Scripps Ranch and Bankers Hill Therapist Sara Cole.
There are times in life when you are having a hard time, yet nothing you try seems to help. Talking to a friend or family member has helped in the past, but it just isn't feeling right. You tried journaling and have maybe even looked at self help books. These are the times when you might wonder if therapy could be helpful to you. You have looked up therapists online but never followed through with calling or scheduling an appointment. You don't make the call because you think "things could be worse", "I don't want to be the kind of person that goes to therapy" or maybe you are having some anxiety. You really don't know much about therapy and you know your not "crazy". There is this idea floating around out there that only "crazy" or "emotional people" go to therapy. OK. Let me stop this right here and tell you that therapy can be helpful to anyone who is willing to participate. Therapy is for anyone who could benefit from talking to a person that is not otherwise involved in their life and who may offer a new perspective and/or skill set.
The idea of sitting with complete stranger who is asking you to talk about things that may be very personal to you, can be extremely intimidating. Therapists know this and that is why licensed therapists and counselors have made it their life's work to help people feel comfortable talking with them about anything and everything. Sometimes people tell me they have waited so long to start therapy because they were afraid their therapist would judge them. The goal of therapists is to understand you and not to judge you. As you work with a therapist, an important relationship develops. The therapist works to help you feel comfortable, safe, accepted and to earn your trust.
Other clients have told me they were worried that they would look ridiculous because they don't know how to "do therapy". If you know how to talk with another person, you know how to do therapy. Your therapist is trained to not only help you feel comfortable, but to guide you through the process. So you can let that worry go. Once you establish that your therapist is a good fit, you can trust them to take the wheel when needed.
An extremely common reason people give for avoiding therapy is that they think "going to therapy will make me look weak". OMG, if only the public understood that it is the courageous, the strong and the determined that seek therapy. It is much easier to just coast along surviving, than to admit that things need to change and to take the actions required to make those changes. It is easier to deny that there is a problem than to face a problem and resolve it. Consider this idea. The best athletes, actors or business people in the world seek out coaches. They got to be the best because of support from experienced professionals. This applies to living life as well. Mental health, life changes, relationship problems and other hiccups in life happen. It's how you handle these events that makes the difference. Why not get the help of an expert to deal with your problems in the most effective ways?
You would be very surprised at just how many people are either in or have been in therapy. There is no reason you should feel ashamed for doing everything you can to help yourself feel better and make yourself a better person. When you feel like you are not living your best life, it's important that you find help and support in some form, so that you can get back on track.
In the past I have written about important questions to ask a potential therapist. In that article I talk about some of the questions you may want to ask a therapist in order to see if they are right for you. I also wrote about some of the reasons you should go to counseling. So if you have more questions about therapy or how seeing a therapist could help, check out these other posts.
Sara Cole has been providing mental health services in San Diego for 15 years. Sara specializes in working with women and teen girls to overcome trauma and major life changes, including postpartum depression and anxiety. She is also passionate about providing treatment to those whose lives are affected by the addiction of a loved one.