Seeking the help of a mental health professional can sometimes feel like a giant leap into the unknown. Even arriving at the decision to try therapy can take time.
Many people believe therapy is only for people with a diagnosable mental health condition, and this simply isn’t true.
While those dealing with mental health issues certainly benefit from therapy, there are plenty of other reasons therapy is a great idea.
Life is almost never easy, and having someone who is trained to listen closely and help you sort through the pressures and challenges that come with everyday life is a worthy investment.
But how do you know if you’re ready to work with a therapist? How do you know if you could benefit from professional help?
Here are five reasons to consider finding a therapist:
1. You’re going through a major life change, and your usual coping mechanisms aren’t working.
If there is a major source of stress in your life — the death of a parent, a job loss, a cross-country move — there might be tools you already use to help you feel better, like spending time with friends, getting exercise, or engaging in a relaxing hobby.
If these coping tools aren’t helping as well as they used to, a therapist can help you find new tools and even help your old methods work.
2. You’re using alcohol, drugs, food, etc. as a coping tool when times are tough.
Self-medicating can be tempting, but it won’t be successful.
Even if you don’t have a substance abuse problem, getting help with the underlying issues sooner than later could save you the trauma of addiction.
3. Your family, friends or colleagues have suggested you seek help.
Talking things over with the people closest to you can be a great way to relieve stress.
If you have the same go-to people in your life, they are likely to notice changes in your mood or behavior that are outside their ability to help you manage. That’s a therapist’s job!
4. There’s a major life change you want to make.
Want to quit smoking?
Want to be a better spouse or parent?
Want to take charge of your goals and aspirations?
A therapist can help with this.
5. You have googled, “Should I see a therapist?” “Is therapy right for me?” or “Do I need therapy?”
If you already sense you might need to see a therapist, you may be more in touch with your situation than you think.
Being tuned in to your needs and being willing to accept outside help can make therapy really useful and productive.
Therapy has many benefits, and seeking the help of a professional is a sign of strength.
Even if you don’t feel strong, a good therapist can help you find your way.
The earlier you get help, the faster you’ll be feeling your best.
For further exploration, take this quick quiz: Do I Need Therapy?