Some people spend a lot of time considering therapy, whereas others take a much more flexible approach, entering and leaving therapy many times throughout their lives. If you’ve been considering Therapy and are unsure whether to give it a go, here are some signs that it may be helpful:
1. Talking to your friends or family is no longer enough
If you’re fortunate to have a network of supportive family or friends, those support people might provide all you need to get through difficult times and challenging circumstances. There may be times however when either those networks are not very supportive, or when those people closest to you may lack the expertise or perspective to provide the assistance you need.
2. You feel alone
Maybe you feel alone because of an absence of support, or perhaps that aloneness is felt despite having a whole host of people around you. Feeling alone is not about the number of people in our lives, but rather it’s about the level of support and connection we feel to those people in times of need.
3. You’re seeking perspective
It’s hard to have perspective about the circumstances we live with every day. Psychological therapy can help provide perspective. Imagine you’re on a mountain, and your therapist is on their own mountain, a little distance away from yours. The therapists task isn’t to take over your mountain, but to stay on their own and with a bit of distance and perspective – to shine their spotlight onto your mountain to help you see things more clearly. That spotlight of perspective might help you see potholes, flowers, gaping chasms, pathways… all kinds of things that can be difficult to see without the light of perspective or awareness.
4. You’re suffering
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, distressed or even emotionally disconnected, Psychological therapy can help you understand what’s happening, and to explore pathways of acceptance and/or change to move toward greater wellbeing. Good therapy enables you to explore your mental health needs in the context of a safe, supportive professional relationship.
5. You know things need to change, but you’re not sure what to do or how
Sometimes you might be aware that ‘things’ need to change, but you’re not sure where or how to start. Psychological therapy can help you explore your current situation with the assistance of an independent professional who brings fresh eyes and professional skills to your situation. Psychologists are highly skilled in cognitive change, emotional coping, and behaviour change strategies.
6. You’re stuck
You know the feeling of getting up every day with an intention to make change, but realising when you go to bed that night that nothing is any different? Psychological therapy can help you explore and understand what’s keeping you stuck, and maybe even how you got there in the first place. This level of understanding might be just the thing to enable you to move forward.
7. No-one seems to understand
It’s possible the circumstances you’re in or the suffering you’re experiencing are not easy for others around you to understand, even if they try. Psychologists are trained to understand the mind and the nature of emotion, and many therapists have additional experience and skills to assist people with more complex mental health needs. If you’d like assistance with a complex mental health condition, look for a Psychologist with experience in that area.
8. Everyone keeps recommending it
It can be difficult to seek help. Many people are better at giving than receiving when it comes to support and assistance. When the people who care about you repeatedly suggest you seek professional help – and if you know that recommendation is coming from a place of care and love – then it may be worth a try.
9. Its time to focus on you
Maybe you’ve just come to the realisation that you’ve given so much away to everyone else that you’ve neglected your own emotional life, and it’s time for you to put yourself back on the agenda. Therapy is an opportunity to focus on you – your experiences, your needs, and your intentions.
10. Just because you want to
You absolutely do not have to wait until your life is falling apart before you see a Psychologist. A desire to understand your own life and your responses to it, and an intention to address acceptance and/or change are the fundamental prerequisites for therapy. You don’t have to ‘earn’ it, ‘deserve’ it, or ‘be desperate’ before you can open yourself up to therapy.