Wondering, "Is Therapy Right For Me?" Here's How To Know If It Is
Sometimes, life can bring you down. Maybe you're trying to navigate a romantic relationship, struggling with the changes of moving to a new city, or you don't know how to cope productively with a death in the family. Perhaps you're tired of trying to manage anxiety or depression on your own and have been turning to unhelpful vices to ease your painful feelings. Whatever you're facing, therapy could be a beneficial resource in your quest for healing.
“Is Therapy Right For Me?"
You may be wondering if you should take the leap and see a therapist. There are many reasons you might choose to seek therapy, none of which are invalid. Contrary to certain stigmas, going to a therapist doesn’t make you weak; rather, it makes you brave for asking for help and shows your humanness.
Everyone faces challenges in life, and sometimes these obstacles can be difficult to recover from. If you feel unable to reestablish a healthy mindset on your own after experiencing a setback, confiding in a therapist may give you the extra encouragement and support you need to move forward.
Whether you choose to see a therapist in person or online, having an unbiased, trained professional in your corner can prove highly beneficial for your situation. In addition to your loved ones, who genuinely care about you and your mental health, a therapist can help you sort through your feelings during sessions and teach you coping skills to manage life’s challenges. However, you may not know if therapy is right for your situation until you give it a chance. If you’ve never been to therapy before, the process can be intimidating. It can be helpful to remember that you can switch providers if needed and stop therapy at any time. Therapy is all about you and your needs, and you get the final word in your care.
Why Seek Therapy?
If you're living with a mental health disorder such as anxiety or depression, need help controlling your anger, or experiencing issues you can’t solve alone, you may want to seek treatment in the form of therapy. Many people find that therapy sessions help relieve stress or teach them how to cope with everyday challenges that may agitate their physical body in the form of digestive issues or chronic headaches. Stress and anxiety can cause these symptoms, and therapy can be a powerful resource to help you figure out what's bothering you. Below are some common concerns that might lead you to pursue therapy.
Depression can take a toll on your mental and physical health. You may have trouble getting out of bed in the morning and feel unmotivated throughout the day. This can make it difficult to function in spaces like work, school, or even at home. No matter how hard you try, you might not be able to shake the negative thoughts and feelings you’re experiencing. In some cases, you may even have thoughts of suicide. All of these may be signs that you could benefit from seeing a therapist. A therapist can help you develop a treatment plan, learn new coping techniques, and find your motivation again.
If you or a loved one are experiencing suicidal thoughts, reach out for help immediately. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255 and is available 24/7 or go to the nearest emergency room for help.
Another reason you might choose to go to therapy is for your anxiety, a feeling characterized by excessive worry and fear. Anxiety can cause your quality of life to decline and make it difficult to attend to your daily responsibilities. You might struggle to turn your brain off and find that you're constantly overthinking and running through different scenarios. Even if you don't have a diagnosed anxiety disorder such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), panic disorder, or OCD, a therapist may still be able to help you work through your symptoms and give you the tools you need to thrive. Anxiety often accompanies other mental health issues, and a trained professional can address each of them.
Having issues in your relationships? Therapy might be helpful. Maybe you're struggling to talk to your partner about something happening in your life or having trouble expressing yourself in the relationship. Some people find themselves in abusive relationships and don’t know what steps to take next. You may find that individual counseling provides an outlet for you to talk about your relationship, or you and your partner might pursue couples counseling together. Either way, a therapy session can be a positive source of support for relationship troubles.
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse in any form, reach out right away to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) for immediate support, advice, and assistance.
Trauma And Recovery
When you've experienced trauma such as sexual assault, bullying, a natural disaster, or anything else that deeply affected your well-being, therapy may be an ideal setting in which to address your feelings. A traumatic event can be difficult to process on your own and getting through it may require professional help. Whether you seek trauma-informed therapy, EMDR, or any other treatment that focuses on trauma and healing, you can work with a therapist to find something that works effectively for you.
Everyone has challenging moments, especially during significant life changes such as divorce, separation, moving to a new state, or experiencing the death of a loved one. During these critical times, therapy can help you adjust and learn to cope in productive ways. While it is possible to navigate life changes on your own, working with a therapist may make the process more efficient.
