It’s normal to hesitate before starting therapy
Many people wait a long time before they decide to attend therapy. Many questions may arise in their minds: “Will it help?” or “What if the therapist is weird?” or “How long will I have to go?” or “Is my problem really that bad?” These unknowns may cause them to delay seeking help.
Often we tend to think “Maybe the problem will go away” or “After (blank) is over, then I will feel better” (insert what makes sense for you here, the big project at work, the kid’s sports season, etc.)
But counseling can help
But if you are finding that your problem or issue is starting to affect your daily life, it may be time to think about facing the problem head on. There are a variety of ways to do this; some people look to friends and family for support, others go to their doctor for psychiatric medication and some folks seek counseling.
Everyone’s situation is unique. You may have a higher threshold for coping with stressful situations than someone else and that is ok. But, if you feel like you are not functioning at your best or the anxious or depressive thoughts are creeping in therapy can be helpful.
Here are some examples of individuals who could be helped by therapy:
Marcy is a full time wife, mom and employee. She struggles to keep all the balls in the air. She is noticing her anxiety is increasing since returning to work after her most recent maternity leave. Sometimes she has panic attacks that come out of nowhere. She has daily symptoms of anxiety, like tightness in her chest, heart beating fast, and racing thoughts.
Phil is a 50 something man who has worked a full time job his whole life. Recently, he was laid off and has been struggling to find another job. His wife has noticed that he seems depressed; he has been isolating himself, isn’t doing activities he normally enjoys and is more angry.
Denise is a caregiver for her elderly mother and she babysits her grandchildren on a regular basis, while maintaining her own household and working. She has been feeling burned out and has even had some medical issues crop up that are related to stress. She is feeling frustrated that she does so much for other people, but it never feels like enough.
Do you recognize yourself in any of those scenarios? What are your hang ups about going to therapy? If you have gone to therapy, did you find it helpful?
Here is a quiz by Psychology Today to help you determine if therapy could be helpful.
Author: Alison Pidgeon, LPC
Alison is the Founder and CEO of Move Forward Counseling, a boutique private practice for women with three locations in Lancaster County, PA. She is passionate about reducing the stigma related to accessing mental health services. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.