How to know if it’s time to get professional help?

a woman deep in thoughtThe quality of our emotional and mental health is not tangible – it is mostly invisible: you feel, experience and live with it. Sometimes you might wonder if therapy may be right for you. You’ve tried your best, you have read self-help books and you’re still having emotional pain or relationship difficulties. You may be asking yourself: What am I doing wrong or not enough? How come I feel this way even though I have tried so much? Why do I feel so alone in this struggle? What’s missing?

Over the years, you may have had feelings of emptiness or sadness that you have never talked about. You may experience positive life events like getting married or graduating or having that great job, but you still feel that tightness in your chest or a familiar and persistent sadness in your throat. In spite of all your efforts, you sometimes feel something is still missing and you want to take that extra step to figure things out. So, how do you know when it’s worth seeking professional help?

One indication that seeking  professional help is beneficial, is when your hard efforts don’t seem to help make things better. Or when  lingering unresolved feelings are still there, begging for attention and healing. When old problems keeping popping up, regardless of the changes you have made. These can be a strong signs that something internal may need some extra attention. For some reason, you find yourself reliving the same old problems and/or relationship issues, in new forms. It’s the same problem but the characters are different each time.  This can be even more frustrating given that you made drastic lifestyle changes only to see the same problems following you again and again.

Constantly experiencing stress and not finding a way to feel better for long periods of time is another marker that you may need profession help from a trained professional psychotherapist who can help you develop more effective coping skills or help you eliminate those sources of excess stress. Constant long-term stress can lead to burnout, which in turn can reduce your productivity and create serious havoc in your overall mental and physical  health. Unresolved wounds from the past trauma may create a scenario in which you catch yourself continually fighting off emotional pain from the past rather than enjoying your life in the present moment, in the here and now.  You may also have a sense of where you would like to be, but not matter how hard you try or what you try, you don’t get there. You may have tried countless times to be true to that part of you that feels genuine and authentic, but you keep falling into old patterns and negative cycles that move you away from your true potential. Trained professionals in counselling and psychotherapy can provide you with a clearer understanding of your problems/challenges in ways that create opportunities to facilitate your healing and recovery. While working with your therapist, you are in control of the direction you wish to take, working with your therapist to forge new and positive outcomes, relationships, optimum emotional and mental well-being.

These are only a few pointers and signs that professional counselling or psychotherapy may be right for you. If you are having problems with your emotional or mental well-being and would like to take a first step, there is professional help available to you at Family-Therapy in Ottawa / Kanata. Call one of our youth, individual, family and relationship counsellors at: 613-287-3799 and see where your future can take you.