When You Have A Child Who's Struggling
Adolescence can be a difficult and challenging time. Having a therapist to talk to about the issues your child or teenager is facing can be freeing and help provide a sense of relief. You might have questions about your parenting style or how to help your child most effectively through their struggles. Therapists are trained to listen without judgment or bias and help you through your issues with compassion and patience. Sometimes, simply having an outlet in which to express yourself can be all that you need to feel better. There are also options for family therapy in which you can join your child in sessions and work as a team to find solutions.
Those living with substance use disorder may find that they need professional intervention to heal from their addiction. If you’re trying to stop drinking or using drugs, a therapist may be able to give you tools and techniques to accomplish this goal. Substance use disorder often coexists with other mental health challenges, like depression and anxiety. A therapist can address each of these concerns individually and help you identify the root of each one. Although substance use can seriously disturb your daily life, therapy can offer solutions.
Benefits Of Therapy
Therapy can have many potential benefits for those who choose to participate. These can vary from person to person and could include the following.
Learning Coping Techniques
You might find that life is draining you and you're struggling with interpersonal relationships or getting through the day. When that's the case, it might be time to pursue counseling. If you’re having trouble managing your emotions in friendships and romantic relationships, therapy can teach coping skills and emotional control. If you are having a difficult time getting through life on your own, consider letting a counselor offer their support.
In Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), an important skill that you may learn is interpersonal effectiveness. This means being able to express your feelings and emotions in a relationship to ensure your needs are met. Having strong, healthy relationships can increase your life satisfaction and help ensure that you have a support system to lean on when times get tough.
Many people find managing their emotions to be challenging. Therapists can teach you how to establish more control over your emotions, whether you’re experiencing anger, frustration, sadness, or any other feeling that overwhelms you. Being able to manage your nervous system and keep your emotions steady even during times of stress can be a vital skill to possess. Therapists can teach you emotional control through DBT individually or in conjunction with other types of therapy such as psychodynamic or internal family systems.
Online Counseling With BetterHelp
Regardless of what you’re facing in life, online counseling may be able to help you move past it. An online therapist can work with you to set goals, create a treatment plan, and find ways to maintain your mental health. BetterHelp is an online counseling platform that has thousands of licensed therapists who are experienced in a variety of areas. This means that you can conveniently get matched with a therapist who specializes in relationships, careers, depression, or anything else you’re needing help with. If you don’t connect with your therapist or find your experience helpful, you can switch providers until you find someone who is the right fit for your situation.
The Efficacy Of Online Counseling
Online therapy can be an affordable alternative to costly and time-consuming in-office therapy. Research shows that electronically delivered therapy is as effective as traditional face-to-face counseling, which can make it a convenient option for those who wish to start therapy. This study, conducted by Brigham Young University researchers, found that technology-based therapy provides other added benefits too, including “lower cost, no travel time, easy, no waitlists, and trackable progress.”
“Dayna is a fantastic counselor. She has really helped me to shift my perspective during a very challenging time. I used to have a lot of ideas about therapy, and video chatting with Dayna has completely changed my thoughts on the matter. She has made me feel comfortable and heard, and I appreciate her so very much! Highly recommend her to anyone, and BetterHelp as well! :)”
“Erin has been great with me; she is very flexible and understanding. Ridiculously brilliant and intuitive. I would recommend Erin to anyone because I feel like I have the best therapist around. I was new to therapy and uncomfortable at first, but she has done wonders with coaching me and making me feel at ease about the whole idea. Not only has she helped me with my own mental struggles but helped me increase stability in my marriage and home.”
Therapy can be a powerful tool when you’re trying to heal from trauma, make important life decisions, or overcome a mental health condition. It can also be helpful for maintaining positive mental health and discussing general concerns and questions you have about your day-to-day life. Traditional therapy can pose many barriers, such as lack of transportation, high costs, and long waiting lists that delay treatment. Working with someone who is remote—and therefore available anywhere, anytime—may create one less barrier to taking the first step toward a healthier life.
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