The thought of going to therapy can be scary for most people. Will people think you’re crazy? Will my therapist judge you? How will you talk to a stranger about your problems? Can anyone really understand what you’re going through? These fears are completely normal. Life presents us all with challenges and there’s nothing “crazy” about getting help to get through the hard times.
Most people make the decision to come to therapy when they are already in the midst of a crisis. Waiting until a disaster occurs heightens anxiety and can actually hinder the healing process. I encourage people to pay attention to what’s going on in their lives, within themselves, and in their relationships on an ongoing basis. By being more aware and understanding your life, you can recognize when problems are occurring and get the help you need more quickly. Here are five things to pay attention to.
You have difficulty functioning in your daily life.
Maybe you are having trouble making it to work because anxiety or depression is holding you back. Perhaps you are arguing with your partner on a regular basis and you are no longer working together as a team. Haven’t seen your friends in a while? You might have physical health problems or trouble sleeping. There are infinite possibilities for this category. If you have noticed that tasks or important relationships have become difficult for you, you should explore that a bit more. There are probably underlying issues that therapy can help with.
You are coping with your troubles in an unhealthy way.
When people are facing challenging situations or having a hard time dealing with something, it’s easy to utilize unhealthy coping skills such as alcohol or drugs to numb the pain. By abusing substances, you are increasing the risk of developing a more complicated disorder. Avoiding your problems and burying your pain is not helpful and addiction will make it all the more difficult to overcome your issues. Drugs and alcohol are not the only unhealthy behaviors people engage in. Other things to pay attention to: overeating, starving yourself, excessive shopping, gambling addiction, overuse of pornography, and pretty much anything done in extremes.
You feel stuck and nothing is working.
Feeling stuck is a major sign that therapy can be helpful. Everyone has periods in their lives where it seems like there is no way out of a situation. An outside perspective can help you not only brainstorm new ideas and teach you coping skills, but you can gain self awareness that will allow you to utilize the strengths you already have. Sometimes we need to look at our lives differently. I’m here to tell you that you can move forward, heal from pain, and get “unstuck,” but you might need some help to get there.
You feel alone and like no one understands.
When people are in pain, it’s natural to isolate oneself. It’s hard to reach out to the people in your support system if you believe no one will understand what you’re dealing with. Going through something difficult alone can make the problem worse, especially if it revolves around maintaining relationships. Your therapist is someone that can take the time to listen to you without judgment, empathize with your situation, and provide support.
As a therapist, I believe that everyone can benefit from going to therapy. Therapy allows you to explore more about who you are, what you value, how your behaviors align with your thoughts and emotions, and why you are the way you are. You can gain a deeper understanding of your relationships and the impact of your family influences and upbringing. Even if you’re in a good place, you can enhance your life and relationships by going to therapy.
I am a Marriage and Family Therapist practicing in the Clear Lake area of Houston, Tx. If you resonate with any of the points above, don’t hesitate to give me a call at (832) 827-3288. I offer a free 20 minute phone consultation to help determine if we are a good fit to maximize your success in therapy. Life is hard, why not make it a little easier?
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