It’s Time to Talk About Mature Counselling
When thinking about the many reasons to see a counsellor; anxiety, depression and other mental health concerns might be the first things that come to mind. No doubt, with our rising instances of mental illness in Australia, it’s no wonder that more and more people are seeking counselling. However, whilst these issues are very prevalent and are important reasons to see a counsellor, there are many issues which are not as readily discussed when it comes to seeking support through therapy. Mature counselling, which focuses on issues which relate to mature adults, is one of the least discussed when it comes to counselling and psychology.
Australia’s aging population
Like many developed nations, Australia is experiencing the phenomenon of an aging population. This means that, as each year goes by, the average age of our population grows. Thanks to our increasing life expectancy, Australians are living longer, and our aging population has a number of implications for the country including shifting health concerns, an aging workforce, and housing shortages. By 2056, it is expected that the number of Australians over the age of 65 will increase from 3.7 million to 8.7 million: going from just 15% of the population to over 22%.
As our population continues to grow, and our lifestyles continue to change, many aging Australians have difficulty adjusting to changes in their lifestyle, and grapple with each passing stage of life. An aging population means that more older Australians will require the support of a counsellor – although many have never considered the option!
Counselling is not just for younger people
A 2010 study in the United Kingdom showed that 94% of people considered it acceptable to seek the services of a counsellor or psychologist for issues such as depression, anxiety and other common concerns, as opposed to just 67% in 2004.
Despite the increase in understanding around the benefits of counselling, it is well understood that mature Australians are less likely to seek counselling and psychology services than younger Australians. When we think of the ‘typical’ counselling client, we may not picture a mature adult. In fact, many people regard mental health concerns as a ‘young persons’ issue, prevalent amongst teenagers and young adults. Whilst it’s true that mental health is a rising concern for young people, there is really no ‘typical’ counselling client. People from all walks of life may seek the support of a counsellor, and many Australians will continue to see a counsellor throughout their lives, as the need arises. Whether you’re dealing with depression or anxiety, or other concerns which aren’t considered to be ‘mental illnesses’, counselling can be a valuable tool in leading a happy and fulfilled life.
Holistic and solution focused counselling services like those offered by Integrated Health Specialists are tailored to suit the individual needs of each client, whatever their age or background. In fact, at Integrated Health Specialists, we are experts in mature counselling, and understand the issues facing older Australians. Unfortunately, many Australians, particularly mature adults, have never considered counselling as something that could assist them with the struggles in their lives.
Issues that mature counselling can address
The issues facing mature adults can differ greatly to those affecting younger people. Whilst depression, anxiety and other common concerns can also affect mature Australians, there are also difficulties which are unique to older adults. Through each stage of life, each of us experience life changes which we can find challenging to overcome, and many of us have trouble navigating these new territories. Issues facing mature adults might include, but are not limited to:
- ‘Mid-life crisis’
- ‘Empty nest’ syndrome, when children leave home
- Identity struggles when retiring from the workforce
- Moving into aged care, and other life transitions
- Becoming caretakers for older relatives
- Social isolation
- Relationship breakdowns
- Grief and loss
- Confidence issues
- Pain management
Growing old is a natural process, and the progression of aging can be an incredibly enjoyable experience. However, many people struggle to navigate life transitions, as it often involves changing our sense of self and adjusting the expectations we have for ourselves, others and our lives. Furthermore, growing older means tackling the loss of loved ones, and other painful events. At Integrated Health Specialists, we not only understand these issues, we are experienced and skilled in helping our clients to overcome their unique concerns, and to embrace each stage of life equipped with the necessary support and tools.
Don’t struggle alone
Many mature Australians adopt the ‘stiff upper lip’ approach to problems they face, and find themselves battling with the challenges of aging on their own. The idea of seeking support from a counsellor may even be quite daunting for those who’ve never sought it before. At Integrated Health Specialists, our gentle, supportive and non-judgemental approach helps clients to open up about their most personal concerns, while our integrative and holistic therapies assist in finding effective solutions.
Finding the transition difficult from each stage of life to the next is a common issue faced by mature adults, and mature counselling can help you to overcome these hurdles in a safe, supportive and genuinely understanding environment. Don’t struggle with these challenges alone, for experienced Gold Coast counselling services get in touch with us today!