How do you know if you should see a therapist? For what kinds of “problems” or challenges can you see a therapist? You may find yourself asking these or similar questions, wondering if therapy is right for you, or if you’re right for therapy.
First things first: let’s dispel some of the stereotypes or outdated ideas around therapy. Even in 2016, some people still worry that therapy is only for “crazy” or “weak” people, or that it involves laying on a couch, speaking aloud while an old man with white hair and glasses quietly looks down his nose at you, scribbling notes. Well, this couldn’t be further from the truth!
These unfortunate and inaccurate ideas around what therapy is and who it is for can act as a barrier for those who may be on the fence about their own need for additional support. Your mental health exists on a continuum, it is not something you have or do not have.
Seeking therapy when you think you need it is a responsible, insightful and intelligent decision.
How do I know if I should see a therapist?
Therapy is for anyone – all ages, races, cultural backgrounds, genders and sexual orientations. Anyone who has noticed that something is going on that’s having a negative impact on their ability to function at their best (work, school, life in general, relationships with others and yourself). You may or may not know what exactly is going on, but you feel there is something in the way of moving forward or feeling fulfilled. Chances are you’ve tried to manage it on your own, read a bunch of books or “How Tos” or sought advice from trusted friends or colleagues, but none of this has had lead to the changes or fulfillment you’re looking for. If you’re in this boat, it’s time to seriously consider therapy.
Is my “stuff” therapy worthy?
If you’re on the fence, wondering if your “stuff” is therapy worthy, it may be helpful for you to know that people decide to seek therapy for a ton of different reasons.
-Problems in your family, with your partner, teacher or your boss that are causing you a lot of distress.
-You might feel that something is holding you back from making new friends or changing an unhappy situation.
-You’ve noticed you’ve become very angry or sad or anxious (with or without panic episodes) and it’s not going away.
-You’ve been or are being verbally, emotionally or physically abused
-Maybe you’ve just never felt “right” or “comfortable in your own skin”.
-You’ve developed a dependence on drugs or alcohol just to help you make it through the day.
-You have experienced a traumatic event or loss.
-Perhaps your behavior has changed, or you’re having trouble keeping a job or getting through school.
-Sometimes, you might not even notice that something is going on but a trusted friend, partner, doctor, colleague, etc has brought it to your attention and they are very worried about you.
All of these are perfectly understandable and legitimate reasons to seek therapy.
Am I a Good Candidate for Therapy?
Are you sick and tired of feeling the way you do or going through what you’re going through? Even if you’re afraid, unsure, feeling totally exhausted or depressed, if there is a spark of readiness or motivation to start feeling better, then yes! You’re a great candidate for therapy.
So, the short answer is, yes! You should at least consult with a therapist if you’re asking yourself this question. The next step would be to learn a little more about finding the right therapist for you. Some types of therapy might be better suited to your preferences or your needs. At The Arterie, our therapists are experienced in a variety of therapeutic styles. Read our therapists’ bios or description of our services.
In the end, if you’re still wondering if therapy is right for you, contact us for a free phone consultation to learn more.