Don’t Have “Just Another Year”: Make 2014 a Year of Renewal

 In Psychotherapy, Toronto Therapist

I know that Groundhog Day and New Year’s Eve are two very different holidays, but bear with me—I would like to use Bill Murray as an example.

To some people, each new year brings another opportunity to start over or make some important life change.

For many, however, New Year’s Eve brings on a Bill Murray reminiscent of Groundhog Day experience, and they enter a new year that feels unchanged from the past, maybe identical even.  In cases like this, New Year’s Eve holds no excitement, because what’s the point of getting excited if things consistently feel so similar?

Feelings such as these are entirely understandable.  They arise from a sense that there must be something “more” to life than simply marking the years and counting down the ball drops.  If that sentiment strikes you as familiar, don’t be discouraged—there is more to life, it’s just all about looking for it in the right places.

One such place is closer than you might think—it’s inside you.  But in order to get the most out of your inner wellspring, it’s good to know that there are tools you can utilize to gain access to your strengths.  One tool that could help you turn 2014 into your year for growth and renewal is therapy.

Four Unexpected Benefits to Therapy that Can Enrich Your Life

When the uninitiated think of therapy, they think of long talks on a couch — perhaps with a therapist who nods mostly silently.  Many think of it more than anything as a means of getting something off of their chest.

While talking is an important part of the process, psychotherapy is not just simply talk.  Instead, it is a process that can revolutionize how you interact with the world, providing you with the opportunity to find more meaning to life and to better establish your place in it.  And further, if you decide you would like to work with me, we will sit across one another in chairs – not a couch – and that I will be fully engaged during our work together.

To these ends, the following are four major benefits that can come from therapy:

Increased depth.

As we interact with other people, we all-too-often find ourselves discussing the ordinary, surface aspects of life—celebrity gossip, trivial aspects of work, the weather, or whatever. We do it so often that it can become our only way of conversing and interacting.
For many people, this is not enough.  There are those who feel that there should be more to their interactions and relationships.
Therapy provides the opportunity to delve into the depths of emotion and personal experience, providing new and more profound insight into one’s existence. While this starts on a personal level, people who undergo therapy often find themselves extending this enhanced view into their relationships and everyday life, enriching and bettering each interaction and experience by providing greater depth to what once seemed mundane.

Improved listening skills.

As people go through therapy, they spend a lot of time being listened to, and they come to realize the benefits of receiving such focused attention. It is common for them to develop the habits of a good listener, and to begin extending these habits to their relationships.

This provides a number of clear benefits. Not only does it improve one’s communication skills, it allows the opportunity to learn more about other people and the world in general. Sometimes you don’t know what you’re missing until you quiet down and listen carefully.

Gain empathy.

People often begin therapy with the sole intention of understanding themselves and their own problems, only to find that they learn to better appreciate those of the people around them. Suddenly you come to view a person’s negative behaviour as something that stems from a deeper issue, thereby instilling your perception of him or her with more humanity.

Not only does a heightened sense of empathy enrich you as a person and develop your abilities to navigate relationships, it also tends to rub off on other people. Which brings us to our last point…

Self Improvement is contagious.

When people see that someone close to them is trying to grow and improve, they are often inspired to try it themselves. What a world we would live in if each of us was continually motivating and nurturing one another’s self development!

Oftentimes it takes one person to get the ball rolling before others will get in the game.


Due to its effectiveness at not only improving how you relate to yourself, but also how you relate to others and the world around you, therapy can make for an excellent first step down the path toward self discovery and fulfillment.  It could be exactly what you need to make 2014 your big year of growth and change.

Take it from Bill Murray—no one wants to relive the same day again and again, let alone the same year.  Perhaps now is the time for you to try out something new?

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