Am I too old for ther­apy?

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Living - - MARY O’CONOR -

Mary, could I ask at what age do you con­sider ther­apy to be help­ful, es­pe­cially when it is sought for the first time?

I am the child of a sin­gle mother, born in the 1950s, kept but never wanted. I was passed from one rel­a­tive to an­other — in fact any­one who would have me or take me. My mother went on to marry and have other chil­dren but I was never ac­knowl­edged within the fam­ily.

Now in my lat­ter years I re­alise just how much I have been af­fected through­out my life — even up to the present day. A friend has sug­gested I go into ther­apy but I ques­tion what help it can be at this late stage in my life.

I would be in­ter­ested to hear your opin­ion in your col­umn on this mat­ter.

Also, how does one go about find­ing a good ther­a­pist as there are so many frauds out there to­day.

AYOUR let­ter is at the other end of the spec­trum from the first let­ter I have an­swered to­day. The pre­vi­ous cor­re­spon­dent wanted to have chil­dren badly and as a re­sult has three much-loved chil­dren, whereas you have al­ways been made to feel un­wanted and un­ac­knowl­edged. This is in­cred­i­bly sad and has af­fected you greatly.

Ther­apy can be un­der­taken, with great suc­cess, at any age. You need to work through all the hurt you have ex­pe­ri­enced up un­til now in the safety and se­cu­rity of a coun­selling room. You have al­ready spo­ken about it to your friend, which I’m sure helped you, but now you need pro­fes­sional guid­ance to come to terms with how you were treated. It is im­per­a­tive that you seek out a fully qual­i­fied ther­a­pist, and the safest way to do that is to con­tact the Ir­ish As­so­ci­a­tion for Coun­selling and Psy­chother­apy (www.iacp.ie) to find some­body in your area who can be of help to you. I’m sure you will ul­ti­mately be very glad that you took the coun­selling route.

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