When a person considers finding a therapist, there are many factors that might hold them back. Between financial cost, scheduling concerns, and the difficulty of even finding a therapist in your area to begin with, many people avoid the search altogether to save themselves time and stress.
Oftentimes, people don't go to therapy because they think it's only for seriously mentally ill people. "I'm not sick, so why should I go to a doctor?" seems like a common refrain. "My life isn't that bad,” they think.
But the fact is that therapy can be useful and beneficial for everyone. While therapy is, of course, often part of a treatment plan for serious mental illnesses, therapy absolutely can be an asset for anyone who might just need some support. Every now and then, we all need some support.
So, who needs therapy?
Work stress is often cited as a reason people seek counseling. In the U.S., people are often encouraged to work 40+ hours per week and see their own personal life or mental health as less of a priority than their earnings or work productivity.
Our relationships with others account for a huge, significant part of our lives. Romantic relationships, especially, are inarguable parts of our human experiences. Relationships can be fulfilling, exciting, and downright blissful.
Relationships come with their own challenges though as well. Conflicts arise, arguments happen, and a relationship can start to negatively affect your life or your mental health. Therapy, whether individual or with the person you're in a relationship with, can provide you the tools and resources needed to have healthy and happy relationships.
Whether it's the family you're born into or the family you make for yourself, families can be some of the best support systems we have in our lives. Parents, grandparents, siblings and other family members are often some of our biggest influences.
Families also can be a source of distress or pain for many. Families face myriad challenges and finding healthy ways to communicate and handle those challenges is difficult. Therapy, whether individual or with family members, is a powerful way for families to build or repair bonds among each other.
Every now and then, we all need a little support. Life gets difficult and your emotions might make daily routines feel more challenging than usual. Emotions like grief, stress, isolation, or sadness can negatively impact the way we handle our work, friendships, relationships, and physical health.
No matter how "severe" you think your emotional experience might be, therapy can be helpful. In fact, therapy is often the best way to alleviate a difficult situation before it worsens. Therapy isn't about quick fixes or cures. Therapy is about finding the tools and resources you need to handle the daily labors of life, no matter what your emotional state might be.
Your mental health is just like your physical health-you have to take care of it every day, not just when you're sick. It's considered standard to see a doctor for a regular physical just to make sure your physical health is on-track. Why shouldn't your mental health be the same way?