No shame in seeking help!

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 Someone I know came to me in crisis some time ago - she and her husband were experiencing extreme financial difficulties and they were constantly fighting.  I suggested that they call and make an appointment for counselling at Family Enrichment so they could get help dealing more effectively with the situation.  Her response was "no one in my family has ever gone for counselling and I won't be the first one."  I was shocked.  What's wrong with going for counselling?  Why wouldn't someone in crisis be open to getting help?

I have personally benefited tremendously from going for counselling at times in my life.  For example, when I became a mother, I became my mother!  I didn't want to be controlling and demanding but I had no idea how to be any other kind of mother.    I had poor communication and problem-solving skills and I was taking it out on my children.  I knew I needed help so I contacted the community agency where I was living.  The counsellor I saw didn't have children but she was a godsend to me and my family.   Through counselling I learned about appropriate expectations, how to communicate more effectively, how to motivate the behaviours I wanted to see, and how to give appropriate consequences when necessary. 

When my husband was killed in a car accident, and I became widowed at 44, counselling was a blessing.  My teenage children and I were helped to process our grief over time.

What I learned through these experiences is that counselling is an invaluable resource to help us gain the tools we need to get through hard times.

We think nothing of going for physiotherapy to heal an injured knee or ankle, shoulder or hip.  Many of us use other traditional and non-traditional therapies to help us cope with physical and spiritual challenges.  What makes going for counselling so different?  Learning life and relationship management skills brings such huge rewards.

Often, when we find it challenging to deal with the day-to-day of our lives it is because we're in a life transition; graduating from school, becoming a parent (or experiencing empty nest), buying a house, moving, retiring, diagnoses of a serious illness, a significant loss (loved one, job, pet), starting a career, starting or ending a relationship, etc.  Life transitions, the happy ones and the sad ones, the planned one and the unexpected ones, are challenging and stressful.  They involve endings and beginnings.  Endings demand that we let go of something that we like, love, or at least are used to.  Beginnings call us to accept something we know little about; to set off on an adventure into the unknown.  These times of disruption may test the limits of our ability to adapt. 

Every person in a life transition deals with the flood of emotions differently and most people benefit from having someone with whom to talk things over.  Problems tend to get smaller when we talk about them.  We are reassured that we are not alone when we reach out.

Most of us will experience despair, distress, depression, and confusion at some point in our lives.  Sometimes, the coping skills we use create more issues than they solve.  For example, using alcohol or other substances to medicate emotional pain.  Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. 

The good news is that we can learn to become our own best friend.  With each life transition we have the opportunity to learn a great deal about our inner strength and our resourcefulness.

For more information call 506-458-8211.

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