Posted on May 21, 2019
While America has made progress in terms of destigmatizing mental health, there’s still a long way to go. A stigma exists across the country that in order to seek treatment, you must have something “wrong” with you. This is not the case. Many people seek treatment for support when not going through a crisis.
People struggle with a variety of difficult situations regularly. Talking to a mental health professional can help you navigate your life skillfully to improve your happiness. While therapy is certainly a great tool for people with serious mental health conditions or who have experienced major trauma, it’s also highly beneficial for everyone else. Not sure how to look for a therapist? Advekit can be a resource and help you find the right match.
Below, we’ll discuss therapy in depth answering questions, such as “what is therapy?” “how do I find a therapist?” and “what are the benefits of therapy?” You might be surprised that some of the most common reasons for therapy include simply wanting to improve one’s life or dealing with a tough transition, but it’s not limited to just those scenarios.
Therapy is a broad term that encompasses many different approaches to tackling mental health concerns. When we think of therapy, usually we are thinking of a form of talk therapy. In talk therapy, we meet with a specialist and use conversation as the main tool to work through our negative thoughts, feelings, and patterns that need support. Within the framework of talk therapy, there are a variety of reasons to go to therapy. Here are some of the most common:
Going to therapy is a process. An individual who begins seeing a therapist to address, for example, their anxiety may uncover past traumas or other separate issues that need to be addressed. As you and your therapist dive into your situation, you’ll likely begin to unearth and work on subtle areas of your psyche and emotions that hold you back from being as happy as you could be.
Let’s go over some of the main benefits of therapy. Even if after reading through our article you aren’t convinced that you need therapy, we recommend to give it a try at some point during your life. Your interest in the topic of therapy could be an indication that there’s a subconscious desire to talk to someone who can support you professionally. The following are some of the primary benefits of talk therapy.
This is one of the most universal benefits of therapy. Loneliness is part of life for many people. Typically, the feeling of loneliness comes from the lack of friends and family members and missing deeper connections. Some of the most lonely people are the ones with many superficial and meaningless relationships.
This is what therapy is for to have someone to confide in and share your struggles and triumphs. Plus, therapists aren’t your typical close friend, meaning that the relationship that you have with your therapist is unique and one-sided to focus exclusively on your needs. Their expertise and knowledge can help guide and support you through whatever your challenges are.
Therapists are great for listening to you and providing support, but their expertise can also help you to learn new ways of dealing with adversity. People often seek out a psychotherapist because the stress of their daily lives has become too much for them to handle. The right counselor can help you get back on track by introducing new treatment strategies to help you manage your time, cope with stress, and take better care of yourself.
Those who attend therapy regularly know how much change can come out of just one therapy session. Negative thought patterns, bad habits, and other controllable factors can all contribute greatly to the stress we feel. You can work through these mental patterns in therapy, so you can have a better understanding of how to continue to make yourself happy.
If there’s one thing that is bound to come up in therapy, it’s your relationships with others. Learning how to improve our relationships is not the only benefit of going to therapy, but it’s certainly one of the most common reasons for attending. Relationships of any kind are an important and challenging aspect of all our lives.
When we think of talking to our therapist about our relationship issues, sometimes we first of our love life. Whether an individual is married with children or has never been intimate with another, therapy is a great place to work on this area of our lives. Romance is not easy to navigate, and talking to someone with the expertise to guide you through challenging times in your love life can be a help.
While struggles with romantic relationships are certainly only one aspect of your life that a therapist can help with, they’re not the only type of connection that can be improved. Friendships and family ties can also be addressed. Therapy helps us to see what we contribute and what we can do to improve relationships. It can also help us to move away from unhealthy relationships with toxic patterns.
Therapists are great resources to achieve goals. A fundamental part of being happy is working towards what we want in our lives. This could be a new car, a different job, establishing a routine at the gym, or just spending more time with family members. One of the benefits of working with a therapist is that they can help us set realistic goals for ourselves. Then, they can support us in the process of working towards them.
Therapists like to help clients work toward their goals because it allows their clients to feel proud of themselves after seeing their results after putting in real work to achieve the goals they set. Therapists help us stay on track as old habits, attitudes, and beliefs re-enter our lives and find new solutions to work at them. This helps clients to learn more about themselves and how to be happy.
Sometimes individuals need therapy because they have gone through something traumatic that continues to affect their quality of life. Childhood abuse or neglect, sexual assault, and bodily injury are all common varieties of trauma that encourage people to choose to go to therapy. During a session, mental health professionals work to help individuals understand their trauma and how it continues to affect their health so they’re able to move forward to regain control of their life.
Trauma therapy can be a slow process. It’s difficult to discuss past traumas and many individuals feel very reluctant to do so. However, there is also the potential for high reward. Understanding what you have been through and how it continues to create patterns in your life can be the catalyst for untold amounts of growth and change.
Therapy involves addressing major issues, such as traumatic events that have occurred in our lives. But much of the time, therapy is really about fine-tuning our lives. Part of is to learn how to develop new habits that don’t hold us back.
Bad habits can show up in just about any area of our life and can include issues, such as unhealthy eating patterns, allowing work to pile up, and remaining in unhappy relationships. Whatever you’re struggling with, a skilled therapist can help bring awareness to it and give you the tools you need to overcome it.
One of the key benefits of therapy is that you’re able to have a deeper understanding of your habits and patterns that are preventing you from being happier in your life and how to best navigate out of any crisis that might arise.
Alison LaSov, LMFT
Alison LaSov is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist with experience treating clients struggling with anxiety and depression. She predominantly focuses on mental health intervention for children and adolescents, particularly those who are in crisis. She has worked within the Los Angeles education system treating students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), as well as supervised a non-profit Teen Crisis Hotline out of Cedars-Sinai Hospital. Alison earned her B.A. from UCLA and M.A. from Pepperdine University. She is a native to Los Angeles and co-founder at Advekit.