Deciding to go to therapy is a big step in anyone’s self-care journey. But how do you know if your mental health can benefit from professional help? To start, let’s consider a few tips to help you determine if therapy is the best choice for you.
Is Therapy The Right Choice For Me?
Explore non-professional options as well: For some people, just talking things out with a friend or family member is enough to make a difference. Other people make big strides with a group support program like Alcoholics’ Anonymous. And for others, there are meditation or yoga apps that can help calm their anxiety and reset their minds. If you’ve tried these options but are still struggling, you may want to look into therapy.
Look for warning signals: Some warning signals include marital dissatisfaction or distress, alcohol or drug addiction or abuse, loneliness, depression, anxiety, and employment difficulties. You may also have loved ones approach you about seeking help for your mental health. Accept their concern with grace and know that they only have your best interests in mind.
Dig deep into the problem: Perhaps you’re dealing with a difficult transition or coping with a loss. If your spiraling mental health is the direct result of a sudden change, ask yourself two questions: Is the problem distressing to you? And is it interfering with your everyday life? If it’s causing you to withdraw from loved ones or affecting your ability to focus at school or work, it’s time to seek professional help.
The bottom line: If you’re curious about therapy, chances are, you will benefit from it! After all, what do you have to lose? Therapy could be the difference between accepting the so-so status quo and living your very best life.
Finding the Right Therapist
When it comes to finding a therapist, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, you want someone who’s style and vibe fits with your own. For instance, if you think you’ll feel most comfortable in a more casual setting, look for someone who is approachable and compassionate. If you want a more formal relationship, seek out a therapist who takes a serious and structured approach to ensure that you’re getting the most out of each session. To really get a feel for the therapist, it’s always best to talk directly to the therapist during a free consultation. Most therapists offer free 15-minute phone or video calls to help you and the therapist determine if you are a good fit with this clinician both clinically and stylistically.
Second, be sure to select a therapist with professional credentials and experience that match your needs. You can always ask a friend or family member for a recommendation. If that feels too personal, reach out to your primary care physician, or use a therapist search site, such as Psychology Today, for guidance.
And third, be patient. Therapy is a process and it can sometimes take a few sessions before you start noticing a change. If after a few sessions, if you don’t feel like you’re receiving the help you need, start your search again and try someone new. Your mental health is worth the effort!
Remember that seeking help is a show of strength, not weakness. You’re taking control of your life and doing your best to live it to your full potential. Be proud of yourself!
Reach out to Dr. Kelli Malkasian, PsyD, C.E.D.S. at Coral Reef Counseling and schedule a free consultation or telehealth appointment today!