WHY YOU SHOULD SEE A THERAPIST
Right now, in the history of the world, mental health issues have become more prevalent than ever before. There are a good number of statistics about this issue, one from the National Alliance on Mental Health show that 1 out of every 5 American adults lives with a mental health condition and 1 in 25 adults are seriously mentally ill. This is only in America, when we broaden the research to cover the world; these numbers increase tremendously.
Statistics aside, as citizens of the world; we have all tasted the challenges that come with either mental or emotional strain or both at one point in our lives. Emotional or mental strain does not mean that one is mentally ill but it can be the opening to something bigger if not properly taken care of.
Psychotherapy, therapy or counselling has a number of benefits that one cannot gain solely by talking to a friend or family member. And this is because friends or family do not have the expertise that will help you navigate your emotions as you convey them or the expertise to bring to your awareness destructive behavioural patterns that may be costing you your mental stability.
Granted, some people have had terrible experiences with past therapists but this does not mean that one should write off all therapists; it only means that the process of hiring a therapist should be paid much attention. NOT ALL THERAPISTS ARE GOOD AND NOT ALL GOOD THERAPISTS ARE GOOD FOR YOU.
When to see a therapist
The American Psychological Association suggests that we should consider therapy when we are going through something that is causing us distress and interferes with some part or all of our life, particularly when:
- An issue is taking up all or most of your thoughts
- An issue has made you want to isolate from the world
- An issue has affected every part of your life negatively
- An issue has decreased your quality of living
To put it simply, if something has caused you to feel constant emotions of despair, anxiety, sadness, paranoia or fear; it is encouraged that you see a therapist.
If you experience any of the following emotions or feelings to the extent that they interfere with your life, therapy may help you reduce their effects. It’s important to consider getting help if you feel controlled by your symptoms (you cannot control your thoughts and emotions and they are making you do things that you don’t want to do) or if they could cause harm to yourself or others.
Life events that could warrant you to see a therapist
Change is good, they say but there are some changes that are not good nor the kind of change that we want and they come so suddenly that it could be traumitizing. Navigating a “negative” life change alone can be overwhelming especially when no one is there for you. This is also a time that therapy will benefit you greatly. It will help you face all your fears and insecurities about the transition you are going through in a safe space. Events like:
- Physical accident that led to becoming differently abled
- Terminal illness of self or a loved one
- Dealing with the death of a loved one
- Dealing with a break-up or a divorce
- Bankruptcy or Loss of job and career
- Betrayal from a spouse or loved one
- Rape and other sexual abuse
The benefits of therapy
Most people are who they are because of the way that they were raised. Our behavioural patterns were developed and shaped by the influence of our parents or lack of one. A woman who is emotionally distant from her children may be that way because her parents rebuked her everytime she showed them affection; but she may never know that if she doesn’t see a therapist to point out the root of her distant behaviour towards her kids.
Therapy will teach you more about yourself
You’ll learn more about yourself in therapy. A Therapist listens to your stories and helps you connect and make sense of them. They will help you see why you made a decision that was not good for you and how not to repeat past mistakes. They will guide you but will not tell you what to do. If your therapists is telling you what to do… Run!
Therapy will empower you to take charge of your life
With therapy, you will learn to make better decisions on your own and by this you will become confident in yourself. You will start learning to trust yourself more, thus building assertiveness. With this, you will learn to achieve your goals.
Therapy will help you with your relationships
One of the most prevalent things that cause break downs in relationships is communication, not just communication but productive communication. Whether you are single or in a relationship, therapy will teach you the best ways to communicate your concerns to your partner or loved ones. You can convey a criticism to your partner in a loving way and it won’t be an issue; convey the same criticism in a treacherous manner and you are single.
Therapy can help you develop more fulfilling relationships.
Therapy will help your mental and emotional health
This is self explanatory. Therapy will teach you how to care for your mental health and when you feel overwhelmed or unable to handle something; your therapist will be there to help you navigate it. Therapy can lead to a better quality of life in general.
Therapy is not a quick fix. It is a process, part of what will add to the work you are already doing to improve yourself mentally or emotionally. Whether that is medication, taking good care of yourself or living mindfully to avoid triggers and avoiding negative habits. Therapy is support. Discreet support because you wouldn’t have to worry about your therapist telling your issues to your family and friends. Frankly speaking, there is no quick fix when it comes to the mind and emotions. It is a life journey.
Start your search for a good therapist today!