Why Choose Therapy?
In the previous post we briefly explored what therapy is, and equally as important, what it is not. This week we will continue the conversation by branching into why we might want to incorporate talk therapy into our lives. A considerable number of the clients I have seen articulated that they were seeking therapy since they were in an emotional crisis that they are not equipped to cope with. Some shared that their healthcare providers told them seek help, while others noted that their friends, families, partners, or loved ones urged them to reach out to a mental health professional. All of these are valid reasons to seek help, however they are not the only reasons to do so.
Last week’s post drew between the similarities of psychotherapy for mental health and seeing your family doctor for your physical health. Unlike physical health however, some symptoms of declining mental health may not be as easily detectable as the physical symptoms that delineate health issues. This in turn may result in mental health concerns taking longer to uncover, consequently leaving the individual in a state of discomfort for a longer period of time. Also dissimilar from physical health remedies, therapy for mental health does not follow a fixed, equational trajectory. For instance, while many individuals having similar symptoms of fever and body aches may follow a specific antibiotic course for a week to combat their illness, we cannot “prescribe” the exact same therapeutic intervention to more than one person. This is simply because each individual’s experiences and current capacity for change are unique to them, and therapy aims to help individuals set and achieve attainable goals, relative to their own needs and wants. Incorporating evidence-based techniques while acknowledging how each individual’s unique experiences affect their view of the world is essential to achieving goals.
The biopsychosocial model of well-being demonstrates that there are three main components to overall health and well-being: Biological, psychological, and social. We cannot achieve optimum well-being and performance levels while neglecting any of these components. It is much more socially acceptable to actively take control of our physical health by making changes to our diet and exercise routines, or by deciding to be more involved within our communities to boost our social well-being. However, many members of the community still struggle with the stigma of addressing mental health concerns. Choosing to seek professional therapy is the healthiest way to take control of our well-being in the psychological sense. With that said, I would like to reiterate that therapy does not “fix” individuals, because individuals are not broken. Therapy facilitates the uncovering of unique strengths and promotes the learning of new skills to cope with life. Given that therapy is voluntary, people truly gravitate towards it when they are wanting to change at least one aspect of their lives that they are not happy with. Individuals may choose to seek therapy for any of the following reasons, among others:
· Presence of Anxiety
· Presence of Depression
· Coping with diagnoses
· Self-Esteem concerns
· Issues with Self-Confidence
· Negative view of the self
· Relational concerns
· Going through a transition period
· Starting a new role
· Ending of a romantic relationship
· Ending of a friendship
· Conflict with others (partners, family, friends, coworkers)
· Unresolved trauma
· Inability to cope with life’s demands
· Feelings of overwhelm
· Inability to function at a level that is perceived as adequate
· Difficulties with commitment
· Issues with assertiveness
If you or anyone you know are going through any of the above-mentioned experiences, or are having difficulty functioning in a manner you deem appropriate, you may want to consider seeking talk-therapy to help provide clarity and assist in alleviating this concern. To continue this conversation, feel free to reach out with any questions, concerns, elaboration requests, or private consultations. Additionally, if there are other topics you would like me to post about in the blog, send me your recommendations. I can be confidentially reached at email@example.com or at (647) 493-2991. Until then, remember: You have the ability to elicit change in your own life. You are the only one that has control over your own thoughts and behaviours, steer them into the direction you desire. See you next Wednesday!