Day-to-day life can be draining and can negatively impact our emotional state. Sometimes a family crisis or a difficult relationship can make an already stressful situation even more difficult. Relief is possible with the nonjudgmental support you find through family counselling in Ottawa. If you have considered utilizing the services of a counsellor or therapist, now is the best time to reach out for help.
10 Common Questions about Counselling and Therapy for Your Family
The idea of counselling may seem overwhelming, or you may believe that your problems are ‘not that bad’ to call a stranger for help. Once you understand what counselling and therapy does, you may be ready to make the phone call and bring harmony and happiness back to you and your family. Here are seven commonly asked questions about counselling and therapy:
What is therapy or counselling?
Therapy or counselling is a confidential, non-judgmental space where you can discuss your troubles and problems and work towards finding solutions or different ways to deal with your problems. During your sessions, your qualified therapist listens to you, gives you unconditional support and a space for you to examine your issues and problems. Therapy also involves talking with your psychotherapist to find solutions and learn new skills to better cope with future challenges.
How does therapy work?
Your psychotherapist listens to what you say and then works with you to develop your goals and a plan to confront challenges you are facing in life. They help you explore changes you can make to achieve your goals and compassionately guide you, but they will not tell you what to do. At times, they will point out your blind spots or areas where you are getting stuck in unhelpful behaviours or thought patterns. Therapy is a space where you can learn more about yourself, your emotions, and how to better manage or control your emotions.
When do you need to see a therapist?
Speaking with an Ottawa therapist is helpful at any time in your life. You can find help to get through a crisis, a sudden problem or issue making a major life decision such as a career changes, or dealing with work challenges. Sometimes people wait until they have been anxious, angry, depressed for a very long time, on the verge of divorce, after the death of a family member or during a family crisis. People usually decide to come speak with a therapist when the pain of what they are trying to cope with becomes too big for them to manage on their own.
Common reasons why should you see a therapist?
- Feeling sad, angry, depressed, anxious, overwhelmed, or having sleep issues for more than two weeks
- Unable to resolve challenges even though you’ve discussed them with close friends or family
- Being excessively wary or fearing the worst in everyday situations
- Difficulty stopping yourself from engaging in unhealthy behaviours that cause you difficulty in your personal or work life
- Any type of work or family crisis that you feel you lack the skills to manage
- You are unable to manage your own emotions, such as angry outbursts, crying, or rage.
- You have received a diagnosis of depression, anxiety, PTSD, postpartum depression, or you are on stress leave
- You feel isolated or alone, you have thoughts of harming yourself or you are using a substance to manage or cope with your feelings or problems
- You have experienced very stressful or traumatic situations such as domestic violence, sexual assault, workplace harassment or violence, a serious medical diagnosis or childhood trauma.
Who can go for therapy?
Anyone can come in for counselling services. Psychotherapists can start seeing children as young as four or five-years-old. Adults of all ages can find therapy helpful as they navigate changes throughout their life. Age should not stop you from getting the help you need.
What types of therapy are there?
- Child therapy is for children and their parents from the ages of four and up.
- Teen therapy focuses on teens 14 years and up.
- Adult therapy is for young adults 18 years and older.
- Couples therapy is for any couple that wishes to work on their relationship regardless of their marital status.
- Family therapy is for parents and their children of any age when there is a shared responsibility for the issue at hand and a desire to fix problems in the family unit.
What are signs that my child may need therapy?
- They are dealing with a stressful situation such as bullying, divorce, a new sibling, a new step-parent, or moving.
- Your child’s problems seem to be getting worse as they get older.
- Your child displays tantrums that involve them destroying belongings or lashing out physically.
- Your child’s caregiver or schoolteacher suggests your child is not coping well.
- Your child seems anxious, has sleep difficulties or complains of physical pains or aches without any medical causes that last longer than two weeks.
- Your child has no friends or has great difficulty in making or keeping friends.
- Sudden change in grades at school, an inability to concentrate, or is always getting into trouble at school.
- Your child has reported being sexually harassed
- You see any sudden long term changes in your child’s mental health such as suddenly becoming withdrawn, crying, talk about self-harm, hating themselves or becoming self-critical.
How long does therapy last?
You and your therapist in Ottawa can discuss how often you wish to speak with your therapist. Usually, we suggest you come in weekly at the beginning of therapy until you can manage your situation and we reduce your immediate stress levels. Therapy can last anywhere from one session, to several months to even years depending upon your needs. Some issues such as relationship issues, PTSD, abuse or trauma require many months or even years of therapy. When you have been badly hurt emotionally, especially as a child, it may take longer for you to build a trusting relationship with your therapist and to develop health coping skills. Most people see their therapist every two weeks once they have worked with their therapist for a few months. You and your therapist can decide together what works best for you.
In person or online therapy sessions?
Counselling services in Ottawa have evolved to allow for the flexibility of in-person or online therapy sessions. Your therapist can see you either in our office in person or you can arrange to have your therapy sessions virtual through a secure encrypted video conference platform or by phone.
How do I choose the right therapist?
Look at your therapist’s qualifications. Therapist are licenced mental health professionals. Your therapist should belong to their provincial governing college or an association and have a master’s degree in social work, counselling or psychotherapy. A good therapist will help you feel safe, respected and comfortable in sessions so you can talk about difficult topics.
Getting the assistance that you and your family needs is vital to continued growth relationally and mentally. Family-Therapy in Ottawa provides a safe space for you, your child, your spouse and families to openly communicate and learn new ways to handle all that life brings. We have social workers, psychotherapists and counsellors ready to help your family create harmony and happiness in your lives. Contact us today to find the resolutions you seek.