The Benefits of Working with a Counsellor

Talking to someone you can trust about what you are experiencing and how you feel can have a powerful impact on your life. Counselling enables you to lean into your feelings, move through them, and gain clarity on what these feelings are trying to tell you. Even for those who are convinced about the benefits of counselling, however, reaching out to book an appointment for yourself can be difficult and scary.

To decide if counselling is for you, developing an understanding of what exactly it entails is a good place to start. For counselling to be effective, it is most important that the relationship between the counsellor and client is strong, comfortable, and communicative. Often, it's helpful for clients to talk with a few counsellors before they can decide on what's the right fit and approach to meet their needs. I am always happy to walk prospective clients through my processes and perspectives, and I encourage you to reach out for a free 15-minute consultation. 

To further help you in the decision-making process, here are some quick facts about what counselling is and how it has been proven to help. 

· The Canadian Psychological Association (2009) defines counselling as “a broad specialization within professional psychology concerned with using psychological principles to enhance and promote the positive growth, well-being, and mental health of individuals, families, groups, and the broader community. Counselling psychologists bring a collaborative, developmental, multicultural, and wellness perspective to their research and practice.”

· Counselling can assist in the generation of new neurons (nerve cells). This is important for assisting in the recovery process from past trauma (Ivey & Zalaquett, 2010).

· The release of dopamine and oxytocin can be stimulated by social interactions (Stanford, 2017). Dopamine is a naturally-occurring chemical that is released by our neurons, providing us with motivation and feelings of well-being. Oxytocin is a hormone that is secreted by a gland in our brain, and it enables us to form attachments and trust with other people. 

· Consistent counselling has been shown to have a positive impact on the nervous system, in particular, strengthening of the vagus nerve, which is considered the calming part of our nervous system mechanics (Wagner, 2016).