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 Canadian Women's Wellness Network              Réseau Canadien du Bien-Etre des Femmes

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Fears about Starting Counselling

If you are planning to speak with a counsellor for the first time in your life, you may be facing fear and nervousness. Rest assured, this is completely normal and these feelings usually pass once you have become acquainted with your counsellor. Here are some tips for preparing for your first counselling session:

Bring notes – write down any questions, concerns, or fears that you are having and voice these feelings to your counsellor before beginning the session.
Practice talking- if you have been bottling up emotions for a very long time, you may need to actually practice putting your thoughts into words and saying some difficult phrases out loud as you plan to say them to your counsellor.
Positive self-talk- Remind yourself of the benefits of following through with your plan to pursue counselling support. Tell yourself all of the reasons you need the extra support and focus on all of the positive ways your life will change after resolving your current stressors.
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Do I Need Help ? For the Woman Contemplating Counselling

By Shatyra Williams, MSW, RSW

Published: March 2014

As women, we often carry the world on our shoulders and are taught to be faithful to our responsibilities. Our partners, children, family, friends, and co-workers depend on us as we have always been there for them and have proven to be trustworthy. Many women take pride in this feeling of being needed and responsible. We love to do everything we can for those who depend on us most. It would be wonderful if our many roles left us feeling nothing but happy and fulfilled. However, in reality there is much more to it.  What happens when we become overworked, change our minds, lose passion, or worst of all, lose ourselves?

Sometimes the giving and giving and giving takes a toll on us women and we lose track of our personal goals, our health, and our spirits. We find ourselves unhappy doing the things we once loved, and unable to follow through with dreams we once had. We begin to feel anxious, stressed, drained, or depressed. We may isolate ourselves or begin unhealthy coping strategies. You may have found that you are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Maybe you would like to make some serious changes in your life or lifestyle and are coming up against some difficult barriers. You would like to improve your situation but have limited resources, information, guidance, or support. Perhaps you are prepared to make the changes you need but have been unable to communicate or co-ordinate your plans with your loved ones.

The articles of this website have encouraged you to challenge yourself and take control of your journey. They have provided you with guidance, support, and direction in the areas of lifestyle, love, and health. This information is provided for supportive and motivational purposes but is not intended to replace a personal counsellor when needed. If you find yourself in an overwhelming dilemma or unique situation, do not underestimate the power of a one on one counselling opportunity.

The decision to speak with a counsellor is a personal one and requires you to look inward for guidance. Speaking with a counsellor provides the space for you to explore your deepest hopes and needs aloud. It allows you to free your mind from the constant worry and anxiety, and to have someone truly listen to you and support you towards change. A professional counsellor can assist you with making meaningful life changes and provide you with the tools, confidence, and clarity needed to be your best.

To answer the question “Do I really need help?” look inside of yourself and take note of how you feel. If you feel alone, frustrated, or neglected then maybe the answer is yes. If you have tried and tried with no success, then maybe counselling would be a good approach for you. If you are a private person who is uncomfortable sharing your problem(s) with family or friends, then a counsellor is an excellent option to help you release some of the pent up emotions. A counsellor can help you to challenge any negative thought processes you may have and furthermore help you to develop positive approaches to change.

Life doesn’t have to be stressful, upsetting, or sad. Every woman deserves a chance at her best life and her happiest self. Every woman deserves to be healthy, vibrant, and heard. A counsellor provides support in difficult times and can help you to not only envision your authentic self, but to engage in a lifestyle of self-care.  

Give yourself a chance.

About the Author

Shatyra Williams MSW, RSW is a Toronto-based Social Worker with a passion for women's wellness. As Program Manager of RWRJ's Artistic Healing Group, Shatyra teaches healthy coping strategies for women survivors of trauma. Through a variety of creative educational techniques Shatyra helps women to challenge themselves, to embrace their imperfections, and to love their journey. 

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