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  • Writer's pictureTherapy Alberta

What Brings You to Therapy?

Updated: Oct 20, 2023


Why do people attend therapy?

There are many reasons people attend therapy. Therapy is one way to make life a little easier and a little better. It doesn’t mean anything is wrong with you. It doesn’t mean you are broken. It simply means some things have happened to you and you are not satisfied with where you are at now. We can all use a little help sometimes, whether we need a helping hand to lift us when we’ve fallen, guide us when we’re lost, or boost us when we want to climb higher. Both adults and youth struggle with concerns related to home, school, work, relationships, sleep, driving, and life transitions. Our team at Therapy Alberta focuses on helping people heal emotionally, mentally, physically, and relationally. We work with individuals, partners, and families struggling with a variety of concerns, including:


ADHD

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can significantly impact various areas of life, including work, relationships, and academic performance. Therapy can help individuals with ADHD better understand their condition, develop strategies for managing symptoms, and address any associated emotional challenges, such as low self-esteem or anxiety. Our ADHD therapist can provide support, guidance, and practical tools tailored to your specific needs, helping you optimize your strengths, improve focus and organization, and enhance your overall well-being.


Addictions

Addictive behaviors can be incredibly challenging to overcome and can have a significant impact on an individual's well-being and relationships. Therapy can play a vital role in addiction recovery, providing support, guidance, and tools to address the underlying factors contributing to addictive behaviors. Our addictions therapist utilizes evidence-based approaches to addiction treatment, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, to help you develop strategies for relapse prevention, build a strong support system, and cultivate a fulfilling life in recovery.


Anger

Anger is a normal and natural emotion, but when it becomes overwhelming or leads to destructive behaviors, it can impact our relationships and overall well-being. Therapy can help you explore the root causes of your anger, identify triggers and patterns, and develop healthier ways to express and manage anger. Our anger therapist provides a safe and non-judgmental space for you to explore your anger, learn effective anger management techniques, and improve your communication and conflict-resolution skills.


Anxiety

When the body and mind have learned a calm internal state is not safe, it remains in a state of alert, alarm, fear, or terror to meet it's needs. Anxiety is a coping style that has helped you survive and get you to where you are today, but might no longer be helpful or necessary. Our therapists can help you better understand your experience, regulate, calm, and adopt new ways of coping with stress.


Attachment

Our experiences in early relationships shape the way we form attachments throughout our lives. Attachment issues can manifest in various ways, such as difficulty forming close relationships, fear of abandonment, or feeling overwhelmed by intimacy. If you find yourself struggling with attachment patterns that affect your ability to connect with others or experience healthy relationships, we can help you explore and understand these patterns. Through therapy, you can develop secure attachment styles, build stronger connections, and create fulfilling relationships based on trust and mutual support.


BIPOC

People from Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities may face specific challenges related to systemic racism, discrimination, and intergenerational trauma. Therapy can be a valuable resource for individuals within these communities to explore and process these experiences, heal from racial trauma, and foster resilience. Our therapists are culturally sensitive and strive to create a safe and validating space where your experiences and unique perspectives are honored. Through therapy, you can gain support, develop coping strategies, and cultivate a sense of empowerment as you navigate the intersection of your cultural identity and mental health.


Body Positivity

In a society that often promotes unrealistic beauty standards and fosters body dissatisfaction, cultivating a positive relationship with your body can be challenging. Body positivity is about embracing and accepting your body as it is, promoting self-love and respect, regardless of societal expectations. Therapy can provide a supportive space to challenge negative body image beliefs, explore the underlying factors contributing to body dissatisfaction, and develop strategies for building body positivity. Our body positivity therapist can help you shift your perspective towards self-acceptance, develop a healthier relationship with your body, and cultivate a positive body image that aligns with your values and well-being.


Chronic Illness

Living with a chronic illness can present various physical, emotional, and practical challenges. Coping with symptoms, managing treatments, and adjusting to lifestyle changes can be overwhelming. Therapy can offer support and guidance in navigating the complexities of chronic illness. Our therapists can help you develop strategies for self-care, manage stress related to your condition, and cultivate resilience in the face of ongoing health challenges. Through therapy, you can find ways to maintain a fulfilling and meaningful life while managing your chronic illness.


Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can significantly impact an individual's quality of life, affecting physical functioning, emotional well-being, and daily activities. Managing chronic pain requires a comprehensive approach that addresses both the physical and psychological aspects of pain. Therapy can help you explore the emotional and psychological factors that contribute to chronic pain, develop coping strategies, and enhance your overall well-being. Our therapists can work collaboratively with you and your healthcare providers to develop an integrated pain management plan tailored to your specific needs.


