Why see a therapist? The Huffington Post recently published an article titled “8 Signs You Should See a Therapist.” Some of the examples they outline include:
- Everything you feel is intense
- You’ve suffered a trauma and you can’t stop thinking about it
- You have unexplained and recurrent headaches, stomach-aches or a run down immune system
- You’re using a substance to cope
- You’re getting bad feedback at work
- You feel disconnected from previously beloved activities
- Your relationships are strained
- Your friends have told you they’re concerned
Of course those are great reasons to seek therapy, but they’re not comprehensive. To build a comprehensive list would be impossible, because the benefits of therapy are so vast and include so many different reasons.
Too often people think of seeing a therapist as an attempt to fix a ‘problem’. Quite the opposite! Rather than looking at therapy as just a fallback solution for when things go wrong, it’s much closer to reality to think of therapy as a resource to increase satisfaction and positive aspects of life. There are plenty of times that it’s perfectly acceptable to focus on correcting issues and changing harmful thinking, relational, and behavioral patterns. But therapy & counseling can be used in exploratory ways, or simple to improve skills like parenting and dialogue as couples.
Seeking the help of a therapist can be an incredibly proactive move toward complete wellness, much like eating right and staying active. Therapy is unique in that it acts as the psychological equivalent of both treating illness AND proactively moving toward wellness. We go to therapy to treat problems as well as improve an already decent life.
As such, here are 8 more reasons- more aligned with the wellness model of therapy- to see a therapist:
You want to love and accept yourself – Many people have difficulty with this, and they’re not necessarily depressed or afflicted with another mental disorder. Therapy can help you explore roadblocks to self-esteem and teach you practical ways to make your happiness a priority.
You want to make a good marriage great – Many relationships are functional, but are no longer fun. Couples counseling can help improve communication and strategize ways to return passion and excitement to a marriage.
You want to be a fantastic parent – Many of us, despite our own objections, revert to parenting patterns we observed in our own childhood. Therapy can help you get out of this rut and become the parent you want to be (and your children need).
You want to thrive in your career– You say you’re unhappy where you are, why aren’t you striving for something different? Is fear, hard work, or interpersonal conflict holding you back? Therapy can be the catalyst for healthy change in your career.
You want to understand your purpose in life – Many therapists love to dive in and help you find out who you are on a deep level, helping you uncover the passions buried under the busyness of life. A desire for this time to self-reflect may mean that…
You want to explore yourself – Therapy is a course where you are the subject matter. You can explore yourself, go deeper into your current thoughts and feelings, or just sit and “be” for a while. This vital practice has become a forgotten art in our world today.
You want to let go and forgive – Holding a grudge isn’t a diagnosable condition, but it does have serious physical, emotional, and relational consequences. Through therapy you can learn to resolve these issues for yourself and move on.
You want a place to practice assertiveness, expressing emotion, or anything else – Therapy is a laboratory for you to explore, experiment, and practice behaviors that are scary in the rest of life. Shy people can practice confrontation. Detached people can experiment with expressing emotion. When you’ve tried this out a few times in session, you may be ready to take it out into the world.
There are countless other reasons to seek the help of a therapist, and this list is by no means comprehensive. If you or a loved one feel like you need to speak to someone, we highly recommend contacting us for an appointment- we’ll match you with the best therapist for you, and through counseling will help you find the path to wellness.