I was able to answer some questions for a magazine article all around:
When is the right time to seek professional support or start “therapy”?
And I really loved that because for someone who has seen my fair share of psychotherapists, neuropsychologists and my favourite of all: healers and coaches, I actually have a lot of experience living this and answering this question!
I can imagine that right now, you may be wondering if NOW is a good time to seek additional support or not.
So I figured I’d share my answer to that in case it supports you. 🤗 Above all, my advice is always to encourage people to listen to their “inner knowing” and receive the guidance that is most supportive and beneficial for YOU.
So “take what you take” and leave what doesn’t resonate.
When I thought about this question, I put myself in someone’s shoes who might be at a turning point, having a hard time or is feeling helpless - unsure how to get what they need or even not know what they want or need.
Having been there myself, I know what this feels like. This can be your “bedroom floor moment”, your crying in the car moment or simply just realizing you don’t feel happy and there isn’t much that brings you joy or fills your heart right up.
That you may have spent your whole life putting everyone else first and don’t even know what you like, love, want or need. Or maybe you just have one area in your life that you have been feeling STUCK in or feeling a little helpless right now. If that’s where you are, I hear you and I’m here for you.
It isn’t always easy to "trust" the "right time” or know when it is. I definitely think it's a privilege to receive support, rather than "need it". I always want to have more support rather than less. So my “advice” comes not from telling you that you NEED to seek support, but rather: your NEEDS and DESIRES deserve to be met. You are worthy of having someone on your team - so you don’t have to go it alone.
I truly believe we are all worthy of being supported and sometimes it really involves giving ourselves that permission and investing in our growth. (I use the word investing because it always has a huge RETURN!) When we invest in ourselves, we receive so much more!
When you choose to see a coach, or invest in a play therapist for your child: it is NOT because there is something WRONG with you 📣 (I repeat this is not it at all!). It’s actually because you love yourself so much that you know you deserve to do it an easier, faster, more loving way than trying to do it all yourself.
You also may be wanting some alone (non-child) time and virtual play therapy may help you meet that need right now too. NO matter what, we are always growing, learning and changing so wouldn’t we rather learn with someone who has been where we have before or at least have a cheerleader and sounding board along the way so we can better HEAR OURSELVES?
What do you think?
I would love to know and love to hear your experience with this too. When was that moment for you when you realized you could really use some help so you asked around, or you asked someone your friend recommended you to - or you simply kneeled on the (bedroom floor), in tears, praying and asking for guidance and direction? (Been there. Done that - and am grateful to say that that surrender and pray moment led me to where I am today. That was the moment I put myself, my needs and my heart’s inner desires first...and then a lot of supports led my way.)
I truly believe that “Anything is possible...with the right support system”!
So here is what my “answer” is for the following questions 👇 and if I can help in any way, please let me know and schedule in a“30 minute connection session” to see if I can support you, your family or your child in any way! You are worthy of having that support and you don’t have to do it all on your own.
How do you know if you should seek professional therapy?
I think no matter what we are going through, there is a moment where we know that we can't keep living the way things have been going. It's a moment where the truth becomes known (or the pain) and you just know you desire a change...but you aren't quite sure how to go about that.
You often feel like you have tried everything and it's just not working. That is often the moment you are ready for support. When you are aware that you are not living how you want to, whether that be unhappiness in your career/your home, feeling unworthy in or unsure how to navigate your relationships or having health challenges. Whatever the issue, there is a moment where your desire to change is greater than your desire to stay STUCK. I think that's the moment you know you're ready to shift, ready to change and ready to seek help!
What about couples counseling?
I would say that this is the same as above. It's a great time to seek a couples counselor when both partners desire a change in the relationship. That can really help both people in the partnership move forward in a healthier, happier and more loving way where they can feel safe to speak their truth, allow their needs to be met and expressed - and decide what they want moving forward. Sometimes the counselor helps the couple realize that they may want to be apart and that is more loving/honouring to them - or it will help them get closer and move through the challenges that are currently arising.
As previously said, when the desire for the couple to have a healthier relationship is greater than their desire to "stay stuck", it is a great time to get help, support and shift the patterns that may be keeping them stuck in conflict.
How do parents know their child could benefit from therapy?
Children are actually really great at telling us what they need. They may not always tell us in direct words like: "I need help". A child may say this through screaming, yelling, complaining, having huge meltdowns/tantrums or feeling really sad. They may feel lonely or anxious and they aren't quite capable of asking for what they need in words or this is their way of telling you their current needs are not being met. This is often how children tell you that they need something, that they are looking for more love and support. I love when we listen to that not as a "bad thing", but put on the curious observer hat as a parent.
When a parent can witness their child, ask them what they need and may be aware that this isn't something they can help them with: that is the moment to seek additional support. When a parent is unsure what to do and also know they want help for their child, that is the right time! There is something about receiving support outside of the home that helps create the most change inside the home. Parents are also navigating the vulnerable journey of being a parent and they deserve support as much as their children so having their child be supported by someone else also gives them new insights as well as more time for them (which is so important for parents and families to have).
And my FAVE...Why Play Therapy over regular Therapy?
Play therapy meets the child where they are at developmentally. Children learn more through play than any other way and it is a beautiful way for a child to feel safe enough to build a bond with the play therapist and also to develop a relationship with someone they feel safe with. When we trust someone and feel safe with them, we WANT to tell them things: the things we love, the things we are scared of, the things we have experienced and the things we want to experience more of.
We talk about the challenges, we ask for help and we practice new ways of being together. We also feel so happy doing the things we love that we experience more of this in our daily lives, and this feeling creates more experiences where we feel this way outside of the sessions. When we have someone we feel safe, loved, accepted and connected with - it’s much easier to feel confident to be ourselves and feel that way with other people to.
Play therapy is the place to “practice”, to practice the tools that we could use in the challenging moments, the place to practice kindness, building and maintaining relationships and the place to REALLY PLAY!
We could all use more play in our every day! I
t is also easier to find our words when we are playing because when we feel triggered we cannot always speak our truth. Play helps us find a way!