“Anyone can learn on their own”….”I can figure it out on my own, I always have”… These are common statements and thoughts that people express in questioning why the need for therapy. The reality is that, yes, we can all figure it out. The question is how fast and how effective?
There are many reasons why someone might seek out psychology therapy. Some of the most common reasons include:
Mental health concerns: Many people seek therapy due to mental health issues. These issues can include anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Therapy can help them manage their symptoms and improve their overall quality of life.
Relationship issues: Therapy can be beneficial for couples or individuals who are having difficulty in their relationships. Such issues may include communication problems, conflicts, or infidelity.
Life transitions: Major life transitions such as divorce, retirement, or the loss of a loved one can be difficult to navigate. Therapy can provide support and guidance during these challenging times.
Self-improvement: Some people seek therapy as a way to improve themselves and their lives. They may want to work on personal growth, increase their self-esteem, or develop new coping skills.
Trauma: Therapy can be beneficial for individuals who have experienced trauma such as physical or sexual abuse, violence, or a natural disaster. Therapy can help them process their experiences and work through any related mental health issues.
These are just a few examples of why someone might seek out psychology therapy. Ultimately, therapy can be helpful for anyone who is looking to improve their mental health, relationships, or overall quality of life.
When you have car trouble or health issues, or you simply want to learn a positive new skill (e.g. learn yoga), do you figure it out on your own? Do we YouTube it? Chances are, we acknowledge our limited ability to sort it out and we simply put our minds and energy into searching for the right expert or guru!
So why should therapy be different?
A car is an important transportation medium and is very valuable. More valuable than our mental health or the possibility to grow as a person?
There are several reasons some people avoid therapy. One is the stigma associated with seeing a “shrink” or a therapist. Many people still associate attending therapy as maybe not being totally sane or maybe being somewhat “crazy”. This stigma many times comes as part of our upbringing and, at times, family-of-origin conversations (e.g. “My parents don’t believe in therapy”).
Another reason is that most times, interpersonal problems, mental health issues, stress, anxiety, etc. happen gradually. We are a very adaptive specie and we learn to live with these shortcomings or stressors. Over time, these issues usually keep increasing, almost like the snowball rolling downhill until it becomes too late and we face an avalanche!
Finally, going to therapy involves opening up and sharing some of our vulnerabilities. When we drop our car at the mechanic, it’s all very impersonal (“the car is heating”, “breaks are squeaking”, etc.). It’s a lot easier to address car problems or even medical issues (e.g. having frequent headaches, having chest aches, etc.) than to open up to a total stranger.
As we think of these deterrents to seeking therapy (sometimes a sign of avoidance, denial, or simple fear) that wonder in our mind, our therapeutic process has begun! We start to take a more detached, insightful, and objective perspective on therapy, and chances are we start to be more inclined to address one of the most important aspects of a human being: mental health, peace, and growth.
As additional thoughts to help you feel more positive about therapy, not only are psychologists thoroughly trained with proven techniques and protocols, we are bound to confidentiality and to have a nonjudgmental attitude. Our goal as psychologists is our client’s well-being!
So maybe, as we take time to reflect on some of our many challenges, we gather the insight and courage to reach out and start a journey of healing and growth!