Updated: Aug 24, 2020
Have you ever wondered whether you might benefit from therapy?
Thinking about going for therapy may feel intimidating or overwhelming. Some may fear the idea of facing uncomfortable emotions, get anxious about being vulnerable and open, or question how helpful and accurate therapy could really be. These are completely valid thoughts and concerns. Therapy does encourage one to explore and face aspects of oneself that may elicit strong or uncomfortable feelings. Those who have been raised in an atmosphere of 'don't trust, don't tell, don't feel' will likely be highly guarded and cautious in the therapeutic environment. Fearing therapy doesn't mean that it isn't needed; it is an acknowledgement that something needs to change, and change can be frightening!
While therapy is typically thought of as a treatment for mental illness (which it is!), it can also be used by mentally healthy people looking to create a safe space for themselves, in order to maintain their emotional health and ensure continued positive growth.
You do not have to be experiencing pain and suffering to be in therapy!
A mentally healthy person can use therapy to gain a fresh perspective on any issues they may have been contemplating. Therapists can give people a better understanding of their emotions, and what elicits certain responses, to promote one's self-esteem and improve relationships. Once a person is encouraged to explore their own emotions and drives, they can feel more free to be their authentic selves and this will likely enhance their outlook on life.
To maximize the benefits of therapy, it is important to find a therapist with whom you can feel comfortable and connected. Initially, it is normal to feel nervous and vulnerable in session. Taking the steps towards meaningful change is never easy, and baring one's inner self to a stranger may seem awkward. Therapists may offer initial phone consultations, which can help one get a sense of the therapist's personality and whether you think the therapist may be a good fit for you. It’s also an opportunity for the therapist to get a sense of what the presenting problem is and make sure they feel they can competently treat you. Though at first it may be difficult to feel relaxed and fully at ease, having the sense that you can get to that point eventually can be a good sign.
Most people can benefit from therapy as a way of promoting wellness, joy and fulfillment in their lives.