Do You Really Need Therapy?
It’s likely that many of you who have come upon my website are considering reaching out to a therapist. Some of you may know for sure that you need some help or support, but others may be wondering…is this really necessary? How do I know if I need to go to therapy?
The answer to that is complicated. First, identify why are you sitting on this website contemplating this question? Are you hurting? Are you struggling with a change in your life? Are you struggling with social relationships? Is your child struggling in some way? Are you experiencing feelings or symptoms that make it hard to function in day-to-day life?
Then ask yourself, what have I already tried? Does it help to talk to family members or friends? Do I have a relaxing or fun hobby that helps to relieve my stress? Do I have a place or an activity that gives me peace? Am I managing this on my own?
If you can identify clear areas of difficulty and feel that you have exhausted your own resources to help yourself, then the answer could be that therapy may be helpful to you.
People who come to therapy often fit into two categories, and these categories often overlap:
· You or someone you know may be experiencing a life stressor that you cannot cope with alone. Utilizing therapy to seek advice, support, or guidance about difficulties in your life is a reasonable reason to attend therapy. A therapist will be able to provide you with a non-biased, non-judgmental perspective as well as effective techniques to manage your stress or make healthy decisions.
· You may be experiencing significant psychological symptoms. If you are experiencing significant depression, anxiety, or mood disruption that is affecting your daily life, then this is a good reason to seek out help from either your medical doctor or a psychologist. Often times these symptoms may be triggered by a life event, or may be more biological in nature.
Whatever the reason, if you feel coping on your own with your feelings has become too much, then you would likely benefit from contacting someone trained to help you.
In short, there is no black and white answer as to whether or not anyone really needs therapy. Rather, I like to ask my patients if they think therapy could benefit or change their life for the better. My job then is to find out if you have clear goals, difficulties, or symptoms that you would like to target and whether those areas overlap with my skill and expertise.