There are many reasons why individuals and even families end up seeking help from a therapist. In some cases patients simply feel a deep need for change and growth. Such patients feel as if their lives are not complete and that they are missing a vital element. They seek help from a therapist to assist them in discovering that void in their lives and to find ways of filling it with something meaningful.
Many other patients see a therapist because they are trying to deal with issues that are causing them pain, trauma and a reduced quality of life. They may struggle to cope with the death of a loved one, or they may be unable to adapt to changed circumstances such as a divorce, the loss of a job, reduced financial circumstances and even illness or a disability.
Group therapy is becoming increasingly popular and often produces better results than one on one therapy. Many people suffering from personality disorders, addiction and behavioural problems think that they are alone in their suffering, abnormal and an exception to the rule. Being part of a group of patients that all suffer similar problems allow them to share their thoughts and to form mutually supportive relationships.
Many professionals in this field specialize in a very narrowly defined area such as trauma counselling, divorce mediation or relationships. It is therefore important to choose a counsellor that has experience in dealing with patients with the particular relevant need. Many general practitioners will gladly supply a reference. It may be worth it to schedule an initial session with the chosen professional to determine whether a relationship of trust with that professional is likely to develop.
It is very important to understand that therapy may require time before satisfactory results can be obtained. In some cases it may take years. The counsellor is not a miracle worker, nor can he solve the problems of his clients. His role is to act as a guide and a mentor. He helps his patients to examine their own problems and to explore possible solutions for those problems.
It is a great pity that many people never get professional help because they think that it is a sign of weakness. Thankfully, attitudes have changed but there are still people that can truly benefit from counselling but that never get it. Seeking help is not a shameful act. It takes guts to acknowledge that there is a problem and to go for counselling in order to deal with the issue.
Professional therapy has helped untold numbers of people to lead satisfactory lives, to discover joy in everyday living again and to interact normally within the society the live and work. Anyone that feels unable to cope with life should seek professional help. After all, anyone with severe pain that refuse medical help would be deemed as foolhardy.
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