Communication

Effective communication is the foundation of healthy relationships, but it's not always easy to express our thoughts and emotions clearly. Communication issues can lead to misunderstandings, conflicts, and feelings of frustration or isolation. Therapy can provide a safe space to enhance your communication skills, learn active listening techniques, and express yourself authentically. By improving your communication abilities, you can strengthen your relationships, resolve conflicts more effectively, and foster deeper connections with others.


Compassion Fatigue

Compassion fatigue occurs when individuals in helping professions, such as healthcare workers or caregivers, experience emotional and physical exhaustion due to prolonged exposure to others' suffering. Therapy can provide a space for professionals to explore and address the impact of compassion fatigue, develop self-care strategies, and build resilience. Our therapists can help you navigate the challenges of caregiving roles, develop healthy boundaries, and prioritize your own well-being while continuing to support others.


Depression

When a person can exist mostly within their window of tolerance, they are safe to connect and feel a full range and depth of emotions. When the body learns from past experience it's not safe to feel or engage or connect, there is protection in withdrawal, disinterest, depressing the emotions, and dipping into low and slow arousal. Sometimes the best defense is to collapse into a chronic depression when it seems there is no escape. Our therapists can help you learn to regulate and respond appropriately in the present moment. You can expand your window of tolerance, connect to all feelings, protect yourself, and engage with who and what you love. For more information on depression, read the blog Why Depression is so Gripping.


Discrimination

Discrimination based on factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or disability can have a significant impact on an individual's mental health and well-being. Experiencing discrimination can lead to feelings of injustice, anger, and low self-worth. Therapy provides a space to process these experiences, develop coping strategies, and foster resilience in the face of discrimination. Our therapists are committed to providing support and validation as you navigate the effects of discrimination, helping you build a positive sense of self and find empowerment in your identity.


Dissociation

Everyone dissociates on some level. Maybe you daydream, zone out, feel numb or disconnected, don't remember the drive to work, or act out of character. Dissociation is the split between body and mind that can affect time, perception, and identity. Sometimes it happens to such a degree that it interferes with home, school, work, or relationships. If this sounds familiar, Our therapists can explain what your brain is doing and why, help you regulate, reconnect your body and mind, then integrate your inner experience.


Emotions

Emotions play a central role in our daily lives, influencing our thoughts, behaviors, and overall well-being. However, navigating complex or overwhelming emotions can be challenging for many individuals. Therapy offers a safe and supportive space to explore and understand your emotions, develop emotional regulation skills, and cultivate emotional resilience. Our therapists can provide guidance on managing intense emotions, building emotional intelligence, and creating a more balanced and fulfilling emotional life.


Family Conflict

Family dynamics can be complex and challenging, often leading to conflicts that affect everyone involved. These conflicts may arise from differences in values, expectations, or unresolved past issues. Family therapy offers a supportive environment where family members can explore these conflicts, improve communication, and work towards finding solutions that promote understanding and harmony. Whether you're dealing with sibling rivalries, parent-child conflicts, or intergenerational tensions, therapy can help facilitate healthier interactions and foster a more cohesive family unit.


Family of Origin

Our experiences within our families of origin can significantly influence our sense of self, our beliefs, and our patterns of relating to others. Exploring and understanding these influences can be essential for personal growth and building healthier relationships. Family of origin therapy focuses on exploring the dynamics and unresolved issues within the family system. By gaining insight into these dynamics, you can develop a greater understanding of yourself and how your family history has shaped your current behaviors and relationships. Through therapy, you can work towards resolving any lingering emotional wounds, setting boundaries, and establishing healthier patterns that promote personal well-being and more fulfilling connections with others.


Gender Identity

Exploring and understanding one's gender identity can be a significant aspect of personal growth and self-discovery. Affirming gender identity therapy offers a supportive and non-judgmental space for individuals who may be questioning their gender, experiencing gender dysphoria, or seeking support during the process of transitioning. Our gender-affirming therapist can help you explore your gender identity, navigate societal expectations and challenges, and develop a sense of self-acceptance and empowerment as you express your authentic gender identity.


Grief

Change, loss, death, and dying bring up a lot of difficult emotions, thoughts, and sensations that sometimes need to be shared in a safe, compassionate space where there is no judgment or pressure to let go or move on. Our therapists can help you better understand your experience of grief and find ways of mourning that help you heal. We are here to listen and honor your story; we will act as companions on your grief journey as you create a new normal.


Immigration

The process of immigration can be both exciting and challenging, as individuals and families navigate cultural adjustments, language barriers, and unfamiliar social systems. Feelings of isolation, homesickness, and identity conflicts are common experiences for immigrants. Therapy can provide a supportive environment to explore these challenges, process the emotions associated with immigration, and develop coping strategies for adapting to a new culture. Our therapists are here to help you navigate the complexities of immigration and create a sense of belonging in your new home.


