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31 August 2023

As Simon Cowell shares positive therapy experience, how can it help even if you aren’t in crisis?

31 August 2023

X Factor boss Simon Cowell, 63, has shared that having discovered therapy in the past year, he feels as though “a weight has lifted off my shoulders”.

The music mogul, who is behind The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, said he wished he had seen a therapist “10 or 20 years ago” in a recent interview with the Daily Mirror.

He also shared that the deaths of his parents and the coronavirus pandemic had affected his mental health.

Seeking therapy has been transformative for Cowell and it could do the same for you, whether you are in crisis, or just want to learn more about yourself.

Cowell has said engaging in therapy had a “super positive effect” on his life and encouraged others to do the same, so here’s what you should know.

There are different types of therapy

Contrary to what many people may believe, counselling, where you sit and talk through events and reflect, is not the only form of therapy.

“There are a whole host of different types of therapies available, from counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, interpersonal therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy to eye movement desensitization and reprocessing,” explains psychologist and author of The Self-Care Revolution, Suzy Reading.Each one can have a different role in helping you get to know yourself better, handling trauma, feeling more grounded and coping more day-to-day.

Therapy isn’t just for rock bottom

Therapy doesn’t have to be a last resort.

“When it comes to therapy, there are no hard and fast rules,” says Liz Ritchie, a St Andrew’s Healthcare psychotherapist.

“Many people associate seeking help with crisis, but there is no reason why you cannot maintain regular sessions with your therapist. There is now a wealth of evidence that supports that therapy can also be a preventative form of mental healthcare, a little bit like going to a dentist or a doctor.

“Life is busy and stressful, which means we don’t often have time to process cross words with a loved one, work altercations or issues with friends and family members.”

You’ll understand yourself better

You may think you understand yourself totally, but there are always new parts of ourselves to get to know.

“Therapy helps us better understand ourselves, our relationships and the world, connecting us with how we feel, and why we might feel as we do. It is a journey of self-discovery, helping us appreciate our strengths and identify our values,” says Reading.

It could give you an emotional toolkitIt can be helpful to have “an impartial sounding board to speak openly and honestly and the opportunity to be heard, validated and understood”, says Reading.

“Therapy helps us challenge unhelpful thoughts, dispute self-limiting beliefs and can help us create new habits. Therapy is also about developing healthy ways to move through our emotions, creating a fresh toolkit of coping strategies and can be very practical in nature by helping us address specific challenges or goals.”

But… it isn’t easy

Unfortunately getting therapy is not always easy. If you do not have the financial freedom to be able to pay for a private therapist, you may be faced with long waiting lists and restrictive services. However, NHS therapy is an option and can be really helpful, so be sure to look into the options you can afford near you.

Reading recommends checking out BPS and HCPC to find a qualified therapist. NHS resources can be accessed here.

If you are seriously struggling with your mental health, and are at risk, please call 999 or the Samaritans on 116 123.

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