Are you human? Do you interact with other people? Do you sometimes feel stressed out or irritated? Do you sometimes not know what to do?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then therapy is right for you!
It can be a bit disarming to realize that one does not have to be in crisis in order to benefit from mental health treatment. Although we have entered a (mostly) more progressive and open minded age, some stigma still remains around the decision to seek mental health care. The prevailing feeling seems to be that seeing a therapist is something that we just don’t really talk about, sometimes for fear of how others will react or for what they may assume about us.
Yes, if you are in crisis or you’re noticing sudden changes in mood that are interfering with your ability to function in work, school, or at home, you should absolutely seek help at the appropriate level for you. We, the therapists, psychiatrists, and psychologists, are trained for this and are ready to help.
This does not mean, however, that one must wait for a crisis to occur before finding a therapist. It is my humble (and biased) opinion that everyone should have a therapist, therapists included. There is something comforting and freeing about having someone to talk to who isn’t connected to all the stress and drama of day-to-day life, whether you’re managing a high stress career, getting through school, or working as a stay at home parent. Much like how we see our primary care doctors for well visits, so too can it be helpful to see a therapist for mental health check ins. Sometimes it’s nice to have a moment to breathe and to simply process everything that’s been going on. We often don’t realize what we’re holding in until we have a second to let it out.
Here are just a handful of reasons to consider seeing a therapist:
- I need to vent. It’s not really good for us to hold in that which bothers us and sometimes we forget that small things add up. Often, we develop unhealthy ways of coping with that we keep inside, such as drinking too much or road rage. Having a set time once a week, or even once a month, can help us to release that built up tension in healthier ways.
- I don’t want to stress out my friends/family. We tell ourselves a lot of things about how we feel, often minimizing our own experience because we don’t want to bother or worry those around us.
- I’m the primary support person for people in my life. Ever feel like everyone relies on you to “have it together”? Do most of your friends or family come to you for support when they’re in trouble? Odds are this isn’t something you mind (usually), but taking on the stress and concerns of others can weigh on us and can put perceived pressure on us to act as though “everything’s fine.”
- I don’t feel like anyone really listens to me. Life gets busy. Sometimes it can feel like the people we’re trying to express our concerns to have their mind elsewhere, which is frustrating and can be more than a little invalidating.
- I need a different perspective. Sometimes we seek support from those around us, but have some trouble hearing them. Having an unbiased third party to consider our situation with us can be helpful in finding clarity and, many times, a fresh set of eyes helps us to see things differently.
- I don’t ever get a chance to just “be”. Does it feel like life is too hectic and you’re constantly running to the next thing? Can you remember the last time you had a chance to sit and focus on yourself? Finding time to focus on ourselves and our personal growth is an important part of self-care, but when we’re busy, it’s usually the first thing to go.
You don’t need a reason or a crisis to see a therapist. The beautiful thing about therapy is that it can be cultivated to fit your individual needs. You & your therapist can set the frequency and duration based on what’s right for you & the changes that happen in your life. There may be times when you need to see your therapist weekly, or even twice a week, and there will be times when the need is less, so maybe you check in monthly, or quarterly.
We’re here to help meet your needs by giving you a space that is yours and helping you develop real, practical skills that you can use on a daily basis. Make an appointment and come talk to us. We’re here for you.