Many people contemplate seeing a therapist for weeks, months or even years before they actually decide to contact someone or eventually talk themselves out of it. In some cases, there is a stigma associated with seeing a therapist which categorizes one as weak, ill, or unstable. I have heard people rationalize that they don’t need therapy because “they have a good support system,” or “they find therapy through other means.” I applaud people who have these things and are insightful enough to seek support from friends and family and manage their emotions effectively. Some people can manage life and it’s challenges effectively without therapy. But some people need outside help and aren’t afraid or ashamed to see a therapist. I will candidly say that, “I don’t think that therapy is for everyone.” With that said, here are some reasons for and benefits of seeing a therapist:
- You don’t have a support system or someone to talk to that will actually listen.
- You have one or more things about your life or your behavior that you want to change, but haven’t.
- You are unhappy in your relationship(s).
- You have guilt, shame, or emotional wounds from the past.
- You have a hard time getting along with others.
- You are moody, but are unsure why.
- You have a hard time managing stress and/or your emotions.
- People have difficulty understanding you and/or you have difficulty relaying thoughts/feelings.
- You know your life could be better, but aren’t sure where to start.
- You can work out problems with an unbiased party.
- You can vent without damaging relationships with friends/family.
- Gain new and/or better understanding of your individual/family/relational patterns.
- Gain insightful information, education on specific topics, and referrals to other resources.
- Therapy is a safe place that is always private and confidential.
When you make that first contact to initiate therapy, be sure to ask questions to allow yourself to be as informed as possible. Most therapists are glad to answer general questions. You also want to take the time to find a therapist that you feel adequately matched with and a good therapist will want to ensure this as well, even if that means referring you to someone else.