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If you’ve never seen a counsellor before, you may be forgiven for thinking that ‘therapy’ is only for those who are suffering from a mental illness, or ‘serious’ personal problems. While seeing a counsellor is becoming increasingly popular, there are still many people who do not realise the scope of what a counsellor can help with. Despite what you may believe, a counsellor can actually assist with a range of common, everyday issues that we are all likely to encounter, here are just a few:

1. Stress

We all suffer with stress sometimes. For many of us, stress is simply a part of our everyday lives. Whether you’re a busy mum, a working parent, a corporate executive or a full-time student; life can present daily stresses which are accepted as a part of life. In fact, many people seem to thrive under stress, attempting to harness its energy in order to push on and get the job done. Unfortunately, stress can do some nasty things to our minds and bodies. In a recent survey conducted by Way Ahead Mental Health Association NSW, 75% of Australians admitted that stress negatively impacts their physical health, while 64% conceded adverse impacts on their mental health because of stress.

Visiting a counsellor can help you to manage your stress in safe, healthy and effective ways. Experiencing stress may be a common occurrence for most people, however learning to manage it is the key to ensuring that stress does not have damaging long-term effects on your physical and mental health.  Check out our highly effective Stress Management Programs.

2. Finding work-life balance

In the 21st century, most of us consider the ‘work-life balance’ a bit of a myth. We are increasingly spending more time at work, and less time with our friends and family. Despite how often we work, or how much we enjoy our work; the pressures we face in our jobs can mean that we can find ourselves not really savouring the time we have outside of work. There is a fairly common unspoken rule in the modern age that if we are not working hard, all of the time, we are not really doing our best. The concept ‘work to live, don’t live to work’ is all but a pipe dream for many of us.

A nurse who studied the most common regrets of her dying patients found an alarming pattern emerge. The number one regret? ‘I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, and not the life others expected of me.’

The second most common regret was, ‘I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.’

It’s not often that you hear a dying person regret that they hadn’t earned more money, or gone further in their careers. This, and the nurse’s findings, speak volumes about the things we value as our time on Earth reaches an end. Balancing work (love it, or hate it) with our personal lives and aspirations is a difficult thing to manage. Thankfully, this is something that your counsellor understands. Your counsellor can help you to develop a plan which sees you enjoying both work and your personal life, in equal measure.

3. Managing weight

If you’ve ever thought about getting support to manage your weight, your immediate reaction might be to consult a doctor, or join a ‘quick fix’ weight loss program like those seen regularly on television (just when you’re sitting down to eat dinner, usually). What many people do not realise is that counsellors such as those at Integrated Health Specialists are trained and experienced in helping people to tackle their ‘underlying’ weight issues, and to help you to safely and effectively keep the weight off. Unlike certain medications—which are harmful to your body, and offer few long-term results—and other popular ‘deprivation’ weight loss programs like ‘shakes’; counsellors understand the reasons behind your struggles with weight, and can provide you with healthy and effective techniques for managing weight. This full-picture approach is proven to be one of the most effective ways to lose weight, and to keep it under control. Find out more about our holistic weight loss programs here.

4. Quitting smoking or other bad habits

As is the case with weight loss, there are a myriad of options available to help you quit smoking. As weight loss and smoking are such valuable industries these days, the programs, pills and magic potions on offer are seemingly endless. The trouble is that many of these programs and medications offer very little in the way of long-term success. Consulting a counsellor who can help you to understand the reasons behind your smoking addiction, or other bad habits, is an extremely effective way to beat the addiction for good. Counselling services like those at Integrated Health Specialists are able to work alongside you to develop safe and effective strategies to quit for good. At Integrated Health Specialists, we also utilise  hypnotherapy—the most effective long-term solution for overcoming addictions, phobias and more. If you’ve got a habit that you’d like to kick once and for all, don’t struggle alone – get in touch today.

5. Building confidence

A lack of self-confidence may seem like a minor problem, not worthy of seeking help for. However, low self-esteem can negatively affect our lives in many ways. From holding you back from reaching your goals, to developing anxiety and depression; gone untreated, low self-confidence can be a damaging force in your life.

On the other hand, building self-confidence can have incredible effects on the rest of your life. In the article ‘Use it or Lose it: The Science Behind Self-Confidence’, Margie Warrell writes:

“The reason that so many people never fulfil their potential is not a lack of intelligence, opportunity or resources, but a lack of belief in themselves. Or put another way, too little self-confidence.  Without it, you can do little, with it, you can do anything!

Building self-confidence can help you to achieve your goals, live life to the fullest and enjoy more happiness. If you’ve been struggling with low self-confidence, and would like to change your perception of yourself, seeing a counsellor could change your life.  Check out our highly sought-after Low Self-Esteem programs.

6. Navigating relationships

While we’ve all heard of ‘couples counselling’ and ‘relationship counselling’, many people mistakenly assume that this kind of therapy is a last resort for failing relationships. In fact, counselling can help with all manner of personal relationships, from those between couples, to children and parents, to extended family members. And despite what you may have heard, relationship counselling is far from a last resort. Counselling can assist couples to better understand each other when facing conflict, or can help you and your loved ones to overcome a challenging time in your life such as:

  • Illness or injury
  • Job loss
  • Stress
  • Lack of communication
  • Parenting difficulties or differences in approach
  • Disparity in values and goals, and more

So, a counsellor can help you with many of your daily struggles; whether or not you suffer from a mental illness or are undergoing a personal crisis. In fact, once many people discover counselling, for whatever initial reason, they often choose to continue to see their counsellor for many years to come; simply to help tackle common issues that arise throughout their lives. Visiting a counsellor can help you to navigate life, in a safe, supportive and non-judgemental environment. If there’s something that you could use some help with, get in touch today, and find out how our Gold Coast counselling services can assist you!

Michelle van Namen

Author: Michelle van Namen