10 Ways to Know if Therapy is Right For You
One of the most common questions I get when people first call about seeking therapy is whether or not their problems are big enough for therapy. I'll be honest. In my opinion, if you’re asking the answer is already yes. I get the uncertainty though. I can imagine the internal dialogue, “I’m being dramatic. It’s not really that bad. I can manage on my own.” Let’s look at 10 reasons therapy might be right for you.
1. You have been diagnosed with a mental illness and you are experiencing a relapse. Sometimes you’ve done the work and gotten better. A lot better. But life can get the best of us. If you know the warning signs, if you recognize you’re struggling, therapy is for you. There’s no shame. Relapses happen. What’s important is recognizing it and addressing it as soon as possible.
2. Friends and family have expressed concern. Sometimes we are really bad at recognizing how much we are struggling. Sometimes it takes the people around us to point out that it’s time to get help. If friends and family vocalize concern, it might be time to start therapy.
3. Symptoms of….fill in the blank...interfere with daily functioning. This is my baseline for whether or not a behavior or situation should be worked on. Is it interfering with daily functioning? Making you unhappy? Causing problems in your personal life? Therapy is for you. Let’s do something about it and help you feel better.
4. You find you’re struggling with relationships in your life. Maybe you find yourself trapped in a toxic relationship. Or you’re noticing a pattern in difficulties in your relationships. You might be feeling isolated or having trouble connecting with people. All of these are reasons to seek help.
5. You find yourself in a stressful, transitional place in your life. Maybe you’re graduating college, contemplating a big career change. Getting married or divorced. Maybe you just moved or you’re finding yourself being a caretaker for your parents or another person you love. Life transitions are so difficult, it’s easy to feel lost. Getting help and support from a therapist is perfectly natural.
6. You’re coming to terms with being an addict or an alcoholic. Addiction in any form is challenging to recover from. Seeing a therapist can help!
7. You suspect you have a mental health disorder-but you’re not quite sure. There’s nothing wrong with checking in with a therapist. Truly, if you’re wondering about this-the answer is probably yes. Often, having a professional validate what you already suspect is incredibly empowering.
8. You’re sick and tired of being sick and tired. If you’ve been struggling for awhile. If nothing you have done seems to help. If you’re exhausted and just done with trying the same things over and over and not getting any better. This is the perfect time to start therapy. I truly appreciate clients that have the ‘gift of desperation’. This means they are ready to sit down and work hard.
9. If you and your partner are struggling with your relationship. Please, please don’t wait. So many couples wait until their relationship is in crisis mode. Why wait? The sooner you seek help, the easier it will be to repair your relationship.
10. You’ve suffered a loss. Not everyone that suffers a loss need a therapist. If the grief becomes too much. If you don’t have a support system in place that can lift you up and support you. If you feel lost in your grief, seek help. Therapy is definitely for you.
Here’s your bonus reason for seeking help. You are thinking about killing yourself. You’re actively engaged in self-harm or you are thinking about hurting yourself. We don’t judge. We don’t get scared. We are here to help. Seek a therapist and if you need something faster than that. Reach out to a crisis line. Our National Suicide Prevention Hotline number is 1-800-273-8255.
There are so many more reasons to seek help and connect with a therapist. These are just the ones that came to mind as things that people might not realize are excellent reason to find a therapist. Not sure how to pick the right therapist? Check out this blog post for some tips. Ready for that first session? This article can help you get the most out of your time in therapy.
In addition to creating Bodhi Counseling, Melanie Sivley is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice in Champaign, IL. She specializes in Anxiety, Depression and Trauma. She is EMDR trained and currently pursuing her EMDR certification.
Melanie Sivley, LCSW
206 N. Randolph, Suite 505B
Champaign, IL 61820