Joe has a problem. It is a secret problem. He knows it, and no one else does. Or, so Joe thinks. Often Joe talks about it in circles – whenever he gets the chance – and most family members avoid him for this reason. This makes Joe feel even worse because he doesn‘t understand why they seem to reject him. He knows it flares up when things remind him of his past. He fails to understand why he feels so alone and left behind. He is bombarded with thoughts that keep him up at night. Sleep has become a precious commodity over the years, as the worry overtakes most of his nights…which turn into days…and then begin to all blur together. Days, weeks, years. He can‘t remember the last time he felt at peace with himself, nor the last time he felt happy. Will it ever get better? Maybe it‘s better to accept that this is just the life for him; after all, others have it so much worse and only they need and deserve help, right? So, Joe decides to tuck his feelings aside and carries on with the day… after all, life goes on, and he has been doing a good job hiding it all anyway, right?
Sound familiar? Do you know someone like this? Maybe we are more like Joe than we care to admit.
The truth is that countless individuals and families impacted by various difficulties in life ask the same questions. We experience adverse circumstances, and as a result, our thoughts consume us, like Joe. We feel similar symptoms regardless of our experiences’ intensity or severity, and these symptoms may persist every day or may arise at triggering moments in our lives.
“What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.“ – Abraham Maslow
- Maslow, a pioneer in the field of Psychology, means is that until Joe, or you or I want to change badly enough or until we are willing to be honest with ourselves, we are not able to change our situation. Until we develop an awareness of our maladaptive thought patterns and say: “Hey, I see something happening here, and I‘ve been unhappy for a while. Maybe I need help,“ change is not possible.
Is There Hope for me?
Is there hope for us yet? If you have come to a place where you are willing to become more self-aware, then you have already taken the first step!
The first step in change is acknowledging our need for greater self-awareness. This does not need to be an intimidating process. Reaching out for help in a safe space with trained professionals can make a huge difference in how long we endure a problem, move towards seeking solutions, and make changes in a shorter time frame than we would on our own.
Your next step is to reach out and find someone to listen to and assist you down the path. Perhaps it is a social support system, perhaps a trusted friend, or maybe you recognize that you need assistance that is professional, knowledgeable and evidence–based to make significant gains.
You are not alone.
It is perfectly normal for life situations, present or past, have affected your emotional, physiological, and behavioural responses.
Help and hope are available.
Cognitive behavioural therapy is proven to be highly effective in treating anxiety – both for short-term situational coping (i.e. anxiety and stress related to the current pandemic‘s impact), and longer-term depression and anxiety-related disorders impacting your day-to-day.
What to expect
Each 45-50 minute session with a clinician is a safe space for you to build personal awareness, provide you with the opportunity to be finally heard, vocalize your fears, concerns, and anxieties, and move towards changing your thought patterns to better serve you.
Together, goals for change will be set, and evidence-based treatment and techniques will help you cope and begin to shift your power back to where it belongs – to you.