Written by: Sydney Parker
For many people, the idea of starting therapy can be intimidating. To some, it may seem mysterious. What do you talk about? For others, therapy can seem intimidating due to negative stereotypes they’ve been taught. Many people may wish to seek therapy but hesitate because they believe it is only for people with mental illness.
The truth is, therapy can be beneficial for people of all backgrounds. Quite often, the therapy we see portrayed on TV or in the media is only a small glimpse of the problems a qualified therapist is trained to help with. In fact, there is an entire branch of psychology known as “positive psychology” which is focused on studying the behaviors which allow people to build a meaningful life (“Positive Psychology”). You don’t have to be depressed or anxious to go to therapy — you can use it as a tool to be proactive and prevent problems down the road.
With that being said, you could benefit from therapy if you:
Want to improve your relationships and/or find yourself reverting to negative relationship patterns
Have trouble sleeping at night
Have difficulties paying attention during the day
Want to improve your parenting skills
Struggle to assert yourself
Are having a faith crisis
Turn to substances as a coping mechanism
Struggle to manage your stress levels in a healthy manner
Are struggling to understand your sexual and/or gender orientation
Cannot “move on” from something that happened in the past
Are undergoing a big life change
Feel isolated, or just need to talk to someone who is non-judgmental
Want to improve your life, but feel “stuck” or don’t know how
Essentially, everyone could benefit from therapy at some point in their lives. Remember: never feel ashamed about seeking mental health treatment. Approximately 48% of all American households have a household member seek mental health treatment in a given year (“Survey says”, 2004). You are not alone in seeking treatment — even if those around you do not talk about it openly.
Going to therapy can be like going to the doctor — you can go to seek treatment for a problem — but it can also be like going to the gym — working to create a healthier lifestyle and prevent future problems. Therapy can be used to fix our current problems, but it can also prevent future ones from forming. Even if you don’t need to visit “the doctor,” you might benefit from a trip to “the gym” once in a while. No one gets through life unscathed, and it is up to us to use our resources to create a life where we don’t merely survive, but thrive.
Positive Psychology. (n.d.). Retrieved July 19, 2020, from https:// www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/positive-psychology
Survey says: More Americans are seeking mental health treatment. (2004, July/August). Retrieved July 19, 2020, from https://www.apa.org/monitor/julaug04/survey