Kinship & Adoption

Kinship care and adoption bring unique challenges and opportunities for individuals and families. Whether you're a kinship caregiver, adoptive parent, or an individual navigating your identity within a kinship or adoptive family, therapy can provide support and guidance throughout the journey. Our therapists can help you navigate complex family dynamics, address attachment-related challenges, and create a nurturing and stable environment for children in kinship or adoptive care. Through therapy, you can gain insights, develop coping strategies, and build strong and loving familial relationships.


LGBTQ+

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals often face unique challenges related to their sexual orientation or gender identity. These challenges can include coming out, navigating societal discrimination, or finding acceptance within their communities and families. Therapy can provide a supportive and affirming space for LGBTQ+ individuals to explore their identity, cope with discrimination or rejection, and foster self-acceptance and resilience. Our therapists are knowledgeable about LGBTQ+ issues and are committed to creating an inclusive and understanding environment where you can express yourself freely and authentically.


Life Transitions

Life transitions, such as career changes, relationship endings, or retirement, can be challenging and bring uncertainty and stress. Therapy can provide support during these transitions, helping you navigate the associated emotions, make informed decisions, and create a positive vision for the future. Our therapists can help you explore your values, set realistic goals, manage anxiety related to change, and develop resilience as you navigate these new chapters in your life.


Masculinity

Societal expectations and cultural norms surrounding masculinity can have a profound impact on men's mental health and well-being. Traditional ideals of masculinity often discourage emotional vulnerability, leading to difficulties in expressing and addressing mental health concerns. Therapy can provide a supportive environment for men to explore and redefine their relationship with masculinity, challenge harmful stereotypes, and cultivate emotional intelligence and well-being. Our male therapist can work with you to navigate the complexities of masculinity and support your journey towards a healthier and more authentic expression of self.


Men's Mental Health

Men may face unique challenges when it comes to their mental health, such as societal pressure to be stoic or the stigma surrounding help-seeking. Therapy can offer a safe and confidential space for men to explore and address their mental health concerns, develop coping strategies, and strengthen their emotional well-being. Our male therapist is experienced and trained to understand and support men's mental health issues, providing a non-judgmental environment where you can freely express your emotions, gain insights, and work towards personal growth and healing.


Motor Vehicle Accidents (MVA)

Car accidents can be traumatic in a variety of ways. Sometimes the physical pain from injuries interferes with life or delays healing. Maybe the memory of the accident replays in your mind or takes over your sleep. You might find yourself always on alert, afraid, or unable to get back to life as you remember it before the accident. Maybe it changed everything. Our therapists can help you understand your brain and body's response to the accident. You can release fear, regulate, manage the pain, protect yourself, reprocess the experience, and take back control over your mind, body, and emotions.


Pain

Everyone experiences pain in the body, but for some it's debilitating or doesn't make sense. Maybe you struggle with unexplainable pain or injuries that won't heal. Sometimes pain has an emotional or mental component that needs healing. Sometimes old wounds link to the new and reactivate. Our therapists can help you tolerate and regulate the pain, trust your body, understand what it is doing and why, and relieve the pain so you can move and live freely. For more insight on pain, read the blog poem Pain Unseen.


Parenting

Parenting comes with its own set of joys and challenges. It's natural to seek guidance and support as you navigate the responsibilities and complexities of raising children. Whether you're a first-time parent, dealing with behavioral issues, or struggling with the demands of balancing work and family life, therapy can offer valuable insights and tools to enhance your parenting skills. Our therapists can provide a non-judgmental space for you to explore your parenting concerns, gain confidence, and develop strategies to create a nurturing and supportive environment for your children.


Personality Disorders

Personality disorders are characterized by long-standing patterns of unhealthy thinking, behavior, and relationships. These disorders can significantly impact an individual's daily functioning and overall well-being. Therapy can help individuals with personality disorders gain insight into their patterns, develop healthier coping strategies, and improve their interpersonal skills. Our therapists can provide evidence-based treatments, such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) to support individuals with personality disorders in their journey towards healing, self-acceptance, and more fulfilling relationships.


PTSD

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can develop following exposure to a traumatic event, leading to intrusive thoughts, emotional distress, and avoidance behaviors. Therapy is a proven approach for healing from PTSD, providing a safe and structured space to process trauma and develop coping mechanisms. Our therapists specialize in trauma-focused therapies, such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which can help you work through traumatic experiences, reduce symptoms, and regain a sense of safety and control in your life. Through therapy, you can begin the journey of healing and find ways to reclaim your life beyond the impact of trauma.


