Do I Need Therapy?
By Randi Morse
There is a stigma in our nation against mental health illness. For some reason we seem to believe that someone who is struggling with their mental health is somehow lesser than those who do not have a mental illness. The truth is that 1 out of every 5 Americans are dealing with a mental health condition, and 1 out of every 25 are living with a serious mental health illness. Mental illness is much more common than most people think, but how do you know when you have a condition serious enough to require therapy?
Psychotherapy is the medical name for what most of us consider traditional therapy. It's also known as talk therapy or counseling. A psychotherapy session generally consists of the patient sitting down with the therapist and talking for an hour or so. Most often the therapist will try to ascertain the larger issues that the patient wants to work on and will outline a plan to help the patient address their issues in a healthy and supported way.
Do I Need Therapy?
This is the question people tend to struggle with, wondering if they actually need to have therapy or not. Therapy can be recommended for a wide array of problems, including those that are chronic and ongoing and those that are temporary. For example, if you are dealing with the end of a long-term relationship, talking with a therapist may help you organize your thoughts about the breakup, and can also help to get your self-esteem boosted. If you lose a loved one, grief counseling may be the best option to walk you through the steps of grieving and help you deal with your pain.
Most psychologists believe that the best time to go to therapy is when you are dealing with issues that are impacting your daily life. If your grief is so strong that you have a hard time getting out of bed, or if your depression makes it too difficult to work, you may want to seek out psychotherapy. If you've already tried therapy and found that it did not work for you, don't be afraid to try again. There are different schools of psychotherapy and it may just be that you didn't mesh well with your previous therapist. Don't allow one bad experience to prevent you from seeking help from a counselor or therapist.
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