When it comes to going to the dentist, many people book six monthly or annual appointments to give their teeth a ‘check up’, even when they are not in pain or needing any major treatment. This touching base, to catch any problems in the early stages, is widely accepted to be a good idea and is indeed recommended by dentists here in the U.K. Similarly your car, if you have one, will need to have a regular inspection and be fine tuned to make sure that it is running safely and efficiently. Most people would not question the logic behind such checks, which are designed to identify problem areas before they are in need of serious attention.
Counselling is sometimes viewed as being necessary only in times of personal difficulty or intense stress. What would happen, though, if we thought about therapy more in terms of a ‘health check’ rather than as crisis management? It is not uncommon for clients to come into therapy looking to talk through one particular aspect of their lives, only to find that the work also touches on other areas of everyday life, often with beneficial results. Not only is the presenting issue tackled, but the knock on effect can frequently lead to personal growth for the client in other quarters.
Does It Need Fixing?
Perhaps there is the temptation to feel that ‘if it isn’t broken, then it doesn’t need fixing’. While there is some merit in that statement, as humans our lives are changing constantly with the passage of time. When our children grow up and start school, we are left with a vastly different everyday routine, and when they ‘fly the nest’ and move out of the family home altogether the dynamics of home life change even more. Ageing parents and our own retirement bring fresh challenges which need adapting to, while a freeze in pay for our job / promotion to a different position may lead to us having to rethink the way we plan our expenditure. All of these things are quite ordinary and are perhaps to be expected as and when they come up. Yet if we do not meet them honestly, head on, they can cause us difficulties which makes the transition from one life stage to another hard to manage.
Increased self-awareness can aid us in recognising when we are feeling tense, threatened or overwhelmed, tempted as we may be to fall back into unhelpful coping strategies such as excessive worrying or overeating. When we know what is going on for us at that time, we are more likely to feel empowered to make wise choices as to how to respond. Looking after our mental wellbeing can bring such positive results, it is surprising that it is not at the top of everyone’s to do list!
What could you gain from taking a more proactive stance?
~ Rob Oglesby MBACP B.A. (Hons) BSc | Ashwood Therapy
[Ashwood Therapy provides a discreet, confidential and professional online counselling service by encrypted video call, live instant messaging and secure email. More details, including tips on wellbeing and information on current counselling session pricing, can be found at http://www.ashwoodtherapy.com/]