Everyone experiences stress and feels overwhelmed at times in their life. Often these struggles are temporary and we’re able to move forward without any significant impact on our psychological health or wellbeing.

Other times, however, we experience challenges that are difficult to overcome alone. At those times it can be helpful to seek help from a psychologist to gain a different perspective on your challenges and how to overcome them.

When to see a psychologist

You’re not feeling better

If you’ve been feeling stressed or anxious for a few weeks or more and sense you’re not ‘getting better’ it can be a sign your normal coping strategies aren’t working and there may be something else that needs attention. If you’ve tried things like exercise, speaking with a friend and meditation and nothing seems to work, it may be time to get additional help.

Psychologists can help you build a deeper understanding of current challenges and get to the bottom of the issues you face. They also research and explore many different ways to cope with difficult situations and can help guide you to explore alternative approaches and coping strategies to move forward. As you work with a psychologist, you’ll explore ways to build on your strengths to create meaningful and desired change.

You feel constantly stressed

A small amount of stress is a healthy and normal part of daily life. But when your stress is ongoing, isn’t due to a noticeable situation, or causes you to avoid situations you’d normally be comfortable in, this could be a sign that something else is going on.

Having a space to talk through your concerns and express how you feel without judgement can help alleviate stress. A psychologist can help you safely explore what’s going on in your life and identify the underlying causes of your stress.

You’re experiencing grief or loss

Losing someone you’re close to or experiencing a significant life change can cause anxiousness and deep sadness. While this is normal, having someone who is separate from your life to work through your feelings privately and without judgement can make moving through this period easier.

You want to gain clarity

You may have noticed that you keep repeating certain patterns that are getting in the way of achieving the things you want; or you can’t quite make sense of some of your interactions with others, and feel like a piece of the puzzle is missing.

Psychologists can help you explore patterns of behaviour and gain understanding, clarity and insight. They can support you to integrate new understanding and skills and help you move forward with greater ease.

Things are changing in your life

Whether you choose to change things in your life, or things happen outside of your control, change can be both exciting and daunting. You may be adjusting to a new job, changing careers, getting married, becoming a parent, relocating, or becoming more involved in your parents’ care.

Psychologists can help you to make positive changes and move more confidently through upheaval and new stages of life.

How a psychologist can help

Anyone can seek help from a psychologist and you don’t need a referral or to have a diagnosed mental health condition. However, there are rebates available if you’ve been referred via a GP.

Through the process of therapy you can develop your emotional and practical coping strategies, deepen your psychological and emotional wellbeing and gain confidence to make life enhancing changes.

Catherine Dove is a South Yarra psychologist. If you would like to chat about how seeing a psychologist can help you move forward, call 0415 990 175 to book an appointment.