If someone suggested that you seek therapy, would you be offended? Well, you would be if you’re one of the 47 percent of Americans who believe that seeking therapy is a sign of weakness. This is even though almost 58 million Americans are struggling with mental illness. At this point, it’s important to point out that you don’t need a mental illness to go to therapy.
In fact, talking to a trained professional about your problems and feelings is something that can benefit everyone. Let’s look at some of the ways therapy can change your life for the better, as well as the difference between seeing a professional and talking about your problems with a friend.
Reason 1: You Realize What You Want
Sometimes, it’s possible that you’re not experiencing mental health issues – maybe you just feel lost. A common misconception is that a therapist will tell you what to do, but that’s not true. Rather, they empower you to make your own decisions and come to a conclusion yourself.
That being said, if you’re unsure about where you’re going or what your goals are, mental health therapy can help. It gives you the space to think about what you want and the steps you need to take to achieve them.
Reason 2: You See Things From a New Perspective
Everyone has problems related to relationships, careers, or family. Even if you’re well-equipped to handle these problems, there may be times when you’re stuck in a stressful situation and unsure about how to deal with it.
Here, a therapist can provide you with a third person’s perspective regarding the situation. Because you’re stuck in the middle of the problem, you likely have a narrower focus. Meanwhile, your therapist may think about the bigger picture, which allows you to look at the problem from different angles.
Reason 3: You Build Better Coping Skills
When people struggle with mental health issues, they don’t always choose the best ways to cope with negative emotions. Seeking therapy allows you to work on problem-solving skills so you can address the overwhelm that comes with mental health problems.
One of the most effective approaches that therapists use to help clients is cognitive behavioral therapy. The core of this approach involves changing how you interpret certain feelings. So, instead of having a pessimistic view, you look at things from a realistic yet optimistic view. As a result, you change unhealthy behavioral patterns.
CBT is among the most effective and common therapies because it’s systematic and objective. It’s one of the main evidence-based therapies employed at URP Behavioral Health, but there are others as well. To learn more, head over to https://urpbehavioralhealth.com/.
Reason 4: You Become a Better Communicator
Mental health professionals are trained to communicate empathetically and effectively with clients. So, when you speak to a professional about your mental health issues, you learn to be a better communicator in the process. Specifically, you’ll become more aware of how you’re articulating your thoughts and expressing your emotions. Not to mention, therapists also provide you with feedback during sessions, which you can incorporate into everyday interactions with others.
And if you have trouble with certain aspects of communication, such as being honest without hurting other people’s feelings or being assertive, therapy can help in that regard. A mental health professional can suggest the best way to speak more clearly while remaining respectful, which is great for setting boundaries and making sure that others respect them.
Reason 5: You Get Better At Relationships
While mental health issues are no one’s fault, they can certainly take a toll on our relationships. Symptoms like low mood, a lack of sociality, irritability, and others can affect how we behave around our loved ones and other people. In these situations, mental health therapy can improve your interpersonal relationships.
In some treatment programs, group therapy and family therapy are recommended as a way to help clients relate with others in a healthy way. In family therapy, you have an opportunity to talk to your loved ones about how your behavior affects them and vice versa. It builds an understanding that allows for more empathy within relationships.
Reason 6: You Start Making Changes
It’s quite common for people to consult a mental health professional when they’re about to make a major transition or change. Similarly, it’s possible that they want to make a significant change but are unsure about where to start. It could be as simple as going back to work after having a baby or telling your partner that you want to split up.
Regardless of the change you’re looking to make, you may be feeling overwhelmed and confused about where to start. In this case, talking to a therapist allows you to break the problem into smaller parts. This way, you divide a major change into smaller tasks that are easy to implement.
Therapy Vs. Talking To a Friend
Now that you’ve understood the benefits of seeking therapy, you may be wondering if it’s possible to achieve the same results by talking to a friend. If there’s someone you can open up to and trust while talking about your problems, that’s great! It’s highly recommended to have someone that you can talk to when you’re feeling stressed. However, therapists are trained professionals with appropriate qualifications.
They’re trained to practice empathy, be objective, and, most importantly, maintain confidentiality. When talking to a friend, you may feel like you need to reciprocate the support they provide you, but that’s not the case with a therapist. And while your friends may take your side in an argument, your therapist will remain objective. They’ll provide a broader perspective that allows you to reevaluate a situation.