Calling for help is not easy. If you are reading this article, chances are, you either think you need help, you think someone else needs help, or someone thinks you need help. Whatever the case, this is a good first step. Psychotherapy can be a daunting subject. Please allow me to unfold what psychotherapy or counselling (we use these interchangeably in this article) is, who should seek for psychotherapy, the benefits of psychotherapy, and an introduction to the various mental health treatments that we provide. With this, we hope that you can make an informed decision for yourself, or for your loved ones.
What is psychotherapy or counselling?
Our physical body has pain mechanisms informing us that something is wrong with our body. It sends us pain signals so that we know when to cave in and seek medical attention. We visit the doctor when the fever gets too high, or when the aches and sores become too much to bear.
Mental “pain”, however, is more subtle. It reveals itself through loss of motivation, a poor diet, restless sleep, and the feeling that you have been sapped of your general happiness. Mental “pain” is often overlooked because we often mask it as stress and a common by-product of an urban fast-paced life. The sheer thought of mental illness is quickly dismissed for fear of showing signs of weakness. This is where psychotherapy comes into play. Psychotherapy helps you identify the source of your mental pain, breaks the pattern that contributes to it and provides healthy coping mechanisms to facilitate the healing process so that one can move on with life.
Just as the various reasons we visit the doctor, either as a precautionary check-up, or to solve a more severe issue, earlier is always better.
Who should seek psychotherapy?
You should seek psychotherapy when something is bothering you to the extent that it affects your social life, or your ability to be on top of your game. Another obvious indicator is when you constantly feel anxious, guilty, angry, irritable, or depressed. No matter how hard you try to rationalise your way out or cope with it, you can’t seem to shake it off. Quite the contrary, it’s getting worse by the day.
What are the benefits of psychotherapy?
If you are standing on the fence thinking if psychotherapy can really help you, here are five reasons to help you decide:
I often hear patients say, “I wished I had come to see you earlier.” I totally understand why they don’t: It’s not a glamorous affair. The thing is, the more one tries to avoid dealing with a situation that they themselves can’t handle on their own, the more they feel helpless and alone. Many isolate themselves in their own way and get caught in a downward spiral. I would strongly suggest that you talk to a psychotherapist. The non-judgemental listening ear alone can alleviate the pain right from the first meeting. The reason is simple: Suffering alone is a terrible feeling, every little support goes a long way.
And what a psychotherapist provides is NOT a mere chit-chatting or listening session.
Firstly, we will help you to organise your thoughts and puts things into perspective so that you can manoeuvre your way out of distress. You will learn to identify what triggers the distress and stop being caught by surprise. Instead, you will be able to respond rather than react to the situation. We will also journey together with you to find the root cause that is truly bothering you and understand how it has been affecting you.
Secondly, we will help you understand how your coping mechanism has been working. The human mind is brilliant when it comes to coping with distress. It will always find a way to cope. The problem is that it sometimes lacks judgement. That is why we see many unhealthy coping mechanisms such as binge eating, over-sleeping, excessive media consumption, uncontrollable shopping sprees, smoking, drinking, drugs, you name it. We will help you gradually replace unhealthy coping mechanisms with healthy ones so that you can move on with life, regain your social life, and perform at your best.
Thirdly, we will help you discover your untapped inner strengths and unmet needs so that you can deal with the issues with increased resiliency. You will learn ways to muster strength to manage your symptoms and alleviate yourself from emotional disturbances. You will also learn about self-compassion by learning to be your own best friend, supporting yourself rather than beating yourself up.
Lastly, if the issue at hand has no immediate solutions or is beyond your control, we will help you deal with the loss and accept the situation, so that you can gradually let go, move on and bring the unresolved issue to a close.
I hope that this has given you a good idea of what psychotherapy is about and the benefits of psychotherapy. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness, instead, it is a journey towards self-love and self-awareness, equivalent to how you take care of all other aspects of your health to be healthy.
These are the types of psychotherapy treatments that we provide.
To find out more of how good mental health looks like, click on this link to continue reading.