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  • Writer's pictureJan Gilroy

What IS Counselling? Part One: "I Don't Believe in Psychologists" 

Updated: Sep 18, 2018

What IS Counselling? Part One: "I Don't Believe in Psychologists"

If I had a dollar for every time someone has said to me, "I don't believe in Psychologists," I would probably have about $300. But without these nonbelievers, you would never have the joy of reading this delightful blog. So, buckle up, I am going to summarize the last ten years of my professional life into one quick read and, along the way, explain why you might benefit from seeing a Psychologist.

There are lots of things in this world that have the potential to make us feel good: mountains, friendship, biking, sunshine, the list is endless. These activities and interactions are great self-care tools and can add to the joy of life. Despite the memes though, they are not actually therapy. So, what happens when self-care is not enough, or is just not working anymore. Enter your friendly neighborhood Psychologist, a professional who has dedicated their career to figuring out how to help people work through troubling life events, while seeing and building on their real potential.

Psychologists can help us (re)connect with our lives, ourselves, and our relationships. Often life, including those often fulfilling activities like friendships and hobbies, can feel empty because we are hiding parts of ourselves, both from ourselves and from others. Sharing those parts of ourselves with another person can help us experience acceptance and allow us to live our best life. Your friends, family and co-workers are likely amazing people who have helped you through some of your most difficult times: however, the people in your life do not always have the skills, desire, or emotional bandwidth to sit and help you work through the darkest or most shameful parts of yourself. Psychologists have the skillset to help you process the dark parts so it no longer dampers your life, and I can tell you that we are not afraid of your darkest thoughts, feelings, or behaviors.

Sometimes we might need a Psychologist for a short period of time, someone to listen to us during a hard period in our lives, teach us new skills, or help us to understand ourselves. A Psychologist can do it all while making you feel validated, safe and normal. Other times we might need longer-term support, to help us achieve a better level of functioning, deal with mental health diagnosis, or particularly tough trauma. Still other times, we might be looking for an unbiased person to help us grow towards self-actualization.

May there always be time in your life for your trips to the mountains, bike rides, hanging out with friends, or enjoying a nice cup of tea. However, you do get to simply enjoy these things—they do not have to be your therapy. Incorporating a Psychologist into your life will ensure that you continue to enjoy those activities for years to come, while having the benefit of someone to guide you through the more difficult parts of your life that simply cannot be worked out through a good sweat, hanging with your friends, or cup of tea.

All in all, I hope this has helped you to realize that A) Psychologists do exist (we are not unicorns, although we are magical); B) we are kind of cool people with a set of unique skills; and C) even if you have a good self-care routine, there might be times in your life where having a professional assist you might be just the thing you need.

In my next blog – “What IS Counselling Part Two: What happens in a session”, I will explore what happens once you take the big step and decide to book your first appointment.

Until next time: Be your authentic you!

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