If you’re thinking of seeing a psychotherapist, don’t wait until you’ve hit rock bottom, says Kimberly Moffit, BA ’06, a Toronto-based psychotherapist and life coach. Even if you don’t have any concerns right now, a mental health expert can give you the tools you need so that when a crisis strikes, you know how to deal with it.
“My best advice is that it’s never too late,” she says. “If you notice that you’re having a hard time coping with your daily life, that’s definitely the point when you should reach out and seek some help because a therapist will know exactly how to get you through that time in the most effective way.”
A classically-trained pianist and singer, Moffit showcased her musical talents while at U of G as part of the pop music girl group Untamed. “I spent the first two years of my studies at Guelph touring North America,” she says. As an undergrad in music and psychology, she became interested in how music affects the brain and human emotion.
After graduating from Guelph, she enrolled in the master of music therapy program at Wilfrid Laurier University. She interned at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, where she helped patients deal with addiction, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and schizophrenia.
“That was where I knew I had to be working with people one-on-one,” says Moffit. “It just felt so inspiring and amazing to know the power of the human mind and what people can accomplish. When they’re in the right frame of mind and they have the right help and the right amount of determination, the mind is pretty much unstoppable.” She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in psychology at Middlesex University in London.
At her Yonge and Eglinton private practice, Moffit helps people with career and relationship issues as well as mental health concerns. But she says you don’t need to have a problem to speak with a psychotherapist. “Young people are actually coming to see me without even having a reason, and that’s the best time to see a psychotherapist.”
Speaking with a trusted friend can help you feel better, she adds, but mental health professionals can give you advice based on years of experience and hundreds of clients they have worked with in the past. “It’s someone who has the professional tools to help you get where you want to be in the most timely and effective manner.”
Does she ever get tired of listening to other people’s problems? “Absolutely not,” she replies, adding that she feels inspired when she can help people improve their lives. Much like a car, mental health needs regular maintenance. Feeling stuck in a rut? A psychotherapist can help you figure out what’s holding you back and point you in the right direction, says Moffit.
Her holistic approach to mental health includes acupuncture, massage therapy and naturopathic medicine along with counselling and therapy. Emphasizing the mind-body connection, Moffit says: “If you’re taking care of your body, you’re also taking care of your mind. If you exercise regularly, you’re less vulnerable to depression or anxiety. If you eat better, if you sleep more hours during the night, you’re less vulnerable to all kinds of mental illness.”
Moffit recently became the national spokesperson for the online dating service Match.com and has appeared in such magazines as Elle Canada, Fashion and Flare. In 2011, she made more than 50 television appearances on CBC-TV, Citytv, Global, Slice and Cosmopolitan TV. For more information, visit www.kimberlymoffit.com.