How do you know if you need therapy?
When people learn I’m a therapist, they will often share a detail or two about their personal life. Maybe they have a child who is a “perfectionist” and this is creating a lot of undue stress for them. Or they are an “overthinker,” often replaying conversations they’ve had late into the night instead of sleeping. Sometimes the conversation will be about an upcoming divorce or a relative’s illness. Typically at this point, the question posed to me is: “Do you think therapy would help me or my child?”
My answer is this: If a situation or mental state is interfering with your personal life or creating a roadblock to your goals, talking with an effective therapist is very helpful. Don’t wait until the ship is sunk. Plug the holes now so that you can keep on sailing.
Therapy is a positive way to deal with trauma, pain, or any issue in life so that you can become a healthier, happier, more peaceful person. Research shows that early intervention not only increases recovery rates but also builds resilience and provides coping strategies to handle future stressors as well.
Common Benefits Of Mental Health Support
- Increased Self-Awareness: We often miss our blindspots when we are only talking to ourselves. A good therapist can help you recognize negative core beliefs and address inaccurate thinking loops that are getting you stuck.
- Improved Communication skills: Do you tend to shy away from conflict, like a turtle retreating into its shell? Do you lash out and attack when sensing danger, like a tiger backed into a corner? Therapy can help you develop healthy communication strategies so that you can hold boundaries while also feeling confident in your interactions with others.
- An unbiased, nonjudgmental sounding board for working through mental roadblocks: People are often hesitant to share personal struggles with close friends or family in part because they don’t want them to be influenced by what is shared. They may feel the loved one is “biased,” or they don’t want to “burden” them with their problems (whether the loved one feels this to be true can be debated). Having therapeutic support to get through tough periods can be a game-changer.
- Shift negative thinking: What we think, we manifest. If you are consumed by negative emotions and self-judgments that are interfering in your life, therapy can help. Therapy can help you identify and challenge unhelpful thinking patterns.
- Treat Mental Health Conditions: Therapy is an effective tool for treating mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), among others. Putting your mental health first and getting the help you need is a sign of strength and something to be proud of.
- Addressing Past Trauma: Trauma plants seeds in our lives. These seeds can grow and fester over time. There are specific interventions, such as eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) or trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) that help to identify these outgrowths and uproot them so that these past experiences don’t contribute to current or future struggles.
- Building Coping Skills: There are lots of ways to cope with uncomfortable or distressing feelings. Some ways are more productive and healthy than others. Having a plan of action is key if you want to face your struggles head-on in an effective way. Therapy can help you do just that.
One final note: It’s never too late to get support. If you are wondering if therapy would be helpful, this is a sign that the time to reach out for yourself or a loved one is now. Therapists, like those of us at Elevate Counseling, are ready and available to help you shift your thinking and find more enjoyment in life.