How does a person know they need therapy?
When a time arises that a person feels like they need to improve their experience of an area of their life, they usually have to address the various interactions they have with aspects of their life through looking at thoughts, feelings and/or emotions, and behaviours.
Along the way relationship scenarios, career choices, financial situations, health episodes, lifestyle factors and a variety of life events can trigger the need to resolve how one feels. But what happens when talking with a trusted family member, friend or other significant person in one’s life isn’t quite helping shift the problem? Or maybe there isn’t a trusted person who has the skills to help in the way one needs the help.
In the previous post, I talked about some of the types of psychotherapy and also listed a few techniques available. It is understandable that we could take our time finding the right therapy type, technique, and even the most suitable therapist who will match our situation. No matter how much research we do, we may not always know which type will work best for us until we try it. The various factors which enhance a treatment include the right style of therapy for the presenting concern/issue, the experience of a therapist, along with the expectations and needs of the patient, among others. Sometimes a patient might think they are ready for healing and they might not realise the duration of therapy required to achieve satisfaction. In reality it could end up being a more diverse experience than expected, where other concerns arise, the type of therapy required shifts, or the integration of the healing requires more action taken by the patient outside of therapy sessions to make effective change.
The range of reasons for seeking therapy is broad, but mostly due to the patient deciding they are dissatisfied with the way they feel, unhappy with life events, health or relationship situations. How long a person endures the feelings of discomfort varies per person, but typically people often seek therapy when they have any of the following symptoms or experiences:
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Feelings of stress or anxiety
- Negative thoughts
- Suicidal ideation
- Experiencing situational or underlying feelings of depression
- Feeling grief, sadness, or hopelessness
- Loss of joy in things one normally finds joy in
- