Signs that Therapy Might be For You

For anyone who has previously been through therapy you probably have positive things to say about it.
Even if the outcome of therapy wasn’t what you were hoping for, (for example, marriage therapy or counseling can still result in divorce) it’s most likely something you can still say you learned from.

Those that have never been to any type of therapy may think it’s not for them because everything is going seemingly well in their life (i.e. no major problems, nothing that seems uncontrollable, etc.) Other times people don’t go to therapy because they feel like it’s not going to solve a problem they’re having or they simply don’t want to talk to another person about what’s occurring in their life.

Whether you’re a person who’s been to therapy before, but feeling like something in life isn’t “clicking” the way it should, or you know something is astray in your life that you need to get back on track, here are some identifiers of when therapy might be a good fit:

A Persistent Feeling of Being Lost

We all have seasons in life where we’re not sure what to do next or we are doubting the path we seem to be on. We don’t have a yearning of what direction we should be headed in and none of the options available are ones you want to pursue.

These feelings of being lost can extend from relationships (both familial or romantic), career, or just life in general.

While these feelings are normal for everyone, they certainly are tough to go through. And when those seasons of feeling lost seem to drag on, or you feel like you’re not receiving the support you need from others in your life, and you’ve lost a lot of self-motivation, therapy is an excellent solution.

Having a non-biased and objective professional who can truly listen to what you’re going through and help you decipher how you’re feeling might be exactly what you need to find your focus and determine what direction you want to take.


When Things You Once Enjoyed Lose Meaning

Even in dark times, the most seemingly insignificant things are often times the things we truly enjoy the most, but if those small things don’t matter anymore, you may want to consider getting help.

For example, I like to think of myself as someone who doesn’t need a lot to be happy. If it’s a sunny day, I’ve had a nice cup of coffee in the morning and I’m with someone I love or spending quality time with myself, I’m generally happy. However, there was a period of time, probably about two years, where not even a sunny day or a cup of coffee brought me joy.

Between my job, an unhealthy relationship and sadness from losing a family member, I just felt like I was going through the motions of day-to-day life. Little brought me happiness and as other small situations occurred I felt unable to handle them because it was all just too much.

Eventually I was convinced by my mother to seek out a general life counselor who could help me navigate the different points of contention happening in my life. Over time, without doing much differently other than practicing a mindset of being present and talking openly about my feelings, I started to naturally find joy in those little things again.

Finally admitting to needing a helping hand to be lifted out of the low point I was in was really the hardest part.


The Bad Outweighs the Good

Yes, life is tough, but it shouldn’t be tough all the time.

Unfortunately, for many people who experience problems with depression or other mental blockades, feeling adequate of help is a difficult solution to come to. You may feel like there are other people going through worse things than you and they’re handling it better, so you just need to toughen up.

First things first, if you feel you need help, you’ll always be adequate of help. Someone’s simple problem can be another one’s rock bottom, it’s all a matter of opinion. If you feel like you’re going through more strife, negativity and bad situations in your life than you are the good things, it’s time to seek help so you can rebalance.

Some of the bad things you’re going through may be things that have been lingering for years, now is the time to let it go.

Acknowledge how certain events have shaped and changed you, and now move forward. This is much easier said than done, which is exactly why this is a situation that calls for a good counselor.


Feelings of Isolation

Everyone’s story is unique.

Although almost everyone has experienced heartbreak, death, loss of confidence, etc. everyone has their own experience with those topics, which can make it very difficult to express your feelings whether it’s out of fear of being misunderstood, looking like the bad person in a situation or allowing yourself to feel the full your full range of emotion.

This kind of fear is what leads us to feeling isolated in the midst of our struggles.

Often times it’s difficult to work through your feelings with family or friends because they’re going to want to offer advice or help you work through a situation, when what you really may need is just for someone to listen objectively.

Having a therapist who doesn’t have any stake in the outcome of your situation other than hoping you get through it can be a huge factor in what you need to open up.

A therapist doesn’t care if it was your fault that you landed yourself in a situation, a therapist isn’t going to try to pretend to understand you. Their job is to listen, ask you questions you may not have thought to ask yourself and then help you work through your answers.

Obviously that’s a vast oversimplification of what a therapist has to do while working with you, but from a patient perspective that’s exactly what their doing. And strangely enough, having just that one person you meet with to open up to can make you feel like you’re not completely alone.

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Elle Michels

Elle Michels

Based in Washington, D.C., Elle Michels is a contributing writer to Womenshealth.com.

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