I would buy something that was somewhat practical, or maybe I was resistant to being told what I should do. Eight years on, I have lived in two different states and realise I don’t need things to call my new city home.
TIP – Therapists are not there to tell you what to do. That’s a definite no-no. Therapists are there to guide and support you in making the right decision for you.
I know I am not perfect, and I see life as a big school where I can grow and challenge myself daily. Therapy encourages me to grow as a person. It supports me in reaching new heights in my personal and professional life as I learn to accept the parts of myself that I have neglected or failed to love and discover my strengths and weaknesses that I may not have found on my own.
So yes, therapy comes down to strength – strength to recognise that it is ok to ask for help and acknowledge that you need support. We are not superhuman. It is not easy to manage all components that make up our lives, whether intimate relationships, friendships, career, spirituality, finance, or family; you get my point.
Counselling is not just for those struggling to manage life’s challenges. Counselling is about maintaining well-being and keeping your emotional hygiene in check. According to the World Health Organisation, “Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and can make a contribution to her or his community.”
This definition encapsulates how difficult it is to achieve optimal mental health daily. Mental health issues are on the rise, and I wonder if it is because we are not talking enough? I encourage you to define mental health in your own words and ask yourself what you are doing to prioritise your mental health?