“To be ill adjusted to a deranged world is not a breakdown.” -Jeanette Winterson
How do you know if therapy is right for you? Here are some points to ponder if you’re considering seeking a provider:
- Therapy is not like talking to a friend
Friends and family can be part of a large and wonderful fabric of support, but talking with a therapist is different. Ideally a counselor is objective and focused, and challenges you to think differently. We are not satisfied with the status quo, and it goes without saying that therapy is a one sided relationship unique to any other.
- You may be assigned a diagnosis
Sometimes people are worried about going to therapy because they don’t want to be assigned a diagnosis; in reality, most insurance companies do require some sort of diagnostic code to approve payment. However, many individuals discover they are experiencing what I refer to as “life stuff.” Perhaps you aren’t a person that has had major depressive episodes in your lifetime, but you may have a major decision on the horizon, and talking out the pros and cons might help you refine what you’d like to do. Death of a loved one, life transitions, and adjustment to parenting are other examples where the support of a therapist might greatly enhance your healing. Please do not be intimidated by the idea of a diagnosis, as you may have one or you may not. Regardless, I encourage you to challenge mental health stigma when you see it and reflect on what a diagnosis might mean to you.
- You need help to create the change you have been waiting to see
Most of us are busy people with many balls in the air, and finding the time and the mental space for therapy can take some real focus. You may be experiencing symptoms of an illness that create obstacles to your attention, motivation, or insight. If you know that you would like to see change in your life or within yourself, yet you haven’t been able to make this happen, talking with a therapist might give you some much needed clarity and perspective.
- If at first you don’t succeed, try another therapist
Therapy is personal, and the alliance is paramount. If you do not feel comfortable with someone that you’ve met with once, a hundred times, or any number in between, meet with someone else. There is a personality out there for each of us, and sometimes it takes a little trial and error to find it. Do not assume that all therapy is not for you, it simply might need to be a different provider.
- There is nothing wrong with you
I’ve written it before and I will continue to write it: there is nothing wrong with you. You are human, imperfect, tenacious, strong willed, individual, and spirited. You are continuing and moving toward the future. You may find a therapist beneficial in helping you “course correct” and provide a sounding board for all that you do not know exists or cannot verbalize to others. We are available to you, but there is nothing “wrong”; only what is, and what you would like to see change. Remember your strengths and use them to propel you towards your goals.
You can take on your mental health. Whether you choose therapy or use other positive ways of living, a healthier, balanced you lies ahead.