Should I consult a therapist ?
Psychologist or Psychotherapist
By the time someone picks up the phone to call a therapist, they are usually in intense emotional distress. They are having a problem that has left them sad, mad, confused! It could be a situation with a family member, a lover, a friend, a subordinate or an authority figure.
Some suffering is, of course, inevitable, and we are often able to handle it on our own. But sometimes we get stuck, problems persist, and we get nowhere. That's a sign that that we could use a new perspective. Consulting a therapist is just another way of taking responsiblity for ourselves and making sure that we are living the lives we want to live.
Our counselling team is made up of licensed psychologists and psychotherapists (all professional permits are on site and may be consulted upon request), with a graduate degree in their field as a minimum requirement.
Since 2009, psychotherapy has been a restricted practice in Quebec. At Clinique Altermed, we conform to Bill 21, which means that our psychotherapists hold a psychotherapist's permit and belong to a government-approved professional order.
The law stipulates that we:
establish a structured interaction with clients
conduct a thorough initial assessment
base treatment on communication techniques
use recognized theories and proven methods that are respectful of our clients' dignity
It is your right to demand an accredited professional !
What happens in treatment ?
As a neutral third party – so rare elsewhere in life! – your therapist will listen empathetically (no judging, no interrupting) as you outline your troubles, before helping you to identify the factors that may be contributing to your difficulties.
They may ask you to go into great detail. You may find your story heading in unexpected directions, prompting you to re-examine forgotten aspects of your history. You will be encouraged to acknowledge and take ownership of the unique path that is your life.
In the process, you will discover vital aspects of yourself, buried deep within. Gradually, a new sense of self will emerge, at once surprising and familiar, usually accompanied by a joyful feeling of freedom.
This new perception will give your life meaning and help you face the future with confidence.
A unique interdisciplinary approach
The Clinique Altermed team consists of therapists from many disciplines, all of whom agree that the body, mind, heart and spirit are intimately connected.
We see treatment as a collaborative effort – between us with our clients, and between our clients and other therapists – and will not hesitate to call on the expertise of our colleagues in complementary fields if necessary.
The goal is to provide our clients with a level of care that could not be achieved by one therapist (or one therapy) alone.
So far, the client response to this holistic, interdisciplinary approach has been overwhelmingly positive.
Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional
Every life has low points. Sometimes it's just a matter of overwhelm and stress. Or loss. Grief. Recovering from an attack or a threat. We have to summon our best qualities: courage, insight, flexibility and resilience.
We turn to others for help: family, friends, colleagues. We choose sports and leisure activities that help us relax and maintain a healthy self-esteem.
But sometimes we inflict unnecessary suffering on ourselves, i.e., when we judge ourselves negatively, especially in the face of adversity. Negative self-talk is toxic. It unbalances us, makes us ill at ease socially, drains us of physical energy. It's a bad habit that can be hard to give up.
Think of such suffering as a call to action. Something is off-kilter and needs your attention!
And if, in spite of your best efforts, this alarm bell continues to ring, consult a professional, so that
the healing process that you began on your own can continue in a safe, structured environment.
The psychotherapist will acknowledge the efforts that you've already made and accompany you on the rest of your journey.