This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.
For so many women wellbeing is something they think of for everyone but themselves. Here at A&G, we are all for encouraging self care. We deserve it! In this particular article, counsellor and psychotherapist Lesley Greenwood, explores the subject of therapy…
I’ve found over the years as a counsellor and psychotherapist that so many people and clients don’t really know what to expect from therapy, or even how to access a good therapist or counsellor. If you have ever considered therapy, this article will, I hope, prove interesting.
There are many questions that need an answer. So I’ve decided to write what I hope you will consider is a helpful guide to give you some insight of what to expect from therapy and to give you an idea if it could be right for you.
Firstly therapy can be beneficial to everyone. I’ve yet to meet a person whose perfectly happy with a perfect life. Those that appear to be so are generally just much better at managing their lives or hiding their problems (something that can also be learnt).
Therapy is a two-way interaction between client and therapist. It’s something that needs to be worked at over a period of time and often over the lifespan.
You probably will go to the gym, walk, swim or do other exercise to keep you body healthy throughout your lifetime. Well mental health should be approached along the very same line. It’s a lifetime’s maintenance. You don’t go to the gym once and you’re fit for the rest of your life. In exactly the same way, you don’t go to a therapist once and your mental health is great forever.
So there are a multitude of reasons you may be considering accessing a therapist and there are a vast number of different therapists out there.
Be careful, choose wisely, do your research. There are people who call themselves a therapist who have done a 6 week course on the internet. Make sure your therapist has got at least a degree in an appropriate subject, such as psychology, sociology, therapy and counselling and then preferably further qualifications such as a masters degree and affiliation to a professional body, insurance and EXPERIENCE!
You’re entitled to ask you therapist about all their accreditation and should do before you book or at your first session.
As I said previously, therapy is most effective and fulfilling if both parties interact in a positive way. You will generally know after a couple of sessions if your therapist is right for you.
Not every therapist – no matter how good – is the right one. If at first you don’t connect, try another. It’s a very personal deep-rooted and symbiotic relationship.
How long does therapy last? I get asked this so often. Well how long is a piece of string?
So often starting therapy for one issue you have, can lead to the unravelling of many other issues. I personally like to familiarise myself with the clients lifetime experiences from a young age. Most often what and how we experience childhood directly affects our adult years.
You don’t have to have a severe mental illness to access therapy. Indeed you shouldn’t wait until you are severely anxious or depressed before you ask for help.
Issues are much easier to treat and work with the earlier that they are addressed.
Therapy is not only as good as the therapist but also as good as the client.
Help yourself, work with your therapist and try and act upon the advice, information and help he or she discusses with you.
Sometimes therapy can be just about talking through all the jumbled up or negative thought patterns that exist in your head. So make sure your therapist has good listening skills.
There’s no quick fix and therapy takes time. It’s not like going to the doctors and having a 10-minute appointment and getting a prescription. Often prescriptive drugs mask the issue but don’t cure the root cause. However prescriptive drugs must not be dismissed in the case of such illnesses as depression and are, in some cases, a vital accompaniment to therapy.
I often find people and women in general will invest small fortunes on clothes, cosmetics, jewellery, surgery, but don’t invest so much in there mental wellbeing because they can’t see the results. However, believe me, every penny spent with a good therapist will pay you back tenfold in peace of mind, and a healthy mind really can lead to a healthy and beautiful body.
The clients who I have worked with over the years that have been the most successful, have stuck the course over a period of time and have self reflected and worked on themselves. When that happens results can be spectacular.
I hope that’s a helpful insight for everyone into the often-beguiling world of therapy! Listed below are a few links to set you on the right path if you are considering giving it a try.
Have a wonderful week,
Lesley Greenwood BSc Psychology (hons), MSc Clinical Science.
Read more wellbeing articles by Lesley Greenwood here
Illustration of therapist courtesy of Freepik