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A local mental health professional is sharing why a person might want to seek out counselling and the many benefits that come as a result. 

"For some people, going to counselling is as normal as going to the dentist, massage therapist or chiropractor," says Wayne Friesen from Recovery of Hope Counselling. "But what if you’ve never been to counselling and you have no idea what to expect? Today I’ll try to pull back the curtain on what happens in counselling or therapy, some problems that can be addressed in counselling and some indications that your counsellor is someone to keep connecting with or maybe it’s time to look for someone new.

Frisens shares that counselling can be a place of safety and rest for people where they can learn more about themselves.

"Your health is well worth investing in and your emotional health needs to take as much priority as your physical health. Deciding to see a counsellor is not an easy decision, especially if you have no experience with counselling or if you feel like no one around you has experience with it."

Counselling and therapy both use talking as the healing aspect to different problems including anxiety, depression, PTSD, addictions, sleep issues, or recovering from abuse or grief.

"Regardless of your concern, there is a counsellor out there that can be helpful. Deciding to start looking for a counsellor is no small task. There are a lot of choices and often people don’t openly talk about seeing a counsellor themselves so it can be difficult to find a counsellor like you would find a mechanic. Everyone has a good mechanic and everyone is happy to refer you to their mechanic. With finding a counsellor, it can be a little trickier. Sometimes other health professionals, like your doctor or massage therapist can be a good source for referrals. Some counsellors will offer an initial session or half session free of charge to see if they’re a good fit for you."

Friesen says it's important for people to know that not every client connects with every counsellor. 

"What can you expect in that first session? Typically you’ll fill out some paperwork and provide some basic information and they’ll let you know what you can expect from them. A good counsellor will listen more than talk, they will build a good, trusting relationship with you where you will ideally feel the counsellor has your best interests at heart. You shouldn’t feel rushed or pushed to tell your story, that should always come at your pace. That first session is important because it lays the groundwork for your future together."

One of the hardest aspects of seeking out counselling is the first phone call. 

"Going to counselling for the first time takes a lot of vulnerability. It’s so very difficult to make that first phone call. So very often people mention that they’ve been thinking about counselling for months, even years and it makes so much sense. Counselling will be comforting and at times counselling won’t be comfortable. One phrase that sticks out is, at times our current level of consciousness isn’t enough to solve our sticky problems. To get unstuck we need a new level of consciousness and arriving at that is uncomfortable at times. However, your counsellor will be able to be your guide as you go through the ups and downs of your counselling journey."