Making the decision to work with a psychologist may not come naturally to everyone. But it should. Seeing a therapist is becoming more common, thanks to more open dialogue about mental health and the everyday factors that impact our mental wellness.
Our INLIV Psychologist, Shelley Hanna, is helping clients recognize how psychology sessions can help us in our day-to-day lives. Seeking assistance from a professional doesn’t have to be precipitated by a significant event or concern.
How do we know when we should seek support from a psychologist?
“The main reasons people seek therapy or counselling because something isn’t working for them. Relationships, home life, work life, mood, lack of energy and focus, general malaise or fatigue, frustration, irritability, or a lack of ability to cope effectively with what’s happening in our lives,” says Shelley Hanna. “Each session is as individual as the client.”
We often resist the acknowledgement that we can’t do everything ourselves, so reaching out can feel uncomfortable.
Today, mental health is taking its rightful place as a priority, including being recognized as an important part of our overall health and wellness. Mental health collaboration with a professional brings focus on time-tested and research-based strategies for health and healing.
Without a balanced ability to perceive our journey, including a healthy connection to ourselves, others and the world, moving toward goals and feeling fulfilled can become daunting.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a commonly used treatment approach.
What is CBT? Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is “a model to evaluate and frame how we think about thinking”, says Shelley. “It focuses on our mindset, and how we have choices on how we think about things, and provides tools to shift into higher thinking. It helps us to provide deeper meaning and purpose in life. CBT helps change dysfunctional thinking and addresses behaviour patterns that may be holding you back.
Our mindset impacts how we approach our lives. Our mindset affects our mood, our behaviour, and our ability to achieve our goals. How we’re thinking and feeling needs to be in alignment with our efforts to overcome challenges, and our desire to achieve our goals. Those goals can be related to our health, personal life, career, or performance goals.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy sessions can be booked as single sessions, though most clients will experience the most impact and effective results with a minimum of three sessions, to allow for a true change in thinking patterns.
Mindfulness is truly a cornerstone for almost any therapy but it’s an effective tool to help us navigate our lives in a meaningful way.
Oxford defines mindfulness as
1. the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
2. a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
Mindfulness therapy encourages us to be more present in the moment, increasing our awareness of our thoughts and feelings, and how we are reacting and responding to them. You’ll focus on how to enhance your mindfulness, and discover techniques to that allow you to create a more positive relationship with yourself and challenges you’re facing.
Stress can reduce our productivity and can be overwhelming. And oftentimes, we are challenged to fully identify the true source of our stress.
Through stress management counselling sessions, you’ll work towards recognizing the cause of stress or challenges, and find appropriate ways to better manage our stress.
Developing effective coping skills is essential for stress management, to reduce the risk of falling into unhealthy patterns that can impact our mental and physical well-being.
What to expect during your psychology session
Our INLIV psychologist, Shelley Hanna, can help you to discover why and where you’re feeling ‘stuck’, and help you to forge a path forward while being understanding, helpful, and accepting. You can feel safe and supported without fear of judgement.
“Each session is completely personalized and the outcome varies depending upon your stage of change or contemplation. Sometimes your session may be spent talking about ideas and suggestions on how to move forward.”
‘Some people are ready to dive right in and make changes and use their sessions to discuss setbacks or hurdles, and to seek accountability to keep moving forward. Your session is about meeting you at whatever stage you’re in, and working toward your goal,” says Shelley.
Following your session, you may receive reading materials to support what has been discussed and there may be some ‘assignments’. The assignments are not overwhelming but can be a necessary element of progress.
Shelley notes, “like many goals in life, change takes time and consistency. Taking small steps with structure and support between sessions can result in big changes at the end.”
Have INLIV health credits? Use them to explore how psychology can help you achieve your goals.