Why go to therapy? Some people are under the misapprehension that going to therapy means that you are “crazy” or “weak.” But really, going to therapy for any reason, is at its most basic, an exercise in trying to improve the quality of your life. Psychotherapy can help people of all different ages and lifestyles lead happier, healthier and more productive lives.
De-stress – Few people will deny being stressed at least once in their lifetime, but for many, stress can be ongoing and unbearable. Therapy can help you uncover the underlying causes of your worries and fears; learn how to relax; look at situations in new, less frightening ways; and develop better coping and problem-solving skills. Therapy gives you the tools to overcome anxiety and teaches you how to use them.
Love and accept yourself – Many people struggle with this even when they’re not necessarily depressed or suffering from other psychological disorders. Therapy can help you explore roadblocks to self-esteem and teach you practical ways to feel stronger and more confident in yourself emotionally, mentally, and physically.
A healthier marriage/relationship – Let’s face it, relationships have the ability to bring out the best, but more often than not, the worst in us and our partners. Couples psychotherapy can help you identify problematic patterns in communication, such as habits of criticism, defensiveness or withdrawal and help a couple reconnect with what they value in each other, leading to a more fulfilled marriage and/or relationship.
Be a better parent – Many of us, to our horror, find ourselves reverting to parenting patterns we observed in our own childhood. Therapy can offer you the tools to help foster better parenting skills, helping you create healthier boundaries with your children, and becoming the parent you want to be.
Thrive in your career – A person’s career is often one of the most important aspects of their life. Are you unhappy where you work or do you want to strive for something different? Is fear or interpersonal conflict holding you back? Therapy can be the catalyst for healthy change in your career and provide you with the confidence to achieve your goals.
Lost your zest for life? – Does your life feel dry, flat or routine? Do you find more often than not that you’re simply going through the motions, doing the daily tasks that must be done with little pleasure, satisfaction or delight? When life has ceased feeling meaningful, joyous or purposeful, therapy can help us take a deeper look at ourselves and reevaluate our commitments and priorities, uncovering the passions buried under the ‘busyness’ of life.
Get some objectivity – Psychotherapy provides a supportive environment that enables you to discuss your issues openly with someone who is objective, neutral and nonjudgmental. You can explore yourself and go deeper into your thoughts and feelings. Therapy can offer a different perspective and assist you in gaining more insight into your situation and reactions. Good therapy takes you further than just insight, it can teach you the skills you need to create the life you want.
Physical symptoms get treated too – Stomach aches, headaches, sleeping problems, and ulcers are just some of the ways our body reacts to stress and psychic pain. Through the use of psychotherapy to relieve stress and anxiety, you can experience relief from painful physical symptoms.
Learn to be more self assertive and express emotion – Explore, experiment, and practice behaviors that are scary for you in life. Shy people can learn and practice ways to manage confrontation without fear. Detached people can experiment with expressing emotion safely. When you’ve tried this out a few times in session, you’ll feel more comfortable putting it into practice out in the world.
Long-lasting benefits – A huge benefit of therapy is that its effects are long-lasting. You learn more effective ways to tackle problems and solve difficult situations, these include, different ways of thinking, more effective coping mechanisms, and improved problem-solving skills. This means you develop skills and tools, which arm you with better strategies for dealing more effectively with both current and any future life challenges, when they arise.
Psychotherapy is helpful in treating serious problems, but it offers many benefits for dealing with the problems and stresses of everyday life also. If we can move past the therapy stigma, perhaps many more people will come to experience therapy’s benefits first hand.