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Reasons to See a Therapist
Do I need therapy? Signs the answer is YES
Of course, we know that therapy can be effective for people who have anxiety, depression, addiction, or another diagnosed mental health issue. But what if you don’t fall into one of those categories? Most people believe that seeking therapy and mental health services should only be reserved for extreme cases. That we can “just get over” everything else, or forget about or not deal with it altogether. However, there are so many things that a therapist or other mental health professional can help you with. Here’s a list of good reasons to see a therapist—because there is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking help.
- You’re going through a life change.
Life changes can be anything from starting a new job, moving to another city, starting a family, or your kids going off to college. Adjusting to these new changes can be better managed with the help of a therapist.
- You want to improve your relationship.
Relationships. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them. No matter what kind, they are hard work. Whether it’s with a partner or family member or coworker, seeing a therapist can help you work through relationship issues. And you don’t necessarily have to be in a troubled relationship. For couples, a therapist can also help improve communication skills and revive a marriage that has lost its spark.
- An event in your past still affects you today.
If you have never worked through a traumatic event in your past, it’s never too late. Past trauma can weigh you down and make you feel that it always has to be that way. A therapist can help you address the trauma of the past and focus on your future.
- You want help achieving your goals.
If you want help to achieve a particular goal, such as losing weight or preparing for a career change, a therapist can help you develop the skills you need to achieve it. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, a therapist can analyze your relationship with food and help you gain a healthy perspective of food and exercise.
- You want to be a better parent.
Raising kids is hard work. Maybe there are some parenting techniques you adopted from your own childhood that are not the healthiest or most effective, or just not how you want to raise your own children. Therapy can help you develop techniques that will work for you and your children.
- Your child’s behavior is difficult to manage.
Is your child having trouble in school? Being hyperactive? Not paying attention, acting out or has difficulty following directions? A therapist can provide an outside perspective of your child’s behavior, decipher their issues and provide a diagnosis, if appropriate. In addition to helping your child work through their difficulties, a therapist can also work with you and other family members to help you manage any stress or effects your child’s behavior may be having on the entire family.
- Your level of stress feels too unmanageable.
If you feel buried in stress to the point where you feel out of control, a therapist can give you the tools to manage stress, examine with you the things in your life that are causing this stress, and give you the skills to feel in control again. A therapist can also provide you relaxation techniques to help relax.
- You relieve stress or avoid problems with a substance.
If your coping mechanism is with a substance, alcohol or drugs, a therapist can give you the support to quit your addiction. Substance abuse is challenging to beat alone. A therapist can provide alternatives to cope with problems and stressors in your life.
- You just feel angry and mad.
Maybe you just feel angry, but you don’t know why. Maybe you feel angry and know the reason, but feel that you can’t do anything about it. A therapist can help you get in control of your anger and not let it control your life.
- You’re experiencing extreme sadness or unexpected mood swings.
Sadness is normal and can last for a few hours to a few days. But if your sadness lasts much longer or you’re noticing you’ve taken on a more negative mood or thought process–and it’s persistent–it might be worth talking to someone. Many people wait a too long, hoping that their mood will shift – and for many it will – but others get into a dark place before they reach out, which can lead to a full-blown depression that feels impossible to get out of. Talking to a therapist is a great place to start. And of course if you, or someone you know, are having thoughts of suicide, seek help right away through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or the Crisis Text Line.
- You need help recovering from a loss.
Grief counseling isn’t just for the loss of a loved one. It can also be used to help dealing with the loss of anything, for example a marriage or job. Grief can trigger intense feelings of sadness to anger. A therapist can help you manage these feelings and work through the loss.
- You just feel like you need to talk to someone.
The bottom line: there is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking professional help for any health issue, whether physical or mental health. If you have a feeling that you might need to speak with someone, do it. Therapy is a perfectly normal—and very valuable—experience that has many, many benefits.
As you can see, a therapist can help you through the many ups and downs of everyday life. If you are having difficulty with something in your life not addressed here, we encourage you to see help from a therapist or other mental health professional. We have been trained to assess and treat numerous conditions from minor to severe and will be able to help you. Regardless of the intensity, severity, and frequency of your problem or concern, no issue is too small or too big to benefit from therapy.
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