I recently received an email newsletter with an introduction that included "We are losing the war on mental health". It jarred against my hopeful, choosing-to-see-the-good way of being in the world and the experiences with my clients! Then I read further (as was probably the author's intention with the shocking intro statement 🙈😂)
He argued that we were losing because, at least from his point of view, so much of therapy and counselling stays in the counselling room. There's a gap between what happens there and in real life.
At around the same time, a podcast from Dr. Caroline Leaf caught my attention- "Are we too dependent on therapy?" Again much of her view centered on clients being too dependent on the counsellor/ therapist and not being able to regulate their own emotions or cope effectively on their own.
I have seen some instances of this in my circles too. I cannot say this loud enough- it is absolutely okay to reach out for help and even to have this help for a long time!- AND it's equally important that you feel that person who you are sharing your story with can steward it well and, I believe, provide you with actionable steps you can take toward your wellbeing.
Here's what I'm not saying: that being in therapy for an extended time is wrong or that there's something wrong with us if we've needed or chosen extended times with the specific care of a counsellor. I am saying that I strongly believe that those who make the commitment to be in therapy / counselling see the fruits of being involved in these sessions. Tiny steps are to be celebrated!- These are huge achievements when we've felt hopeless, stuck and fearful for the longest time. After all, agency and choosing tiny steps toward our values is key. As psychologist Susan David says, "Change is a process, not an event."
This empowers you. And it is a great source of hope! It speaks to effective counselling that's done in a way that places the power in your hands. Remember- never underestimate the power of tiny tweaks and momentum to get you where you're going.
So no, I don't agree that we're losing the war on mental health (the word "war" in itself might be problematic too... but that's a post for next month). With action-oriented, intentional choices, we are able to overcome and build.
Now how hopeful, powerful and life-giving is that 💛
In the meantime and during and for as long as it takes, I'm am available to walk alongside you- reach out to me here.
All the best and my kindest regards,
Also toward more self-empowered and action-oriented steps, my online store is now open 🤩- you can find resources to benefit your overall wellbeing here.
Read Susan David's invaluable article on the power of tiny tweaks here.🌱