While it certainly seems these days as though there is less stigma around mental health, that does not always mean that the road towards a better you is not without its challenges. Making the decision to seek out a therapist; to seek help for yourself, your marriage or a loved one in your care can cause many once-hidden fears to surface.
There is a common fallacy of thought that causes individuals to downplay the issues that they are experiencing, telling themselves that “others have it worse” or that they don’t really need the help, that they’ll be able to figure it out on their own. They may feel that whatever symptoms have arisen do not fit a typical diagnosis or warrant professional intervention. They may even join the ranks of individuals fighting for less stigma surrounding mental health, while at the same time believing that “therapy is for other people”.
This only begs the question, “Who is therapy for?” Who needs counseling?
Meeting with a therapist in an individual format, the possibilities are endless for session discussions, for seeking internal growth and discovery, and improving your quality of life. Even if you are not currently experiencing more severe symptoms of anxiety, depression, trauma, or learned problematic behavioral patterns as we see in both substance abuse and eating disorders, that doesn’t mean that therapy is not necessary, or cannot be helpful.
You may find instead that individual counseling is the perfect place to reevaluate your own role in relationship difficulties, get a handle on anger, or learn to navigate new life transitions. Therapists can teach skills in stress management, developing self-esteem, and help you to cultivate greater self-awareness.
Even if you remain unconvinced of your need for long-term support, establishing a relationship with an external party who can provide feedback and direction, if even just for a few sessions, can help you chart a course into greater emotional and mental well-being.
Many couples in a conflictual relationship make the mistake of waiting too long before seeking help. Before the ultimatums are thrown out, before things are said that cannot be taken back, consider seeking the unbiased and non-judgemental support of a therapist. Many conflicts can be avoided, or at least better explained when you learn to stop keeping score, and seek understanding rather than blame or retribution. A skilled couples therapist can work with you and your partner to increase communication, intimacy and trust, all essential ingredients to a healthy long-term relationship.
Even if a relationship was built on solid footing, there are times in one’s life where it may be especially beneficial to seek support as a couple. From establishing expectations before marriage, through the addition or loss of each child or aging parent, changes in the household will undoubtedly have an affect on the primary couple. When experiencing even happy stressors, it may be a good time to check in with a trusted therapist.
Just as with the couple unit, a family unit will transition to different stages of life over time. A family is a blend of traditions, routines and favored memories stemming from each parent’s culture, and unsurprisingly, necessitates some training in compromise in order to flow smoothly.
- Parent Coaching Learning to be on the same team to meet the specific needs of your child is greatly aided by a clinician who can translate their understanding of child development into real and practical strategies for your family.
- Co-parenting Even with the dissolution of the primary couple, there is still a need to be on the same page when it comes to the development and education of your mutual child.
- Blended Families When two families become one, a whole new set of rules and family structure are needed to ensure a smooth transition.
For children, play-based therapy can help them to gain confidence, ask for what they need, and learn to regulate their internal states. Play can be used as the language with which they are able to process troubling experiences, learn limits, develop problem solving capabilities, and test their resiliency.
Children may be appropriate for therapy (LINK: Signs your child should go to therapy) if they are expressing overwhelming emotions on a consistent basis, engaged in repetitive problematic behaviors, or are having difficulty adapting to a family transition.
Keep in mind that parent participation is usually just as important to help learn strategies that will be better suited to the unique needs of your child. All parents could benefit from an outsider’s perspective from time to time, especially that of providers who routinely work with children.
Adolescence is a period of dramatic change in a teen’s physical, cognitive, emotional, and social world. They are busy with the task of making sense out of the world, discovering who they are, and how to enjoy life. We may see teens in the therapy office for any of the above reasons, or for a heightened take on the maladaptive patterns established in childhood. Therapy can offer these adolescents an opportunity to build confidence, self esteem, and the concrete skills they need to navigate their social worlds.
Many of us would benefit greatly from counseling services, if only we could find the courage to take that first step. If you are looking to make some life changes, let the therapists at Pure Health Center offer you the support and direction you need to stay on the right track. Setting up an appointment is easy with our online portal!