Make an Appointment: 905-337-3946 |

  • Counselling for Depression or Anxiety: Will it Work for Me?

    Many people consider counselling for depression or anxiety if they find themselves struggling with these issues.  But is it a good idea?  Here’s a frank assessment.

    counselling for anxiety or depression

    There are a number of factors that go into deciding whether to seek therapy or counselling for depression or anxiety.  Therapy or counselling can be highly effective with these issues, but it’s essential to understand what the process entails, before committing to it.
    There are many other approaches to treating depression or anxiety — e.g., medication, exercise, mindfulness meditation, etc.  All of these can be of some benefit, and many of them can be profitably combined.  However, the path of counselling or therapy offers unique benefits, in terms of self-understanding, self-compassion and forging new and creative directions in life.  To gain these benefits, though, it’s essential to give the process what it really needs to move forward.

    Am I Prepared to “Get Real”?

    We all hide behind masks in our world, and to some extent, we all have to.  If we were to just uncontrollably vent our feelings of anger or frustration on our boss, or on the traffic cop who pulls us over for a ticket, things probably wouldn’t go well!  So, hiding who we really are, to some degree, is often a very important thing to do in life, enabling us to survive and flourish.

    Yet, there may be a lot of situations in life where we wish that we could be real, and show who we really are, perhaps more than we do.  This can be a very important area of growth for many people.

    In particular, it can be essential to show who we are, if we expect counselling for depression or anxiety to help us.  Only if we’re honest about our reactions, and what we’re thinking and feeling, can we really begin to accept, understand and take care of our true selves.

    People may come into therapy, and feel that they’re expected to wear a “good therapy client” mask — to be who the therapist or counsellor expects them to be.  Yet in all kinds of counselling or therapy, and especially /a-midlife-transition, it’s essential to be honest and open about who we really are.

    Can I Acknowledge My Feelings — and Not Get Totally Lost in Them?

    Part of being real is truly acknowledging my feelings.  It’s essential to bring those feelings into the counselling or therapy and to work with them.

    Some feelings are easier to acknowledge than others.  Anger, shame, and intense grief are examples of very strong feelings that are hard for many to be honest and open about in the context of counselling or therapy.

    On the one hand, acknowledging our feelings can be a demanding task.  Yet, once we bring them in, it’s equally important to not to be just run by our feelings.  We need to acknowledge them, but not let them “take over the show”.  Just venting, or what used to be called “catharsis” of feelings won’t bring healing.

    We need to bring up our feelings, to know them well, and to be compassionate towards the parts of ourselves that feel them.  We can then use what we learn from those feelings to help ourselves in the whole of our lives.  Developing the capacity to do this is often an essential part of counselling or therapy.

    The Source of Genuine Change — is in Me

    Ultimately, genuine change comes from acknowledging who we really are, while changing what we actually can in our lives.  This especially involves changing our attitudes and approaches to things inside of ourselves.  When all is said and done, willingness to find the ways to change what we can in our lives, and particularly in ourselves, will be decisive factors in effective therapy or counselling for depression or anxiety.

    Jungian /a-midlife-transitions emphasize the importance of the unconscious mind.   For effective therapy, much depends on whether the client is open to the changing attitudes that are trying to emerge from the unconscious.

    counselling for anxiety or depression

    Counselling for Anxiety or Depression as A Journey to Wholeness

    The authentic connection involved in therapy can be of tremendous value to those suffering from anxiety or depression.  Central to this process is the environment or climate of acceptance created in good counselling or therapy and the positive and supportive alliance between the therapist / counsellor and the client.  A strong alliance enables the creation of self-acceptance and self-compassion and the process of being profoundly honest with oneself.  These factors are the dynamic core of real change.

    The work of Jungian /a-midlife-transition has as its goal the journey towards wholeness, a self accepting and self-compassionate understanding and integration of all that we are.

    For Part 2 of this post, click here.

    Brian Collinson, Registered Psychotherapist & Jungian Psychoanalyst


    PHOTOS:  Caitlin Regan (Creative Commons Licence) ; D. Brandsma (Creative Commons Licence)
    © 2018 Brian Collinson, 2238 Constance Drive Oakville, Ontario (near Mississauga)


    Leave a reply:

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*