Therapy can seem like a mysterious process that is hard to understand. A lot of people even think therapy can make things worse rather than better. But therapy is designed to provide a safe space to discuss difficult feelings. It’s not just about harvesting trauma for the sake of saying you did. If you think of it as a scary, overwhelming thing, then you’re more likely to panic and freak out before the first session even starts. You don’t have to be “broken” to go to therapy. In fact, it’s best if you don’t wait until you hit rock-bottom. Here are three signs you could benefit from some sessions with an experienced therapist.
It’s hard to function
If your issues are interfering with your daily life, then that’s a sign that you should seriously consider bringing professional help into your life. If you’re so depressed in the morning that getting up and going to work feels impossible, then you may be suffering from clinical depression or another disorder. We all have bad days, but if the bad days happen more often than the good ones, then it’s worth getting a mental health screening. Such screenings will ask you questions about your symptoms, including things like “How often does depression affect your ability to work?”
Medication can help, but it can’t fix everything. Some people benefit more from therapy, while others benefit from a combination of medication plus therapy. There’s no need to continue living a miserable, unfulfilling life when mental health assistance is available. Many people assume they’re merely going through a tough phase. They tell themselves that everything will blow over. But if that doesn’t happen, then it’s time to call your primary care physician and get a referral for therapists in NYC.
You’re always venting to friends
We all deserve the chance to blow off steam with friends after work or on weekends. Life can be weird and baffling even in the best of times, and so it’s nice to tell our closest pals about something our annoying coworker did at the office. However, even your best friends can only hear so much before they run out of things to say. Furthermore, experts say that venting too much means you start dwelling on those negative feelings in a way that’s unhealthy.
A trained therapist won’t buy you a beer as you complain, but they’ll do something better: They’ll give you active strategies for dealing with the problems you’re talking about. They’ll ask questions about the situations you describe, as well as about the ways you respond to such situations. In movies and TV, therapists often spend the entire session asking, “How do you feel?” Real-life therapy is a lot more thoughtful, purposeful, and intensive than that.
You feel like something needs to change
With enough practice and time, humans can get used to just about anything. We can convince ourselves something is normal when it’s really not. To break free from a toxic pattern, we have to wake ourselves up and tell ourselves that something needs to change. That I need to change. Without that recognition, therapy isn’t going to do you much good.
Remember that therapists aren’t there to tell you what you want to hear. If a therapist suggests that you’re scared of being vulnerable, you shouldn’t immediately get defensive and reject the idea. You must be willing to work on yourself. There’s an old joke that goes “I’ve tried nothing, and now I’m all out of ideas.” If you come into therapy with that mindset, then you aren’t going to get far. The change probably won’t happen overnight, but if you’re willing to put in the work, therapy can provide you with coping skills that you’ll use for the rest of your life.