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What are the Reasons People See Psychologists?


Psychologists are mental health professionals who study the human mind and behaviours. Most psychologists have advanced degrees in psychology or behavioural health studies. They can function as therapists or researchers with the health and understanding of the human mind always the primary concern. Calgary psychologists, like all psychologists in Canada, must be licensed in order to provide healthcare of any kind. Before seeking therapy in Calgary you may have a few questions that need to be answered.

What is the difference between psychiatrists and psychologists?

Psychologists and psychiatrists have different ways of working with their patients. Many people use the two terms interchangeably, which is a mistake. Psychiatrists largely focus on medical methods of working with patients. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who prescribes medication or other treatments. Psychologists focus on psychotherapy to help patients work through whatever they need.

Why seek the help of a psychologist?

There is not one simple reason to search for a Calgary therapist. A psychologist can provide much-needed help, care and understanding. Sometimes, the therapist is simply someone to talk to who provides a caring, yet professional perspective. No problem is too big or too small to talk over with a therapist. In fact, many psychology patients begin therapy for a specific issue but continue when they find regular sessions to be beneficial in everyday life. The following reasons are the most common for finding therapists. However, any time you feel you may benefit from a therapist is a good time to give them a call.

Friends and family don't provide the help you need

When you have a problem in your life it is common to turn to friends and family. They love and nurture you. They guide you when you need it and are a shoulder to cry on when you simply need to unwind. Unfortunately, they are not always as helpful as you would like. There are three primary reasons it is better to speak with a psychologist than a friend when it comes to personal struggles.

First, and probably the most important, is that you are more likely to hold back when talking with someone you know. You may feel awkward or embarrassed about certain personal issues. Your problem might directly concern them. You may be afraid they will think differently of you if they learn all that you need to share. You may even worry that the confidences you share with your friends will not remain secret. A licensed therapist is trained to listen, provide helpful guidance and never judge. Likewise, psychologists never divulge the information given to them by patients except under extreme and unlikely circumstances.

Second, family members may try to fix your problem with unhelpful solutions. Upon hearing your issues, they might suggest actions that won't help in your situation. In fact, sometimes there are no actions that need to be taken other than having someone to talk to. Loved ones, especially those who are related, rarely see each others' problems in this manner. Well-meaning friends and family want you to feel better and they often believe that is done with a quick fix.

Finally, friends and family may not always be there for you even when they are. They may have their own issues that keep them from focusing on your problems. They might only half-listen as you share all that needs to be said. It is not uncommon for people to turn conversations into opportunities to talk about themselves. This is rarely done for malicious reasons. Often this is a way of relating to your situation, but this also removes the focus from you and onto them.


Mental health well-being is important

Sometimes, seeking a therapist is about maintaining your mental health rather than "fixing a problem." Mental and emotional well-being is just as important as any other reason to seek a therapist.

Psychologists allow you to share your daily concerns. You can talk about your problems without worry. You might find some insight into how you can improve your life. Issues that may seem small can amass over time, which can lead to serious emotional turmoil. A regular conversation with a trained professional will help you tackle the smaller issues so that they do not become burdens that are difficult to overcome.

A new point-of-view is offered during psychological sessions. You can learn that there are alternative ways to manage the worries and stresses in your life. A new, fresh perspective can make a big difference in any situation.

Work through difficult problems

Psychological help is sometimes due to a specific issue or concern. This may be an external problem or an internal one. Either way, a therapist can help you find coping strategies that will get you through the hard times.

Those suffering from illnesses often benefit from psychological help. A terminal diagnosis is difficult for you and your family. A chronic disease is a lifelong struggle that needs to be given ample time to emotionally manage (that's what companies that specialize in chronic care management do). Short-term illnesses carry their own struggles. You may need help after suffering from a heart attack, a serious virus or an injury.

The illness or injury isn't always your own. You may have a loved one who is suffering. Talking with a therapist can help you understand and cope in ways you could not discover on your own. This is also true of family members of those with addictions. Alcohol and drug addiction has a serious impact on all of those in the family. Therapy is often the best way to get through these difficult times.

Coping strategies are sometimes necessary

Coping with change is never easy. That change could be divorce, a move or a new job. Psychologists can help you work through the hardships that come from a sudden upheaval in your life. These changes are particularly difficult for children. Parents who divorce should seriously consider giving their children an outlet.

The most difficult thing to cope with is loss. The passing of a loved one may be something you never completely get over, but it is something a therapist can help you get through.

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