Posted on May 14, 2019
Some people think that in order to go to therapy, you need to be in crisis. But this is a common misconception. Many people who want help to feel healthier choose to go to therapy on a regular basis. So the question, “do I need therapy?” has a different answer for everyone.
Most people go through periods in their lives when they feel as though they could benefit from talking to a mental health professional. Others suffer from ongoing mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety. For some individuals, it might be easier for them or other loved ones to suggest it’s time to see a therapist. Other times, especially for someone who has never been to therapy, it can be difficult to know if or when to start and how to find a therapist. It’s important to remember that there are many benefits of therapy, and there may be various times in your life when you find it helpful to talk with someone who can listen objectively.
If you’re asking yourself questions, such as “do I need therapy?” or “what kind of therapy do I need,” it is likely that you’re looking for additional support. Keep an eye out for the following signs that indicate therapy would be a good investment:
If you begin to replace healthy coping mechanisms with drugs or alcohol, this may be a strong indicator that it’s time to find a therapist. Drugs and alcohol aren’t the only substances that can be abused. Foods, especially those rich in fat and sugar, and even sex can be consumed in a compulsive manner that’s unhealthy. If you notice any addictive tendencies, such as feeling unable to control your consumption despite it having a negative impact on your wellbeing, it may be time to contact a therapist. If you don’t know how to find a therapist in your community, Advekit can help you find the right match.
We all go through rough patches, but there’s a fine line between having a rough week and a more serious mental health issue. Feeling uncontrollably sad, angry, or hopeless are all indicators of mental health concerns that could be treated with the right kind of therapy. Additionally, sleeping more or less than usual, feeling unmotivated at work or in school, and withdrawing from relationships with friends and family are all signs of a mental health concern that could get worse without help.
Of course, if these feelings reach the point of questioning whether life is worth it or if you have other suicidal thoughts, please seek help immediately.
Trauma means different things to different people. An event that’s traumatic for one individual may not be so for another. Additionally, trauma has as much to do with when something occurs in a person’s life as it does with what actually happened. Something we may consider somewhat trivial now could be a defining traumatic event in a young child’s life. Treatment is highly recommended when you have gone through a traumatic event.
No matter the specifics of what has happened, if you feel that you’ve been through a traumatic event and are wondering if you should see a therapist, the answer is probably yes. Many different types of psychotherapy deal with trauma and use a variety of approaches to come to terms with these difficult life events. It’s important to remember that some therapists will be more well-suited to addressing your trauma than others. Be sure to also ask yourself, “what kind of therapy do I need?” if you’re seeking a trauma therapist, so that you can receive the best possible care.
Grief is something that everyone goes through at some point in their life. People experience grief in response to many kinds of loss: the death of a loved one, the ending of a relationship, or even the loss of a job. All of these experiences can initiate a grief response. Grief is natural, but you don’t have to experience it alone. In fact, it’s not recommended. With the help of a skilled therapist, people can work through their grief and loss they’ve experienced once they’re given the proper emotional support they need through treatment.
Remember, that it’s okay to take your time to work through your grieving process.
Once you do decide that you want to talk to a mental health professional, you’ll begin the process of sorting through therapeutic approaches to find the one that best suits your needs. Common types of therapy techniques include cognitive behavioral, psychodynamic, and humanistic therapy. Whatever kind of therapy you need, there’s the right mental health professional out there for you.
Whether you just want a mental health checkup, are looking for emotional support during a difficult period in your life, or suffer from a more serious condition like post-traumatic stress disorder, there’s support out there for you.
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.