If you are reading this, chances are you are at a place in your life where you feel stuck in some way or you are unhappy in some form.

The reasons why people seek counselling or therapy are as diverse and varied as there are humans on the planet. Below are some symptoms you may be experiencing yourself which can lead you to want to talk to someone about how you’re feeling and what’s going on in your life.

Perhaps you are unhappy in a relationship, in your family, your work, or even your life in general. You might be aware of feeling depressed or anxious, have difficulty concentrating or difficulty sleeping (too much or too little). You may have trouble dealing with repetitive and disturbing thoughts or even obsessive actions that you can’t stop even if you want to.

Perhaps you are eating too much or not enough, perhaps you are drinking too much alcohol, taking more recreational drugs than you think you should, or than others in your life feel you should. Perhaps you know you are over-reliant on prescription or over the counter medications.

Perhaps you are withdrawing from friends and family, spending hours on the internet, watching porn or playing computer games. You may know that your work performance is suffering. Your family and friends may be telling you that your relationships are being affected by your mood and behaviours.

Perhaps you are finding that you are not really interested in anything and nothing makes you feel excited or happy any more. Perhaps you feel overwhelmed and stressed by your life. Perhaps you have tried to live up to the standards of a very exacting and punishing perfectionist internal standard, only to find that you keep not making the grade. You may feel discouraged and exhausted under the weight of your own constant self-criticism and judgement.

You may be having difficulties managing your anger and violence or aggression is an issue. Or you’re on the receiving end of someone else’s aggression or violence and you feel scared to take action and change the situation. Perhaps you are having trouble standing up for yourself and know that others are taking advantage because you find it hard to speak up.

Perhaps trauma, or old hurts from the past trouble you, haunt your life, disturb your sleep and continue to have a painful limiting effect on your relationships today. Perhaps you are questioning your sexuality and those troubling questions are not going away. Perhaps you are unhappy in your relationship as you or your partner have had an affair and you don’t know whether to stay and keep working on it or whether you should leave.

Perhaps you are facing a very difficult life stage or chronic illness, or someone close to you is going through one (such as an elderly relative developing Alzheimer’s) and you don’t think you can go on coping on your own for much longer.

Perhaps there are issues associated with your cultural background or your family’s cultural/ religious backgrounds that affect what you think the options are for you in your life. Perhaps you know what you would like to do but are afraid of the consequences you imagine might manifest if you act on your heart’s desire.

Maybe you have tried all sorts of things to make the feelings go away, adjusting your life to keep going in spite of them. Before people try therapy, it’s very common to try denial, being a workaholic, using drugs and/or alcohol, medications, overeating or under eating, and the compulsive use of sex and porn, the internet and computer games, religion, social networking sites, gambling, compulsive spending, or blaming others to compensate for how they are feeling.

Whatever it is you have been doing, you are now at a point where you may have found that none of these are working for you and the feelings aren’t going away. You have reached the point where your own solutions aren’t working and you would like to get an external point of view and learn some different skills to approach the situation.

This is where therapy or counselling comes into the picture. If you know it’s time, come and see me.

Posted in: Frequently asked questions