When to seek therapy
Most Western medicine focuses on the treatment of disease rather than its prevention. Originally, healing was concerned with keeping people healthy, rather than only acting only once people became sick. More recently; a shift toward preventative care has begun to manifest in earnest, especially with naturopathic and holistic approaches becoming widely recognised as an alternative to allopathic medication.
But where does mental health treatment sit on this continuum? Is therapy warranted only for the treatment of mental health issues or is it a valid form of personal, emotional, and spiritual growth?
Therapy can have multiple purposes. Whilst initially paying attention to specific symptoms, beliefs and behaviours additional benefits are numerous - a reduction in suffering, learning new skills, building compassion for one’s self and others, finding true forgiveness for one’s self and others, developing stronger self-esteem, and releasing long-held burdens. And for younger people, changing harmful thinking patterns and beliefs before they become embedded in the psyche.
Furthermore, therapy, being a reflective process, can help people to “find themselves,” to become self-aware, to work through spiritual challenges and so deepen their sense of spirituality, it helps to find connection with others and a meaningful purpose to life.