Is it time to try therapy? 6 points to understand this better

If you’ve never engaged in therapy before it can sometimes be hard to figure out if therapy can be helpful for you. It’s so common for people to think that their difficulties aren’t as severe as others so therefore, they shouldn’t need therapy. We can also hold a lot of shame and self-criticism on accessing therapy that it may stop us even figuring out how therapy can help your difficulty specifically. So, I thought I’d make a couple of observations that may be helpful in figuring out if it’s time to try therapy.  


Is it time to try therapy?

1. Therapy can be viewed as mental maintenance 

You do not need to have experienced a massive trauma in life for therapy to be helpful. In my opinion, therapy really should be viewed and used as mental well-being maintenance. A place that is safe for you to discuss everyday difficulties in life, and everyday situations. A place to understand yourself better. We are never taught how to do this so therapy can be that place to learn and explore different aspects of yourself. To find out why you may do certain things or why certain things bother you. If we view it like this, then it allows us to understand that everybody could benefit from engaging in therapy.

2. People pleasing is part of your daily existence 

Making sure everyone else is ok and happy can sometimes be a response to not feeling ok within ourselves. We can form unspoken beliefs of “if we make others ok then I will be ok”. If this is working for you then there’s no problem. We often find that this type of behaviour causes unintended consequences in our lives and if you’re noticing that – then therapy can help to explore and shift this.

3. Being vulnerable with others is deeply uncomfortable

Vulnerability can be important in forming meaningful relationships and when this feels deeply uncomfortable we can do things to avoid feeling vulnerable. This can come at a cost though, it can stop us from feeling a sense of belonging to others and it can stop others from truly getting to know us. This can be explored in therapy sessions.

4. You always feel vulnerable 

Even though vulnerability is important in being connected to others, when we always feel vulnerable it may be a sign that we do not feel safe. We may misinterpret certain situations as threatening situations and respond accordingly. Therapy can help explore why you feel this way and how to feel safer and in, somewhat, control in certain situations.

5. Your emotions fluctuate quickly

The majority of us have never been taught how to helpfully process and respond to our emotions. One result of this is that our emotions can feel out of control and they can shift very quickly. We can feel like we’re in a spin and it’s hard to manage or bring our emotions back to a level that feels ok. Therapy can help with understanding why this may happen for us and how to regulate and respond to our emotions in a different way.

6. Self-criticism is your best friend

Being critical towards ourselves is a common response for many of us. We may have grown up in families where criticism was used to try to fuel us and make us better so we naturally internalise this. It can feel like part of us. Interestingly, the majority of us would never speak to someone we loved the way we speak to ourselves. So why do we do it and why do we deserve it? Therapy can be a safe place to understand the reason behind being self-critical and you can explore and learn different ways of speaking to yourself that may just be more helpful.

If you relate to any of these points, then it may be time to give yourself permission to have a space that can help you understand yourself better. If you have any questions about if therapy may be helpful for you then please do contact me to explore further.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Orpington BR5 & London SW19
Written by Lisa Ume, BABCP (Accredited), CBT, PGDip (Accredited), B.Sc (Hons)
Orpington BR5 & London SW19

Lisa is a qualified, fully accredited and experienced Psychotherapist (CBT and other therapies) and can support you with anxiety, depression, trauma, stress, low self esteem and other difficulties. Please check our her profile if you're interested in sessions.

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