We might have heard the phrase “you need therapy” being directed at someone as a form of insult or to degrade the other person. But I feel that actively seeking help to improve is one of the bravest and most self-compassionate things a person can do.
But what exactly is therapy? How is it different from other forms of healing and how does it even help?
All fair questions.
Therapy or psychotherapy is a service provided by a trained professional (a psychotherapist), to assess, diagnose and treat dysfunctional thought patterns, emotional reactions, and behaviours. Therapists primarily use talk therapy but there are various other forms of therapy out there, such as dance-movement therapy, and art therapy which takes different aspects of expression to explore and heal.
Therapists make use of scientific and research-backed methods to formulate treatment plans for their clients, taking each individual’s unique personality into account. The client has an active role to play in therapy, where they bring in their concerns, work collaboratively with the therapist to set goals and incorporate the approach into their daily life.
To better understand what a client can expect from their first therapy session, check out our blog here - what to expect from your first therapy session?
So how do you know what is the best time to seek therapy and if you even need it?
The short answer to this is, whenever you feel like it. But let me elaborate.
You don’t need to wait for something big to happen or to go wrong, for you to need or seek therapy. There is no wrong time to seek it. When you feel that your mental health is not at its peak, or is in any way affecting your quality of life is when taking help from a professional is advisable. Individuals can also seek therapy to better process their emotions and understand how their past affects their current perception.
Some signs to look out for that are indicative of poor mental health:
Persistent feelings of sadness, anger, or just “not feeling yourself”
Abusing substances, sex, or even food to cope with your emotions
Not being able to engage or enjoy activities which previously were gratifying
Having gone through a traumatic incident and having a difficult time processing thoughts and feelings around it.
Some extra resources on therapy:
Maybe you should talk to someone - Lori Gottlieb