There are many reasons why people seek out therapy — grief, anxiety, depression, trauma, addiction and relationships are among a few. Some problems in your life may feel tolerable whereas others feel overwhelming and unmanageable. Regardless of the intensity, severity and frequency of your problem, no issue is too small or too big to benefit from therapy.
Here are 5 reasons why you should consider speaking with a therapist:
Reason #1: Friends and Family Can’t Be Your Only Outlet
Friends and family can be great sources of support. However, in some cases they can be quick to give advice and often dive right into “fix it mode.” You’ll often hear statements, “Well, that happened to me and I did X, Y and Z. You really should try that, it worked for me.” When this happens, the focus of the conversation is shifted away from you and your unique experience. Their advice is from their worldview which may not resonate with you or to your specific situation. When you disclose problems to friends and family a variety of negative reactions could surface, such as “the “I told you so” response if you don’t follow their advice, or simply feeling misunderstood after sharing.
Additionally, disclosing vulnerable information can often result in feeling judged by the listening party. Avoid putting yourself in a position where you’re judged for something you’re going through. People tend to remember the one negative thing you share in contrast to the ten positive things. You never know when someone may surface information from the past that you’ve longed moved on from.
Reason #2: Self Care
Just as you take cake of your physical health, it’s equally important to take care of your mental health. Prioritizing mental health promotes healthy self-care practices. Everyone needs an outlet, ideally a mental health professional, with whom they can unload all of the “heavy stuff.” Talking about your problems without censoring any of the sensitive details can be liberating and cathartic.
Reason #3: Realize Alternative Perspectives
When you experience difficult situations in your life, it’s often hard to see alternative solutions. Therapy can widen your perspective and provide distance between you and your problem, helping to approach and eventually overcome the stressor impacting your wellbeing.
Reason #4: Finding Meaning
It’s natural to want to understand the meaning of why difficult things happen to you. Understanding the purpose of the hardship manifests through thoughts of, “why is this happening to me?” When you can contribute a sense of meaning to a difficult situation, the power of the problem is often diminished. Therapy is a process that can help you discover the lesson or silver lining the problem has presented to you.
Reason #5: Discover New Coping Strategies
Therapy can help you discover new coping strategies to manage current and future problems. Coping strategies are the intentional efforts you make to manage and minimize stress. A plethora of coping strategies exist to manage a myriad of problems. Some coping strategies will resonate more with you than others. Learning and implementing new coping strategies gives you confidence to believe you are in control of managing your problems.
Regardless of the problem, stressor or hardship you may be experiencing, everyone can benefit from seeing a therapist. Therapy can help you overcome current stressors and arm you with the skills to effectively manage in the future.