Therapy is a word that a lot of people shy away from. There’s a certain stigma attached to therapy, and many are skeptical that it even works. But therapy is perhaps one of the most beneficial things you can do for your mental health. Today, we’re going to take a look at why.
1. Therapy helps to get to the ‘why’ of emotional problems
When you undergo therapy, a trained professional guides you through a number of steps that help you to work out exactly where the problem stems from. Therapy is so useful because it doesn’t just aim to just alleviate symptoms but it first and foremost attempts to understand what is going wrong and why.
A therapist will trace back different events in your life and help you to understand how they’ve contributed to and continue to contribute to your current issue. Then, they’ll help you to understand the knock-on effect this has on other factors of your life, and your mental health. Discovering the root cause of issues is vital to your long term recovery – and that’s exactly where therapy is so useful.
2. Therapists see things you don’t
Therapists are trained to see things in a way you don’t. All of those harmful factors in your life that you’ve normalised over the years become far clearer under a therapist’s eye, and they can help you to understand how certain behaviours have affected you negatively even when you’ve never seen it that way yourself.
Therapists, in their objectivity and professional capacity, can understand things that you may be blind to, like how a close one’s ‘normal’ behaviour has in fact contributed to your mental health issues. A good therapist can open your mind to a whole host of possibilities that you’ve never considered, and with this naturally comes a more effective and targeted healing process.
3. Therapy can help you to feel less alone
Whether you’re mentally unwell or not, talking to someone about your problem is a really great way of feeling less alone in it. Venting can help to lift a weight from your shoulders and can help you to find some temporary relief from what you’re feeling.
You might not want to talk to close ones about it for different reasons, and as a therapist is trained to help, they are often a great person to talk to. Bottling it up is never a good option, and therapists can help you to feel more ‘normal’ and less isolated.
4. Therapists have training and resources
No matter how hard we try, it’s easy to say the wrong thing to someone with a mental illness. This is not surprising, given that mental health awareness is so recent, as I’ve explained before. Sometimes things we think are benign, even optimistic and cheery are actually very harmful to someone with a mental illness.
Therapists are not perfect people either, but they are better equipped to help you through your problem, and they have a tonne of resources at their fingertips to help you through – whether it’s information pamphlets, support groups, worksheets, or just the right approach to a loved one with a mental illness.
5. Therapists should not be judgmental
Sometimes people might be scared to talk to anyone because their mental health issues stem from mistakes they’ve made, or cause them to make mistakes they’re ashamed of.
But the great thing about therapy is that a therapist, or a good one at least, will not judge you on these, but simply help you to get past them and prevent them from reoccurring. Therapy is completely confidential unless the professional has reason to be immediately concerned about your or another person’s wellbeing. A good therapist will not give their help to only those who share their values, similarly to how a doctor should not refuse a patient.
6. Therapy provides you with tools for the future
The great thing about therapy is that it tries to provide you with tools to help you in the long term rather than short term. It might feel like therapy takes a while to work, but this is partially because it is a long term solution. Therapists will help you understand how to deal with negative thoughts and will teach you skills for doing so that will be useful forever – not just in the moment.
And, last but not least…
7. Therapy can be a great supplement to medication
Medication helps to keep people stable, but therapy can also help you feel more proactive in your healing, giving you some form of routine and dedicated self-care time. It can also give you an important lifeline in darker times. Therapy provides an outlet for worries and stresses and can provide some of the building blocks for maintaining good mental health during and after medication.
I hope this has provided a useful insight into why therapy is so important and such a good option when considering mental health care. It doesn’t necessarily work for everyone, but even if you’re skeptical, it is worth giving it a go if it is an option to you. You might be surprised at how much it helps!