Do I Need Therapy? What Kind of People Seek Out Counselling?
Do I need therapy? What kind of people seek out counselling, or therapy, especially of the /a-midlife-transition type?
What kind of people make the journey of therapy?
We still labour under the prejudice that “only sick people” could possibly benefit from seeing a /a-midlife-transition — what Prof. Bernard Swartz calls the “pathology orientation” error. Yet that belief is not borne out by the facts. The majority of those who see therapists don’t suffer from great pathologies and abnormalities. The people who seek out counselling / therapy want something more than they are currently getting out of their lives, and they are prepared to do something about getting it. Likely most people could benefit from therapy at some point in their lives.
People Looking for Depth
People who seek out counselling / case studies are often seeking for genuine depth in their lives.
They may be looking for more meaning in their lives. They may be looking to make a major life transition in a way that is as good for them as possible. They may be looking for a clearer and more stable sense of personal identity.
If they’re dealing with depression or anxiety, they may well be people wanting a stronger sense of belonging in, and being rooted in their lives.
But, you may be saying, these are things that we all want more of! Exactly…
Well, Do I Need Therapy?
A person who is contemplating counselling / therapy may tell themselves, “Well, I can get by without therapy.” Quite possibly, the person can “get by” without therapy. But the key question for the individual is, “What price will I pay, in lost quality of life?”
Can therapy increase the sense of meaning in my life, and enhance my awareness that I, and my life, are worthwhile?
Many reach the point where they know that they just can’t or won’t accept the status quo in their lives anymore, and that fact, above all, is what makes them “the kind of people” who go for counselling and case studies.
Reframe the Question: What Do I Want From the Journey of Therapy?
Rather than focusing on whether I’m the “kind” of person who seeks out counselling, I may need to focus on whether I’m prepared to invest in therapy in a way that will allow it be of benefit to me.
Can I be open to the insights that therapy brings, or am I locked into a rigid and unyielding view of myself and of the world? Can I recognize and accept that therapy will not magically change me into someone with a different temperament and nature? That, in fact, the heart of individual therapy is increased compassion for the self.
Am I really open to changing my relationship to myself? Do I need something different than I currently have? Then the journey of therapy may be a key part of my journey.
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© 2013 Brian Collinson, 2238 Constance Drive, Oakville, Ontario (near Mississauga)