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  • Writer's pictureMaria Sotos

Introduction to Therapy

Therapy is a space where people can come to explore issues in their lives. The therapist provides a safe space of acceptance and guidance as well as helping to prompt individuals towards growth and change. In traditional therapy, people talk to the therapist who is a “blank slate”. In turn, the therapist analyzes and provides interpretations of what is being spoken about. In contrast to this, holistic feminist therapy sees individuals as whole beings in this world. Healing does not come from talking an issue through and having a “neutral” authority figure ascribe meaning. Power is shared in the therapy session. Although I am the expert in mental health, individuals are the experts in their own experience and that expertise is validated. I hold space for how the state of politics, our bodies, our creativity, spirituality, relationships society, culture, family and community impact our mental health and can be tools for healing and self-exploration. I also view therapy as relational. We, as therapists, cannot be blank slates or objective as we are influenced by our own beliefs and experiences and people may project beliefs about us onto the therapeutic relationship which impacts the work. Furthermore, relationally is crucial for those of us who have experienced relational trauma as the damage occurred in relationships it may only be repaired in them.

Many people look for therapy or therapists not knowing if it is the right solution for them. There are multiple journeys towards healing and therapy is one of them. Although these are not substitutes for personal therapy, I would like to acknowledge how healing can be done in multiple ways including love, community, physical healing, and spirituality.

Some of the reasons people seek therapy might be for help with:

  • A diagnosed mental illness

  • A suspected mental illness

  • Eating disorders

  • Difficulties in coping with daily life

  • Loss of a loved one

  • End of a relationship

  • Life transitions including jobs

  • Existential crisis

  • Spiritual crisis

  • Dealing with single incident trauma (PTSD)

  • Being in or having been in an abusive relationship (toxic romantic, family, or work relationships can all have a negative impact on ones mental health and wellbeing)

  • Looking to have a greater understanding of themselves and/or their purpose

  • Relationship difficulties

  • Having a terminal or chronic illness and/or chronic pain

  • Addictions

  • Understanding their sexuality

  • Looking for emotional support

Different modalities might work best to help with the diversity of issues people may come to therapy for. That being said, the relationship with the therapist can also be an important tool in feeling heard, seen, not judged and mutual trust and belief.

*If you are looking for medication for your mental health difficulties, please contact your GP/family doctor. Official diagnoses can be given by a Medical Doctor, Psychiatrist, or Psychologist. Psychotherapists like myself work on the treatment of mental health disorders and concerns. If you are currently in crisis, please contact your local crisis support such as: the Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), the Distress Centre at 416-408-4357; or 911 and/or get yourself to an Emergency Room.

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