• 3 Signs You Should Start Therapy

    After another bad day, you ask yourself, “Is it time to start therapy?”Without even knowing what caused you to ask the question, you should know that the answer is “yes.” Some people believe everyone should be in therapy the same way everyone sees a doctor and a dentist. 

    Mental health, just like physical health, is subject to change over time. Sometimes it takes a hit, and other times it wins wars, but the bruises you accrue over time can lead you back into battle again and again. That’s where therapy comes in.

    Here are three signs you should start therapy.

    You’re Dissatisfied with Your Relationships

    Your brain’s neurons want to take the same path toward solving a problem they did in the past, even if it was unsuccessful. Routine is where people are naturally most comfortable, even when that routine is objectively dangerous. 

    In order to change your relationships, you have to change your habits, and in order to change your habits, you have to change your thinking. That requires creating new pathways in the brain for your neurons to follow. This is where therapy comes in.

    Therapists are great at helping you analyze your thoughts and behavior. Sure, you can self-reflect on your own, but internal bias can lead you down the wrong path.

    Go with the experts—therapists can help uncover trauma that’s affecting your decisions without you realizing it. They can also help adjust your expectations to make room for how you actuallyfeel about a relationship, instead of how you think you should feel. 

    You Crave Change, But Don’t Know Where to Start

    The fact that you want change is enough to seek it out. 

    Research therapists in your insurance network, see who in your area is taking new clients, and consider working with a mental health specialist that can identify the kinds of therapy that would work best for you. Therapists know there’s no one way to begin talking about your problems. Some people start counseling at 30, others don’t begin until they’re well into their 60s. That’s a lot of life stories to cover in an hour-long session—therapists know this.

    Feel free to tell them, “I don’t know where to start. Would you mind asking me questions first?” For some people, a “final straw” brings them into counseling. This can be a painful break-up, the death of a loved one, or a life-altering career change. Starting the conversation with what happened most recently to you is okay, even if you know the root of the problem dates back decades.

    It’s also okay to start with how you’ve been feeling lately in general. Some people who start therapy do it because they live life “in a daze,” with no real vision or umph. No matter what your reason is, you’re allowed to bring it to counseling.

    You Want to Feel Better About Yourself

    Depression and other mental illnesses can set in when you realize you’re not living an authentic life. Living authentically means living in accordance with your values and consistently showing up for them. 

    It means doing what you genuinely want to do, not what others convince you to do. Sometimes even knowing what you genuinely want to do is hard. It requires the ability to be self-reflective, decisive, and optimistic—qualities that don’t come naturally to everyone.

    People who struggle with poor self-image suffer from a variety of unhealthy mental habits, from negative self-talk to learned helplessness. 

    Confidence, however, is a teachable skill. By sharing the thoughts you regularly use against yourself with a therapist, you can learn how truly irrational and unhelpful they are. Therapists also help us replace negative self-talk with positive affirmations, a practice you can use whenever, wherever to improve the way you see yourself.

    Ready to take the first step? Schedule a visit with our office today, and let’s get you back to living the life you want. After all, you only have one.