Do I need Therapy?
Updated: Sep 18, 2021
How do you know you need therapy? This post will help you understand when therapy can be helpful, addresses times therapy isn't the right fit, and other ways to get help.
It has become trendy to have a therapist as Mental Health loses its taboo status. You see people post about a struggle and is met with the resounding choir of "go see a therapist." As a therapist, I sit there thinking "that's not what therapy is for..."
Things that therapy can help with...
Whether it's a history of abuse or some other trauma, therapy opens the door to recovery by exploring these painful experiences free of judgment. Trauma is also a hurdle that people use to justify not needing therapy. Some don't always recognize the multitude of ways their trauma shows up in their day to day lives. No matter how big or small the trauma is, it's still a valid experience.
This can look like being unable to regulate emotions, trouble sleeping, apatite changes, or loss of interest(s). These might be symptoms of undiagnosed mental health conditions. A trained therapist is able to asses and diagnosis when needed, guiding people to explore feelings and emotions to understand their root causes. Therapist's teach new coping skills and help us make the changes needed.
We have the coping skills to handle a lot of the shit life throws at us. Some of the coping skills we use are not always the best, but they work for us. If you find the coping skills you have no longer helpful, therapy could be an option.
Affecting work or school
This can look like apathy, changes in energy, memory problems, emotional reactivity or withdrawing from others. Some jobs, especially first responders, military, and health care workers can be traumatizing. Therapist can help with stress management and finding new ways to coping with our stressors from work and school.
Affecting personal relationship
We might feel insecure with our relationship. This might be unhealthy boundaries, shutting yourself off from others, or self-sabotaging relationships. In therapy, we learn how to better communicate and cope with our emotions in less hurtful ways.
This list can go on for ages, and there are plenty of other blog posts with even more comprehensive lists. Just because what you're struggling with isn't on this list, doesn't mean you don't need therapy. If you are wanting to improve yourself, and make changes in your life with therapy, then take that step.
A quick list of what therapy is NOT:
complaining about your problems
telling your partner they are wrong or crazy
fixing your kid (we look at the family system and make changes as a whole)
quick fixes (trust the process)
What are other option that could help, when therapy isn't right for me?
While many people still struggle with the stigma of mental health, thinking "only crazy people go to therapy," it's ok to know that it's not right for everyone. There are other ways to get help and lots of other people we can look to for advice and guidance. Humans are social creatures and when we connect with others, we feel better.
Friends and family
Therapy is only one part of the healing journey. It might not be the right step for someone right now, but doesn't mean it can't be helpful later on. It is helpful to incorporate other healing practices along the journey.
If you are interested in therapy, I am located in the KC metro for in person session or telehealth services.