Whether you are in a "good", "bad" or "neutral" phase in life, anyone could benefit from seeing a psychotherapist.
When most things in your life seem to be going well, there is still room for enhanced self-understanding. There are always blind spots that go undetected because friends and family are not trained to notice them or draw them to your awareness. Loved ones and friends can offer good advice at times but their feedback will be biased based on the lens that they see you through and the expectations they have for you. Besides giving you more objective analysis, counselling done with a psychotherapist is about digging to your roots, to assess fundamental thought and feeling patterns to identify the self-limiting beliefs you have unconsciously accepted as true.
When there has been a traumatic event, most people shut down or numb their emotions as a self-protective strategy. These repressed emotions have the potential to influence future behaviour for years after the event has passed. You may not think you need therapy at the time of the incident because its possible to pretend everything is fine and continue living life as before. However, there comes a point when you realize that you are having irrational expectations and reactions without knowing why. The longer you keep silent about the trauma, the deeper it affects your mind and body. Continuing to ignore it can cause a complete breakdown which may have serious implications for your future.
Prince Harry discusses the relief he felt when he finally began to talk about the grief surrounding his mother's death, 20 years after it occurred. His life began to turn around when he saw a professional counsellor. Harry and his wife Meghan are passionate about reducing the stigma around mental health, and co-founded Heads Together to raise awareness about the power in being able to talk about what is affecting you. I am inspired by this organization which is devoted to encouraging people of all ages to seek mental health support in times of need. Prince Harry has also teamed up with Oprah Winfrey to produce a television documentary series on mental health. Winfrey commented, "Our hope is that it will have an impact on reducing the stigma and allowing people to know that they are not alone, allowing people to speak up about it and being able to identify it for themselves and in their friends."
With the help of initiatives such as Heads Together and Bell's Let's Talk, along with influential celebrity advocates, the conversation around seeking professional counselling is becoming increasingly mainstream. The stigma may never completely disappear on a global scale yet I am hopeful that people who may have never considered counselling are becoming more open to hearing about the considerable long-term costs of silence.