When life pulls the rug out from under us, therapy can help.
1. Change happens; therapy provides a companion for the journey.
Sometimes things happen that we’re not comfortable discussing with our friends or family. A therapist is an impartial listener that provides a safe sounding board, someone to look at the pros and cons of possible choices. Most of the time, we need to talk to someone to help us get some perspective on life events.
2. Therapy improves your mental health.
For many people, anxiety and/or depression is a recurrent experience. Pyschotherapy has been shown to be helpful in working through anxiety and depression by providing support for discussing underlying issues that may be contributing to the anxiety and depression, as well as teaching skills to help lessen the side effects.
3. Therapy improves your ability to regain balance faster after a life-altering event that causes grief and loss.
Grief and loss are parts of life, whether it’s the loss of a job, pet, relationship, or physical ability. Therapy is a way to work through the grief process with support.
4. A therapist is an impartial person to talk to about negative emotions/thoughts/etc. that surround caregiving, such as with a new infant, elderly parent, or spouse.
Taking care of a loved one can be difficult, especially over a long period of time. As caregivers, we are human and can sometimes experience feelings of frustration and anger as we become tired and overwhelmed. Talking to a therapist about any negative thoughts or feelings can provide a place to release and normalize these feelings and help you to be able to return to your caregiving role.
5. Therapists can provide perspective, normalizing events in our lives.
Most people, at some point in their lives, wonder if the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors they are experiencing are normal. Because of the wide variety of people and situations that therapists have encountered, they can provide a sense of perspective about your experience. If there is some concern about what is happening, a therapist can support you as you move in the right direction.
6. Therapy provides an opportunity to heal from past trauma.
Everyone has “baggage”: past events in their lives that affect how they cope in the present. We often think of trauma as big things—a sudden death of a loved one, a car accident, an assault—but trauma is extremely personal and could be something that may appear to be small to some people, while it can be a stumbling block for others. A therapist can help you to cope with and/or move beyond your trauma so you can see positive changes in your life.
7. Therapy is your first recourse when a key person in your life is concerned about you and suggests that you “talk to someone.”
It is sometimes the people that are closest to us that can see when we need help. Often, we become so used to our negative coping strategies that we don’t notice them anymore. If a key person in your life is telling you of their concerns, please listen and think about what they are saying. Getting help may make all the difference to taking control of your life.
8. Therapy can help when you are suffering from body symptoms that are not helped with physical treatments, such as stomach aches, headaches, and muscle tension.
Our bodies are amazing things. Sometimes they tell us what our minds are choosing to ignore. The body holds on to negative emotions and past trauma, and when physical treatments are not working, it may be time to look elsewhere.
9. Therapy can help when you are self-soothing using inappropriate methods, such as drugs, alcohol, and over-spending.
Most of us will resort to “comfort” food after a bad day at work or an argument with a friend. However, when we are doing this daily, or if our self-soothing behavior has moved on to activities that hurt rather than help, it’s time to get help.
10. Therapy can help when an important relationship is going through a rough patch, or falling apart.
Relationships are tricky things. They require work, and sometimes they get off-track. Seeing a therapist can provide tools and a forum to help get a relationship past the rough patch, as well as provide support if a relationship is ending.
While these are just ten reasons to see a therapist, there are as many reasons as there are individuals, couples, and families. Everyone who comes to counselling does so with their own story and situation. If you see yourself in any of these reasons, seeing a therapist may be the next step.