Question that gets asked a lot is how do you know if you really need to see a therapist ? and I’ve struggled to answer this question a little bit because I think what’s underneath the question is really : at what point is someone really absolutely broken enough to need help ? now this implies that Therapy is really only for the broken or to be used as a last resort. which is not necessary the case. Going to therapy does not mean you’re crazy, weak, dangerous or flawed, in fact most people who seek psychological help are ordinary people dealing with ordinary everyday problems.
The Cost of Therapy
There are quite a few costs associated with therapy and I will talk about those, but timing is really important when it comes to getting help, therapy can be helpful for lots of issues and it really shouldn’t be avoided or put off as a last resort. I mean a study of the relationship expert John Cottman has discovered through his research that couples wait an average of six years before seeking marital therapy, that means there’s six years of pain suffering anger frustration that are leading to a buildup of problems.
People are on the doorstep of divorce before they go for help. Now if they had come in a few years earlier the odds of success would be much higher, if you want to solve your problems fix your marriage or improve your relationships. Is it really important to you that you just put that off until it’s an absolute necessity or do you want to come in and get some help
before the problem gets worse.
Costs Vs Benefits
Now I get it. There’s a lot of costs associated with therapy and it’s important that we make sure that the benefits of therapy outweigh the costs. So let’s talk about the cost for a minute. Okay, first off the obvious one is money, therapy can be really expensive and without insurance coverage that can be a significant burden for people, and one of the things that I do tell people is that therapy is an investment that pays itself back over time, a lack of emotional or relational skills can be very expensive when you look at Just the financial cost of lost job opportunities or medical bills, not to mention the cost It’s having on your happiness or relationships.
It’s important to look at therapy as something that’s going to pay you back for years to come, another cost of therapy is time. Usually therapy takes about an hour a week, but there’s also travel time and the time you spend reading or working on a problem. However unresolved problems also take time and effort and they interfere with our ability to get things done. Another big cost of therapy is effort, therapy requires Mental and emotional labor, it requires emotional vulnerability and it really asks you to stretch and grow. So a lot of people avoid therapy because they’re uncomfortable exerting that emotional effort. And unfortunately when they don’t do that, they experience emotional burnout or other draining emotions that are more negative.
therapy can be exhausting and challenging, facing your demons and replacing bad habits with new. New skills can be a lot of work so I can understand why people would want to avoid that. I just don’t think it’s necessarily a good choice or an intentional decision that people make when they avoid therapy because it’s hard.
the last big cost of therapy is what I think is the number one reason why people avoid therapy, they’re worried about stigma they’re worried about how other people are going to think about them or how they think about themselves if they know they went to therapy. They might see the the idea of going to therapy as meaning that they are broken, deficient or bad. now that is just not true, some of the most proficient and powerful and high functioning CEOs see a life coach or an executive coach or a therapist every single week, because they know that it’s going to improve their performance.
Benefits of Therapy
So let go off the idea that therapy is only for broken bat or deficient people, therapy is for people who want to change improve and grow and I believe almost everyone wants those things in their life. So what are some of the benefits of therapy? I mean we’re talking about improved emotional coping skills. So your emotions don’t weigh you down. We’re talking about better relationships, healthier kids, healthier marriages. We’re talking about the ability to function better at work, to get along with your team better, to be more productive and to be able to do more things that we were previously avoiding. most importantly going to therapy can help people reach greater peace and happiness in their life. Therapy can have a positive impact on You and your descendants for generations to come.
Do You Need Therapy ?
so assuming that you’re wondering if you need therapy, here’s a couple of definite yeses. Like if this is the case you need therapy.
#1 – you’re suicidal: obviously go get some help. its a must.
#2 – you’re not functioning : your emotions or your relationship problems are getting in the way of your ability to do school, your work or your relationships. So for some people this might look like you’re unable to leave the house, or you’re so afraid of bridges that you won’t drive to a location you need to get to, if your mental emotional relational issues are interfering with your functioning. You should go get some help.
#3 – You think you’re fine, but everyone around you is saying you need to get some help : that’s a good indication that you’re blinded to your own issues, and seeing a therapist could really help you.
Now, here’s some reasons you might need therapy or you could benefit from therapy, but you know the the costs and the benefits you’ll have to weigh them carefully.
your emotions get in the way of your functioning, you’ve had an intense experience that keeps you from being able to concentrate or functional while you’re using substances to cope. Some people call this self-medicating as if that makes it okay, but if you’re dependent on drugs alcohol food or addictive behaviors to manage your emotions, then you could really benefit from getting some help.
Here’s one people don’t think about a lot but physical symptoms. So if you have stomach aches headaches or frequent illnesses, or you have illnesses that you can’t explain or just won’t go away. These might have an emotional aspect to them that’s contributed to or causing them.
You’re getting bad feedback at work or you’ve been fired repeatedly, your relationships are strained. You’ve got a persistent problem that you’ve tried over and over again to overcome, but nothing you’ve tried has worked. So a therapist is a specialist in the change process. They know how to help people go from Step A to B to C and We’ll get to where they want to be.
So if you’ve got a persistent problem keeps coming back you keep trying to change it but failing try getting a second opinion on it. One thing that many people don’t realize they can go to a therapist for, is helping someone that they love. So if you have someone you love and care about and you think they need help but they won’t go in, then you go to a therapist yourself to get ideas, Resources training education and support as to how to help them.
Cases You don’t Need It
On the other hand. If you’re making progress towards your goals, if you’re able to change yourself if you’re working, even if it’s slowly toward resolving each of your problems little by little and you feel like you have the resources and support to do that. You might be able to get by by yourself. if you’re functioning at work, Your relationships are pretty Good and you’re not experiencing physical problems, then perhaps you don’t need a therapist.
I hope this article helps you decide if you need therapy. If you need to talk to someone right away click the button below
There’s really good research out there showing that around 80% of people who go to therapy experience significant Improvement in their presenting problem. So when you ask if you really need therapy?ask yourself How long do you want to experience this problem before you ask for help? What are the cost? What are you missing out on in your life that’s bothering you or would you like to know about resources and solutions that you’re not even aware of in order to help you solve your problem.