Racial Trauma

Racial trauma is the psychological and emotional distress that stems from systemic racism, discrimination, and racial violence. Therapy provides a safe and validating space where individuals can explore the effects of racial trauma, process their emotions, and develop strategies for healing and resilience. Our therapists are committed to anti-oppressive practices and cultural sensitivity, guiding clients through the complexities of racial trauma, challenging internalized beliefs and biases, and fostering a sense of empowerment and support. Through therapy, individuals can navigate the impact of racial trauma, cultivate a stronger sense of self and cultural identity, and work towards healing and well-being.


Relationships

Building and maintaining healthy relationships is a fundamental aspect of our lives. However, challenges can arise in romantic partnerships, friendships, or professional relationships. Therapy can help you navigate relationship difficulties, improve communication, and develop skills for healthy conflict resolution. Whether you're experiencing trust issues, struggling with emotional intimacy, or feeling stuck in negative relationship patterns, our therapists can provide guidance and support as you work towards building fulfilling and meaningful connections.


School Issues

School-related challenges can have a significant impact on a student's well-being and academic success. These challenges may include academic stress, peer relationships, bullying, or difficulties adjusting to new environments. Therapy can provide a supportive environment for students to address these issues, develop effective coping strategies, and enhance their overall academic experience. Our therapists can work collaboratively with students, parents, and educators to identify and address school-related challenges, fostering a positive and supportive learning environment.


Self-compassion

Many of us struggle with being kind and compassionate towards ourselves. We often hold ourselves to high standards, criticize our perceived flaws, and struggle with feelings of self-worth. Therapy can help you cultivate self-compassion by exploring and challenging self-critical thoughts, developing self-care practices, and nurturing a positive relationship with yourself. By practicing self-compassion, you can enhance your overall well-being, build resilience, and approach life's challenges with greater kindness and acceptance. Read more about self-compassion in the blog, Feel Better with Self-Compassion.


Self-esteem

A healthy sense of self-esteem is crucial for overall well-being and navigating life's challenges. If you find yourself consistently doubting your worth, feeling inadequate, or struggling with low self-esteem, therapy can be a valuable resource. Our therapists can help you explore the underlying causes of low self-esteem, challenge negative self-beliefs, and develop strategies to enhance your self-worth and confidence. Through therapy, you can cultivate a more positive and realistic view of yourself, leading to greater self-acceptance and a more fulfilling life.


Sexual Violence

Experiencing sexual violence can have profound and long-lasting effects on an individual's mental health and well-being. It is essential to seek support and healing in the aftermath of such traumatic experiences. Therapy provides a safe and confidential space to process the emotions, trauma responses, and challenges associated with sexual violence. Our trauma therapists are trained in trauma-informed approaches and can guide you through the healing process, helping you restore a sense of safety, reclaim your personal power, and build resilience as you move forward on your healing journey.


Stress

Everyone experiences stressors in life that press on different parts of the self. The severity varies, but you usually just keep pushing through. It's important to realize the impact of stress on your body, mind, and emotions. Sometimes the feeling of stress pushes you to the breaking point, begging for change. Our therapists can help you pause, understand your stress symptoms, regulate, meet your unmet needs, and act from a place of preference and choice rather than fear. Read more about the impact of stress in the blog, Drowning in Stress.


Substance Use

Understanding the relationship between attachment and maladaptive coping mechanisms is imperative to helping those struggling with substance use or addictive behaviors. When the needs of the body and mind are not met through relational safety and attachment, the brain seeks similar rewards, often found in substances or other pleasurable behaviors. This way of coping helps numb the underlying pain. Our therapists can help you understand your patterns, find ways to regulate and meet your needs in healthy ways, build supportive relationships, and begin to heal the wounds beneath.


Trauma

Trauma occurs when one's inner capacity to cope is overwhelmed. The human brain is wired for connection, safety, and love. When early or late experiences of abuse, neglect, injury, or assault impair or interfere with these functions, the brain must defend itself in order to survive and move on. Though amazingly adaptive at the time, the body can continue to hold on to and live based on these defenses. Our therapists can help you make sense of your reactions, regulate, release trauma, and create new healthy experiences. For more insight on trauma, read the blog, Releasing Trauma.



Everyone needs help sometimes. Each individual's journey is unique, and therapy can be a valuable resource for anyone seeking support and growth in their lives. Whether you're dealing with one of the challenges mentioned here or facing a different issue, Therapy Alberta is here to provide compassionate and effective therapy services. We believe that everyone deserves to live a fulfilling and meaningful life, and we're committed to supporting you on your path to healing and personal well-being. Reach out today to find a therapist who can be a trusted companion on your journey toward greater emotional, mental, and relational health.


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