The idea of talking to a therapist can seem scary for a multitude of reasons. Some people are worried they aren’t “broken” enough for therapy and a counselor or therapist will shove them out in order to make room for someone with more problems. Other people worry admitting you need therapy suddenly makes you crazy. Silly when you think about it logically, going to the doctor for a sprained ankle doesn’t suddenly cause an issue, the issue was there and going to a specialist means you care enough to fix it! Finally there is the group that is afraid to talk to a therapist out of fear that their therapist might “tell on them” to their husband/wife/parents/etc. I’m here to debunk a few common misconceptions about therapy and highlight a few reasons you SHOULD take advantage of the ability to talk to a therapist even if you don’t define yourself as crazy. What is crazy really though? I’m pretty certain we’re all a little crazy!
You’re looking for an Underlying Root for a Negative Emotion
You may be able to pin point that you often feel sad, overwhelmed, angry, jealous or out of control however occasionally the rationality seemingly stops there. Negative emotions pent up inside of us generally stem from somewhere. Your emotions have reason even if at the surface level they appear sporadic. Getting to the root of negative emotions can take a little digging. If you aren’t comfortable talking to a close friend or family member about a feeling, or just want an unbiased opinion, it can be a relief to address these negative feelings with a therapist. Digging up causes for negative emotions can be both liberating and exhausting. Prepare to make connections from your past, present and thoughts on the future to unearth your subconscious reasons for negative emotions.
You feel like you lose control
Anger, stress or sadness can be all consuming feelings, however managing anger, stress and sadness is a skill we must acquire to live peacefully and harmoniously with others. If you find yourself unable to contain your rage or control your sadness, it might be a good idea to talk with a professional. There is nothing wrong with feeling sad or angry, however there are healthy ways to manage emotions and there are unhealthy ways. If you have allowed your feelings to dramatically impact your life or relationship with others it is a sign you should look for a better way to cope!
Managing Stress or Anxiety seems Impossible
The glorification of “busy” and stress talk that feels almost competitive has normalized the idea that we’re all burning the candle at both ends. While a little stress is okay and sometimes even healthy motivation, too much stress can lead to a plethora of health issues. When you have issues facing the day because that gut wrenching feeling of “impending doom” seems like it may overtake you or you give up on something important to you entirely (like school or work) because you can’t manage the workload you should seek help. Support groups are often available on college campuses for students who have trouble managing stress, these groups show students anxiety isn’t abnormal and helps sufferers learn to manage and cope. Likewise a therapist can help you talk through your stress, identify areas you may be able to eliminate undue anxiety or teach you ways to better cope with a large workload.
You want to let go of Resentment
An unfortunate part of life is that eventually someone you love and trust will betray you. Sometimes the simplest solution is to cut the offender out of your life, but often the solution isn’t so simple. When you hold resentment towards a family member, close friend, or individual you have to deal with on a daily basis the negativity often effects you more than the person who has hurt you. Working with a trained professional you can talk through your feelings without worrying you sound whiny or bitter which is often the first step towards forgiveness.
You haven’t completely worked through an Issue from the past
Whether you’re still hurting from a breakup, reliving bullying from childhood, or unable to process a traumatic family problem, it is important to take time to process and reflect on your feelings. Keep in mind that no issue is too small! If an argument with your boyfriend is really affecting you in a way you can’t work through on your own talking to a professional isn’t out of the question. If you’ve been in an abusive relationship, a toxic friendship or even if you’re an adult struggling as your parent’s go through a divorce…a good therapist is there to help you not to judge if your issue is “severe enough” for therapy.
Truth be told, if I ran the world I’d require yearly mental health checkups the same way we advocate for yearly physicals. I truly believe everyone can benefit from therapy at some point in their life (and needing therapy does not mean you’re crazy!) I am fortunate enough to have a few close friends currently in graduate school pursuing degrees in counseling and mental health. As an advocate for the benefits of therapy I’ve loved listening to their insights about the benefits of counseling.
Do you have experience with therapy? What did you think? Are you Pro therapy?
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