Mental Health Awareness Month
It is Mental Health Awareness Month. With more and more people being diagnosed with mental health conditions, preventative and pro-active mental health intervention is becoming more and more important. Help-seeking behaviour upon diagnosis is of utmost importance for recovery.
Unfortunately, though, the stigma of seeking help in individual counselling is still keeping many people from getting the support they need.
Removing the Stigma of Mental Health – Counselling Spaces
The purpose of this blog is to smash some of that stigma by breaking down one of the many barriers still keeping people from seeking help. How?
Well, I’ve approached a few psychologists and asked whether they would be willing to let us have a look inside the ‘secret’ counselling spaces that they have created for their clients.
Why ‘secret’? Because people don’t talk about what it looks like or what really happens in there. I was overwhelmed by the response and am delighted to be able to share with you the counselling spaces of 9 psychologists.
The Psych Professionals Trauma Centre (Loganholme, QLD)
Opening up to a stranger about the challenges of life can be an anxiety-provoking and daunting experience. There is great stigma attached to mental illness and emotional difficulties yet it is an incredibly common experience.
Some of the reasons we don’t seek help and support is fear of the unknown. Many people ask, when referring to my practice with clients, ‘don’t you judge them?’ or ‘aren’t they all crazy?’. The simple answer – absolutely not!
Psychological therapy is not about diagnosing problems or blaming someone for their worries. Therapy is about forming a relationship. It’s about connecting with another human being who is hurting. Therapy is about finally being able to share something with someone who you know is going to hold that information for you and keep that information between you and them. In many ways, therapy is like having a weight lifted off.
When I see a client for the first time, we get to know each other. We build trust. We share information. I support clients to realise that they’re, in fact, not crazy! I validate and empathise. This might be done over a cup of tea or coffee. And it is always done at the pace the client chooses. So, the psychologists office is not really an office after all – it’s a safe and supportive space where you can air your emotional concerns and have that air filtered, so that it’s cleaner when its drawn back in.
The Psych Professionals Child & Adolescent Centre (Capalaba, QLD)
At The Psych Professionals Child & Adolescent Centre, we do whatever it takes to ensure the young people (and their families) that walk through our doors feel as comfortable as possible.
We are a team of highly skilled psychologists who use evidence-based treatments to help those who are suffering or distressed, but we also understand how important it is to create an environment that is warm, welcoming, encouraging and supportive. We understand that therapy isn’t ‘one-size-fits-all’.
We take the time to get to know each individual client so that they feel heard, comfortable, and treatment can be tailored to their specific needs.
Some people don’t realize, but we actually really care about each and every one of our clients! We hope that their situation improves, we’re proud of them when they make progress, we’re disappointed when life treats them unfairly, we worry if they don’t show up, and when we haven’t seen them for a while, we hope they’re doing well. And because we care, we are always looking for ways to improve our practice and ourselves, including ongoing training, seeking and responding to feedback, and finding innovative ways to connect with and help others.
It is my hope that showing you inside these warm, accepting, nurturing and highly-supportive counsellling spaces that you will assist us in spreading the word that mental illness can be treated with respect and mutual collaboration between client and psychologist; that recovery is possible and that seeking and accepting help is OK.
If this blog resonated with you, please SHARE so others can benefit too 🙂