I'm all about breaking stereotypes and reducing stigma. I've often run into many of these in my line of business. As a therapist working with some of the most vulnerable and stigmatized people in society I feel an obligation to debunk stereotypes that have held people back from seeking help and judging others. For now, I will address the stigma around therapy.

When I tell people that I'm a therapist/counsellor I usually get a couple of different reactions. One stereotype that abounds is that I deal with "crazy people" and I work like the psychotherapist in the "Sopranos". Another thing that happens is people start to tell me about "their friend" who is having problems but doesn't think it requires a therapist because their problems are that of "normal people's problems". This could not be farther from the truth. It is true that for over 8 years I worked with people who had a psychiatric diagnosis, but this was within a mental health agency. Throughout the last 13 years or so I worked on and off with everyday people who were having some issues with everyday life, and the stress that accompanies it.

The truth is that we should view therapy/counselling as you would any other professional you would consult when you need guidance or help with something, in this case something that is troubling you mentally. You would go to a mechanic if your car is broken down, and you go to see a doctor if you don't feel well, you probably don't cut your own hair either. Well a counsellor/therapist is a professional that helps you sort through life's issues when you are having difficulty doing so for yourself, or if you know something in your life needs to change but you can't put your finger on it or you don't know how to go through the change yourself.

Stress for example is the basis for many psychological and physical ailments. If you seek out help when some aspect of your life is not working as you would like and you are feeling stress over a matter of time, then you should seek help before things escalate out of control. Being in good mental health is extremely important because without it the rest of your life will be affected.

Author's Bio: 

Cheryl has been a certified clinical counsellor for over 12 years. Her experience and education are in the areas of counselling, developmental disabilities, mental health and addictions. Cheryl also holds a specialized forensic certification in the areas of high risk sexual behaviours and anger management. In addition, Cheryl also has many years of experience and training as a Spiritual Coach, studying spiritual philosophies under the guidance of Buddhist Monks.

Cheryl uses a diverse repertoire of skills that enable her to guide individuals so that they can foster healthy, positive and sustainable change in their lives and foster the ideal vision of their existence.

Cheryl adds a component of spirituality to her practice in respect to positive and negative energy flow and how our thoughts, emotions, and actions relate to whether we manifest positive or negative influences in our lives. Using her spiritual philosophy for many years with successful results, Cheryl now incorporates this as well as other diverse spiritual aspects in her counselling to help people manifest their ideal lives.

Cheryl has also practices in the area of women's issues and what we can expect in our developing lifespan. Her outcomes have produced positive results, as well as sustainable change.

With two years of nursing, behaviour modification, augmentative communication (the study of non-verbal communication), and three years of pharmacology education, Cheryl is proficient in related areas of overall health and wellbeing.

As well as counselling and coaching, Cheryl also conducts workshops and seminars pertaining to elements of behavioural change as well as motivational speaking.

You can contact Cheryl at www.integritycounsellingservices.com or 416-919-9831