Sometimes it is difficult to understand various mental health concerns or diagnoses.
It can help to talk!
Scroll down for more information on:
✓ Autism Spectrum Disorder
✓ Depression / Anxiety / Phobias / Compulsions
✓ Trauma / PTSD
✓ Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
✓ The Risk of Under-Diagnosis
✓Men in Therapy
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Some people with ASD might be looking for ways to deal with changes and transitions, manage anxiety, cope with school or work/career counselling, develop new relationships, work on communication or social skills, deal with relationships at work or school, improve their current relationships, or develop a schedule. Some parents of kids with ASD might be obtaining or trying to obtain a new diagnosis, learning to work with the school system and access special education resources. Children, siblings, or spouses of people with ASD might be looking for ways to learn communication strategies, deepen their connection, and develop an understanding of their loved one. Speaking to someone who understands can be a great way to learn and grow.
Mental Health Concerns
You might be struggling with an issue like depression, anxiety, fears/phobias, compulsions, or a combination of concerns. Learning to use evidence-based techniques and coping skills can help you feel like you can manage your life. You might be working with a psychiatrist or family doctor but are also looking for ways to cope with your symptoms, manage the symptoms, or decrease the symptoms you are experiencing. Each situation is different depending on various factors, such as the intensity and onset of your concern. Psychotherapy can be helpful in lessening life issues and helping you manage stress in your life.
Trauma / PTSD
You might have experienced a traumatic incident in your life, recently or in the past or perhaps a set of traumatic incidences dating back to your childhood. Perhaps you are triggered in your day to day life by smells, sounds, nightmares, etc. It might be hard for you to focus in your life due to anxiety, panic attacks, or depression as a result of the trauma. Many people feel like they want to take back a sense of control in their life and learn to cope with the symptoms, decrease triggers and manage anxiety and depression. Taking back control is a large part of healing from trauma. I will listen with compassion and provide a safe space where you can be heard and understood.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Perhaps you were recently diagnosed with ADHD, suspect you have it, or have always been aware of it. Maybe you are looking for clarification, understanding and would like to learn new strategies. You might be looking for help with work, academics, organization, relationships, interpersonal skills, emotion management, or coping with sensory sensitivities. It could be helpful to have a conversation with someone who understands and can help put things into perspective and assist you with resources. You might also experience other issues that often go along with ADHD like anxiety, depression, sleep issues, stress, and various other vulnerabilities. You also might be a parent, spouse, or family member looking for support and strategies. It can be helpful to speak with someone to develop an understanding of ADHD and learn ways to be supportive.
The Risk of Under - Diagnosis
There are many people who are at risk of being under-diagnosed and women are among this group. Specifically, when it comes to ASD and ADHD, women are often under diagnosed. In my practice I often notice women being either diagnosed late or completely missed all together, by both the school systems and healthcare and mental health services. It is not until they, themselves have the self-awareness and recognition (often in post-secondary or employment settings) that they are struggling. I truly respect and honour these women (and men) who seek out services and self-advocate for a diagnosis later in life. Unfortunately, they sometimes do not see the courage it requires to take these steps, but I am in awe of them. Taking the steps it requires to take charge of one's life and own happiness is something to be respected and valued.
Men in Therapy
I work with many men in my practice. Men are believed to be far less likely to seek help than women but I believe that is changing. We socialize men to avoid their emotions and this certainly has an impact in how they understand their own, and other people's feelings. Understandably, this has a negative impact on men's relationships. The role of men in society has shifted significantly in recent years. The example their father's generation provided for them no longer fits as a framework. Men struggle to make sense of the messages they grew up with, integrate them with today's world, yet struggle to process emotions and manage relationships. If they have ASD, ADHD, or mental health issues in addition to these social factors, it can make it that much more complex. It helps to view men from a holistic lense, including all of the various factors that may influence their life.