Signs you need therapy- why therapy is helpful.
Most of us think that therapy is for the weak, the vulnerable – however, the past 10 years as a Counsellor has proven that not only do strong people take therapy to be successful but they embrace it wholly.
There are many reasons why we don’t seek therapy help even though most of us need it at times in our lives. The instances like:
Facing a significant crisis
Dealing with prolonged periods of anxiety and depression
Coping with a major life transition
Dealing with difficult family dynamics
Grappling with relationship problems
Trying to overcome an addiction
Wanting to make healthier choices mentally and emotionally
The biggest reason we don’t want therapy is that we have been conditioned as a part of growing up that it is not OK to show your emotions. Keeping the internal stuff swept under the rug, hiding your emotions and not dealing with them, not dealing with past hurt or abuse can culminate into a host of problems in our adult lives. The stigma attached to speaking to a therapist is a huge deterrent too. However, studies and research have proven that Depression is a major player as a global disease resulting in billions of rupees a year due to lost work.
Although anti-depressants help and are important – they don’t exactly address the underlying source. The root cause of the pain can only be reached through counselling – without getting there you are still chained to your past.
Let me take you through some reasons why talking to a therapist helps:
Therapy effects are long-lasting. The help you get is not only for working through the stuff but also for developing tools that will help you in the future. Getting to the root cause is a major reason for the great synergy between counselling and taking medication.
Physical symptoms due to psychological problems get cured too. Psychosomatic illnesses are commonly associated with mental health and once you take care of the latter, the former follows.
Unexpressed feelings have a lot to trauma which can come up repeatedly in your life. We all develop certain negative patterns over the years to repress our feelings – especially the ones that cause a great deal of discomfort- these patterns recur in our lives and can affect our roles as a parent, a spouse, a co-worker, and even with ourselves.
The pent-up anger goes away. Over the years as we suppress our feelings there is anger that builds up slowly and steadily inside of us. In some, we express that anger passive-aggressively while with others, aggression takes over. Whichever way you express your anger, it is not helping with your relationships – rather it causes more harm – and it is masking what you really are feeling inside. Getting rid of this will definitely improve your environment around and within you.
Therapy will help you develop a healthy pattern to deal with future problems effectively. It also helps you reflect and make healthy choices for yourself which prove more helpful than being impulsive and shooting off.
Talking about your problems concretized them and makes your feelings more real, more valid than ‘just in your head’. A lot of therapists motivated clients to journal their feelings to make them seem more ‘real’. Once you see it in black and white, there’s an awareness about it and now the motivation to change may come from within. Ever noticed how when you are talking to someone about your problems the solutions start coming to you in your head?
You are not alone. Seeing a counsellor once a week can be a huge relief as you know you are taking action for your problems. It is comforting to have a support system that is confidential and non-judging and highly empathetic too. Just knowing there is someone there for you is enough to feel reassured.
You will be a better role model for your kids. Since you are now not afraid to express yourself openly, you will encourage you kids to do so too, thus breaking the cycle passed down through generations of not speaking about your problems and not taking help to sort them.
To sum up, the benefits of counselling/therapy are:
Exploring thoughts and worries in a safe, non-judgmental environment
Developing healthy coping mechanisms to deal with issues
Constantly working on yourself
Communicating better in your relationships to improve better understanding
Your mental health is your responsibility and a priority too! You can't think to outsource it and not be disappointed.
Take charge of it now, Therapy helps you explain what you are feeling in a better way.