“You look like you need some professional help..... Thanks!”
If you have heard this phrase "You need help", or something similar, you probably weren’t feeling very accepted and understood at that moment. It may have felt like they were saying you are broken and damaged. Then in an effort to prove that you are fine and not broken you may avoid going to therapy. Staying strong and continuing on-wards in your struggles. The fallacy is that being strong and needing therapy are not dichotomies but often co-exist. This response is a very human response based from the wonderful world of media.
You don’t need to be broken to go to therapy. Therapy is normal. Really, who doesn’t want to find tools to make life a little easier? When was the last time you heard someone say… “Man I wish life was harder, things are just way too easy right now."?
So in a small effort to continue bashing the stigma around mental health, I have come up with several good reasons to go to therapy. Reasons that don’t include being broken, damaged, or being crazy.
1. You want to become more comfortable within your life- It’s normal to struggle with accepting life circumstances and the unchangeables of life. I for one grew up knowing the males in my family went bald, but I didn’t struggle with the fact I was going to go bald. I struggled with the fact that mankind has not solved male pattern baldness by now, I mean really- we can fly to other planets but not stop my hair from falling out?
Many people have difficulty with being uncomfortable, and that doesn’t have to mean depression or other mental disorders. Therapy can help explore stumbling blocks that are preventing positive self esteem.
2. You want to make a good relationship great- Often times relationships fall into pure functionality, and then there is no more joy and meaningfulness. Couples' therapy can help work through the arguments and distance between couples and create joy and meaning.
3. You want to be a better parent- The child may be driving you to your whit’s end and you know you just need a little more brainstorming and a few good ideas to get things running smoothly again.
4, You want to change careers or kill your boss- Many people have the assumption that counselors probably have awesome bosses who are also counselors. While one of those facts may be true the other isn’t always. These would-be loved counselor bosses theoretically would create a work environment of support, encouragement, and sound decisions. I confidently (I mean confidentially) stand before you today and share with you everyone can have evil bosses.
Counseling can help find solutions that are in line with your goals. The other side of the coin poses this question: is fear, hard work, or interpersonal conflict holding you back?
5. Find purpose and meaning in life- Life can get a little easier when you are acting in congruence with your values.
6. You need self care and just need to talk to someone- Therapy is a safe place away from familiar, possible judgmental thoughts and people, a place to sit and explore what you want or need in life.
7. Improve your health and fitness- Therapists aren’t always super models or yoga experts, but physical and mental health are connected. Therapy can be a place to create personalized individual goals and solutions.
8, You want to let painful memories or experiences go- It takes a great deal of energy fighting off negative thoughts, emotions, and images. Therapy can help find ways of dropping your struggles and connecting with others in your life.