How Do I Know If I Need Therapy?
Everyone makes missteps and occasionally slips into risky behaviors.
But when you can’t stop a specific behavior, if it’s interfering with your ability to function properly in your daily life, or it’s negatively affecting your relationships, it’s time to pause and seek help.
This is a professional note extracted from an online article.
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You don’t need to have a specific diagnosis to benefit from therapy.
Most of us have some aspects of our lives we would like to improve: relationships that are in need of some rehab or some habits or behaviors that we would like to shift or change.
Change, even if it’s positive, can lead to emotional and physical stress: you find yourself in a situation where you don’t know what to expect and that leads to confusion.
A professional can help you through a situation that feels insurmountable.
There’s no single way to get over past trauma, but if you can’t stop thinking about your trauma, or you’re isolating yourself because of fear it will happen again, there are ways to cope.
Sometimes, in the face of big decisions, your family and friends won't give you the best perspective, because they are too invested to be objective.
A good therapist won’t make the choice for you - they will work with you so that you can figure out the right answer for yourself.
A therapist can help you either strengthen or leave a bad relationship and can help with coping techniques if it ends.
Couples therapy can also be a good way to maintain a happy relationship. You don’t need to be in crisis to seek out a therapist who can help you ensure you’re communicating effectively.
In situations where your physical well-being is tied to your mental state — for things like insomnia, weight loss, dealing with chronic pain and so on — therapy can help.
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By framing therapy in terms of what we need rather than what we could benefit from, many people experience too much shame or embarrassment to try it.
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Ultimately, therapy is about growth and creating opportunities for positive change.
And in addition to improving traditional mental health struggles, therapy can also be a powerful and efficient way to make progress on personal goals or aspirations.
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Misconceptions may make it hard for you to pinpoint the threshold for significant psychological distress in yourself or others. And can add hurdles to successfully initiating psychotherapy or being willing to stick with it.
Understanding what not to expect from the experience can help you approach treatment as an educated consumer with an open mind.
Some approaches take more time than others, but it is highly unlikely that lasting change for longstanding issues can be achieved in a few sessions of psychotherapy.
The first appointments are to determine if (and what kind of) therapy can be helpful. You will talk about what led you to seek care and about medical, social, and family history to help the therapist get to know you better.
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