As more and more people, from A-list celebrities to casual bloggers, seek to make mental illness and therapy less stigmatized, you may be wondering if therapy is right for you.
Are your issues even therapy-worthy?
First of all, you should know that there’s virtually no chance that you’d get to a therapist’s office and he or she would hear you out and then tell you, “You really shouldn’t be here.” If you think that therapy is important for you, then a therapist will almost definitely be interested in helping you. But if you’d like some more concrete assurance, then consider the following guiding questions you can use to determine whether or not therapy might be in your best interest. Keep in mind, though: you definitely don’t need to answer “yes” to all of these questions in order to be a candidate for therapy. In fact, if you’d very strongly answer “yes” to even one of these questions, then therapy is something you might want to seriously look into.
Have you been noticing that some feeling or behavior has gotten worse lately?
If so, that could be an indication that there might be something new or different in your life that would best be handled in therapy.
Have you tried stopping the feeling or behavior by yourself and found that it hasn’t worked?
Maybe you’ve taken some small step recently, like doing ten minutes of meditation in the morning, or maybe you’ve taken a larger step, like cutting off communication with someone. And maybe those methods have worked for you. If that’s the case, fantastic! But if you feel that you’ve taken steps that haven’t been effective, then maybe it’s time to consult someone with professional training.
Have you been bothered enough by some feeling or behavior that you’ve been researching it in your free time?
If the feeling or behavior that’s troubling you is significant enough that you’ve tried to self-diagnose it, then you probably feel a lack of control over it.
Are you using some kind of medication or substance to get through the day?
Remember, dependencies don’t just take the form of drugs (over the counter or otherwise). Maybe you’ve noticed a heavier dependence on alcohol lately. Or maybe you’ve even become dependent on something that’s inherently neither good nor bad, like video games or scrolling through dating apps. If there’s any activity or substance that you think you wouldn’t be okay without, that could be an indication that you’d benefit from therapy to get to the root of this dependence.
Are you having trouble concentrating on things that are important for you to concentrate on?
This could be work-related tasks or personal tasks, like listening to loved ones or doing household chores. Your thoughts might feel very scattered and disrupted so that you struggle to accomplish tasks that you set for yourself.
Are you experiencing less enjoyment in things you used to enjoy?
Depression and anxiety-related issues are behind many people’s reasons for getting into therapy, and this is one classic symptom that many depression sufferers experience.
Do you have a recurrent physical pain that has no clear cause?
Let’s be clear: if you have some recurrent physical pain, you should always consult your regular physician about it. But if there’s no clear physical cause for your pain, then it could be related to a psychological/emotional issue, in which case seeing a therapist could help.
Do you avoid things that you think are important or that would be good for you?
Whether it’s job-related events/opportunities or personal events/opportunities, avoiding things that you suspect you shouldn’t be avoiding is a sign that some unresolved issues you have are affecting your life seriously enough that you’d probably be better off tackling them.
Do your relationships seem to be more strained than usual or than they used to be?
If so, then it could be ideal for you to get in therapy along with the other person in the relationship, but if that’s impossible then it would probably be a good idea for at least you to get into therapy. If nothing else, it can be good to get an objective, non-personally involved person’s opinion on the situation since it can be very hard to determine on your own whether you’re thinking clearly about relationship situations.
Do you do a lot of negative self-talking?
Negative self-talk is sadly common, and many people don’t even realize it’s something that they can change and work through if they seek out help for it.
Have you experienced a trauma?
If so, then it’s almost a certainty that therapy would be good for you. Most people find it very challenging to work through a traumatic experience without help, and even very well-meaning friends and family might not always know what’s best to do and say with someone who’s suffered a traumatic experience.
If you recognize yourself in these signs and think you’d like to find out more about starting therapy, you can call us at (305) 501-0133 or click here to schedule a free 20-minute Clarity Consult to learn more about how working with one of our therapists can help you improve your life.