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  • Willow and Sage Counselling

Should I go to therapy?

Updated: Jun 11

You may be asking yourself this question because you’re struggling, and the short answer is yes!  Everyone can benefit from therapy, no matter where they are on their mental health journey.  Mental health is not all or nothing; it isn’t that we are mentally healthy, or not, because mental health is a spectrum, and we can always be working on and improving it.  Think of mental health like a muscle; it isn’t simply strong or not strong, but through training can be strengthened and toned. 

A therapist is a professional that can help guide you through what can be a confusing field; there are many different perspectives and treatments available, and it can be overwhelming to simply try and understand what it is that you need in order to improve your mental health. Think of your therapist like any other guide; they can advise you on tools that may help you, routes you can take, and help prevent you from getting lost along the way. 

What to expect when starting therapy?

Your therapist will spend your first session getting to know you and why you are there.  It’s okay not to know what kind of therapy you are looking for!  Your therapist is there to help navigate you through the process, come up with a therapy plan, and to work with you to discover your goals and what will be most helpful. At Willow and Sage Counselling an intake session for children, focuses on meeting with the parents or caregivers, while the second session is one on one with your child, and often looks play based. This enables the therapist to get to know you, your child, and their needs before starting their individualized therapy plan in their subsequent sessions.

Your therapy plan may include what are called directive and/or non-directive treatments.  

Directive treatments such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) can be used to work on things like anxiety, phobias, OCD, and eating disorders. Sometimes a non-directive approach, like talk or art therapy, is more appropriate; a client may want to spend a session sharing their burdens or asking for advice.  At any time, your needs can change, and a skilled therapist will be able to fluidly tailor your therapy to your needs and what you are experiencing.

How often should I attend therapy?

Everyone will have different needs when it comes to how often they attend therapy; some people will start therapy in crisis and may need more help at the beginning. Others may be farther along on their journey, and may need less frequent check-ins. We usually recommend weekly or bi-weekly sessions to start, and then re-evaluate as needed, but it’s okay if this isn’t the case for you; you and your therapist will be able to come up with a plan that works best for you. 

How do I find a therapist?

The simplest way to start your search for a therapist is through an internet search or ask trusted people who already work with a therapist. Some people find face to face sessions more helpful, and you may want to be able to attend sessions in person, so finding someone nearby might be a good place to start. You may have some idea about what you’d like to work on, such as trauma, neurodiversity, or depression, or you may be interested in a specific type of treatment, like Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT), or Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing therapy (EMDR).

Sometimes the therapist you choose will have a wait list; don’t hesitate to ask them for a referral! It’s important, particularly if you are in crisis, that you get started on your therapy journey as soon as you can, and therapists will likely know other practitioners that may suit your needs. 

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