Disclaimer: All of my blog posts are meant for education purposes only, and not meant to treat, heal, or diagnose. If you are experiencing some of the below challenges, please seek out mental health counseling for support.
It’s important to remember that there does not have to be anything “wrong” with you to seek out therapy/counseling services. (Quick note: counseling and therapy can be used interchangeably). Sometimes counseling is most beneficial BEFORE something goes wrong. Think of it as preventative wellness. Through counseling, you will build coping strategies and resilience to be better equipped for future challenges. Because let’s face it, life challenges are inevitable.
That being said, when things feel out of control or something just feels “off”, counseling can be a great option for you. It does not mean that you failed, it means that you are brave enough to get the help that you deserve. The truth is, we can all benefit from therapy. We just need to put the mental health stigma and our ego to the side, and then make the call for support.
A lot of information is not widely understood about counseling. Therefore, I wrote this list to help you better understand when counseling will be beneficial.
10 reasons when therapy is a good idea:
- Relationship problems- Do you find yourself frequently getting frustrated with your partner? Do you dread holidays because you know you’re going to fight with your parents? Do you have a hard time maintaining friendships or healthy relationships? These are all reasons that therapy can be helpful. You can try individual counseling to process these issues, as well as couples and/or family counseling when appropriate.
- Improve quality of life- This one is pretty broad, but important to recognize. Maybe you feel like your going through the motions, and not trying new things. Perhaps you get bored easily, or are frequently tired. Maybe you need extra support finding things that motivate you. Going to counseling can help you find a spark to help you feel more grateful and excited about life.
- Career/Purpose- People have higher levels of wellness when they feel passionate about their work. You can work with a career counselor to help you find ways to get more excited about your work. Beyond your career, your counselor can also help you find greater meaning and purpose within volunteering, hobbies, relationships, and more.
- You are self-soothing predominantly with short-term fixes: alcohol, food, drugs, shopping- This is an important reason to meet with a counselor. A counselor can help you develop other coping strategies that will be better for your mind and body, and also last longer. This is an important consideration when you think about the cost of therapy. Therapy can be expensive, but is likely not as expensive as regularly consuming alcohol or shopping excessively as an attempt to manage your stress.
- You feel like no one understands your situation- Feeling misunderstood and isolated in your thoughts is a valid concern. A counselor can help you normalize and validate your emotions and experiences. By talking to someone, you won’t feel so alone. A counselor can also recommend ways to broaden your support system, like friends, family, and support groups.
- Big changes are happening or are about to happen- Change is another inevitable aspect of life. Even the most positive change can stir up overwhelming feelings that you may want to process with a counselor. It’s best to get ahead of the big changes and hire a counselor before you feel overwhelmed.
- Anxiety- This might be an obvious reason to meet with a therapist. However, it’s important to recognize ways that anxiety can manifest, such as worry, restlessness, easily fatigued, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, and sleep disturbance. If you often experience some of these symptoms, you will greatly benefit from working with a counselor.
- Depression- Another more obvious reason to meet with a therapist. But again, it’s important to learn how to recognize depression. You may be experiencing a depressed mood if you have some of the following: a diminished interest in daily activities, significant weight loss, slower thoughts, less physical activity, loss of energy, feelings of worthlessness, excessive guilt, diminished ability to concentrate, or recurrent thoughts of suicidal ideation. Sometimes this can be hard to identify in ourselves. If your friend or family member is worried about you, that could be another helpful sign.
- Past trauma- If you’ve had a traumatic experience in your past, it can be very helpful to work through it with a counselor. There’s nothing wrong with you, something bad happened to you – and there’s a big difference here. This means it was not your fault, and you deserve care and support to process your experiences. When you are looking for a counselor, make sure you find a therapist who is trauma-informed.
- Personal growth- Maybe you aren’t experiencing any of the above concerns, but you just want someone to talk to, in order to learn more about yourself. What an incredible gift you can give yourself! We all have ways in which we can grow and learn, in order to live life more fully.
Please note that this is not a exhaustive list and you can seek therapy for other reasons.
Hiring a Therapist
I would be willing to bet that we can all identify with one of the above reasons, if not multiple. Since I am a counselor, I know that I’m certainly bias, but I strongly believe that everyone can benefit from counseling.
I’m currently accepting new clients, both online and in downtown Raleigh, NC. You can read more about my specialties and rate here.
For more information on how to find a therapist, check out Counselor Kate’s blog post: “So You’re Looking for Counseling Services“. She has some wonderful information on where to look and what to look for when shopping for a counselor. She’s also an amazing therapist in Raleigh, NC!
Thanks for reading and stay well!