Psychotherapy - what it is and how it works (Part 1)

We often hear about various mental health professions: psychiatrist, psychologist, psychotherapist, and counsellor. How do you know which one to see and why? In this post we are answering the most common questions about psychotherapy.

What exactly is therapy?

Put simply, therapy is the process of meeting with a trained professional on an ongoing basis to help you recognize the deep-rooted and potentially self-sabotaging mental and emotional behaviours, thoughts, and patterns that are keeping you feeling stuck, in pain, and away from the life you want to live.

What can I expect of therapy? 

Everyone is unique and is at different places upon their journey, so the actual therapy sessions can be vastly different. It is true that therapy can be hard going, as we face the pain, anger and loss inside, but coming out the other side it can be so rewarding. In therapy we look at building acceptance and awareness. For it is when we become aware of our patterns that new choices emerge.

Therapy is expensive. Is it worth the cost? 

Therapy is a financial commitment, but you can think of it as an investment in yourself, an act of self-care, an investment to work toward your overall well-being and success in life. Like how we invest in our own education, therapy can pay dividends with our relationships, our emotional well-being and help us to lead the life we wish to lead.

 

Shouldn’t I be able to cope on my own?

Reaching out to a mental health profession is not a sign of weakness, rather it is responsible act of self-care and the first step to addressing the challenges you are facing. When we have a toothache we see the dentist. When we are sick we see the doctor. Why should mental and emotional health be any different? 

What sort of clients does therapy work best for?

Psychotherapists work with a diverse population of clients, and believe in inclusivity, and approach all clients with an open mind. They can see clients on an individual basis. Some work with adults and some specialize child/family therapy and others will have more experience working with older adults and seniors.


Psychotherapy is being recognized by most insurance companies and you may be eligible to claim on your health benefits. In Part 2 we will be answering more questions about psychotherapy and what are the reasons to see a therapist. If you are ever wondering about whether to seek help for any health issue - be it physical or mental - always make an appointment with your doctor or healthcare professional.