Why It's Okay To Go To Therapy: Taking Care Of Your Mental Health

Medically reviewed by Andrea Brant, LMHC
Updated May 15, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team
Please be advised, the below article might mention trauma-related topics that include suicide, substance use, or abuse which could be triggering to the reader.
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Many people in the U.S. experience mental health challenges. For example, around 17 million U.S. residents live with depression. If mental health problems aren't addressed, they can lead to serious consequences. Still, many people might not go to therapy for various reasons, such as stigma or lack of awareness. 

However, therapy can be beneficial for people with all types of mental health challenges. Therapy sessions can provide a judgment-free space where individuals may learn valuable skills and gain emotional self-awareness. Read on to learn how to identify when therapy might be a beneficial step towards improved mental well-being and overall quality of life.

Wondering if therapy is right for you?

12 reasons you may want to go to therapy

1. Living with anxiety or panic attacks

Therapy may help individuals manage anxiety and reduce the frequency and intensity of panic attacks by teaching relaxation techniques and other skills. A therapist might help clients understand the potential causes of their anxiety disorder and teach important skills, such as deep breathing exercises, mindfulness techniques, and cognitive-behavioral strategies. 

2. Experiencing symptoms of depression

Depression can sometimes affect a person's ability to handle daily activities. Therapy may help people figure out and manage their depression, which can lead to feeling better emotionally. By working with a therapist, individuals might learn new ways to think and approach situations, making it easier to manage their depression and live happier, more fulfilling lives.

3. Facing relationship conflicts or breakups

Therapy often offers a safe and supportive environment for individuals or couples to work through relationship challenges and improve communication skills. This may include learning to listen more effectively, expressing emotions in healthy ways, and finding solutions to problems that might be causing tension. For example, a couple experiencing trust issues may learn to rebuild trust through open communication and a deeper understanding of each other's feelings.

4. Living with grief and loss

Experiencing loss can be extremely challenging, and therapists can help provide support and guidance to individuals navigating the grieving process. This can involve exploring the various stages of grief (which are not always experienced in a linear fashion), finding ways to honor the memory of a lost loved one, and learning to manage the intense emotions that often come with loss. 

5. Managing high stress levels

Therapy may assist in identifying the sources of intense stress, teaching stress management strategies, and encouraging healthier lifestyles. By learning techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or time management, individuals can better handle stress and prevent it from negatively affecting their lives. For instance, a student experiencing academic stress may learn relaxation techniques to use before exams and better time management skills to balance their workload.


6. Battling low self-esteem or confidence challenges

Therapists often help clients boost their self-esteem and confidence by addressing negative self-talk and promoting personal growth. This might involve setting realistic goals, celebrating achievements, and learning to accept compliments from others.

7. Going through life transitions and changes

Therapy can be valuable during periods of significant change, such as job loss or divorce. Many people experiencing transitions need help with support and information about effective management strategies. For instance, someone who lost their job might work with a therapist to develop a plan for finding a new job while managing underlying feelings of uncertainty and stress.

8. Living with trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder

Therapists trained in trauma-focused approaches may help clients process traumatic experiences and develop resilience. They may use techniques like cognitive processing therapy or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) to help individuals confront and heal from their trauma.

9. Experiencing addiction or substance use disorder

Therapy frequently plays a crucial role in addiction recovery, as it can help address the underlying causes of an individual's substance use disorder and support lasting change. This may involve exploring the reasons behind addiction, learning healthier ways to handle stress, and building a reliable support system.

10. Living with eating disorders or body image challenges

Eating disorder specialists can often help clients develop healthier relationships with food and their bodies. This can involve setting realistic goals for healing, understanding the root causes of their disorder, and learning healthier ways to think and behave around food.

11. Addressing behavioral or emotional challenges

Therapy can often help identify behavioral patterns that cause distress and teach skills to modify thoughts and emotions for improved well-being. This can involve learning techniques like cognitive restructuring, emotional control, or mindfulness. For example, someone who needs help managing anger might work with a therapist to recognize precipitating events and develop healthier ways to express their emotions.

12. Seeking support for managing chronic illness or pain

Therapy might aid in managing the physical and emotional challenges of living with chronic illness or pain. For instance, someone with chronic pain might work with a therapist to develop a pain management plan that includes relaxation techniques, adaptive exercises, and strategies for coping with the emotional impact of their condition.

Reasons prompting someone to seek out therapy may range from concern over a possible mental health condition to a desire for assistance or perspective in solving relationship challenges, achieving work goals, or developing personal traits.

Why people might skip therapy

Therapy can help anyone, not just those who have been formally diagnosed with a mental health condition. It can be a great way to work through life's challenges and improve mental well-being; anyone looking for personal growth and management strategies might benefit from therapy.

One reason people might not seek treatment for mental health problems is the stigma that often surrounds these issues. Society may misunderstand or judge individuals with mental health conditions, which can make people feel embarrassed or ashamed. They might worry about how others will perceive them or fear that they will be labeled as weak or unstable.

Another potential barrier to treatment is a lack of awareness or understanding of mental health challenges. Some people may not even realize they are experiencing symptoms, while others might not know that effective treatments are available. This can sometimes lead to hesitation to seek help, as they may believe these challenges are just a normal part of life.

Financial constraints and difficulty obtaining to mental health care may also prevent some people from receiving therapy. Mental health services can be expensive, and not everyone has insurance that covers these costs. In some areas, there might be a shortage of mental health professionals, making it challenging for people to find needed support.

Wondering if therapy is right for you?

Online therapy as a tool

Online therapy can help provide a convenient and more flexible option for individuals seeking to address matters with their mental health. It may also help people save on expenses often associated with traditional in-person therapy: transportation, taking time off work, and childcare, to name a few.

Research shows that online therapy can be an effective alternative to in-person therapy. One study found no differences in the reduction of depression symptoms in people who received online versus in-person therapy. Many participants in both groups also experienced an increase in quality of life. 


Therapy from a licensed mental health professional can provide numerous potential benefits, such as improving one's well-being, developing healthy skills, and addressing intense emotions. Mental health conditions often impact both emotional and physical health, making it crucial to address them through appropriate therapeutic interventions. Therapy sessions often offer a judgment-free space where individuals can gain self-awareness and develop skills to manage their mental health, whether they have a diagnosed mental health condition or not. Regardless of what others may think or say, pursuing therapy can be a sign of true strength and a step toward a happier, healthier future.
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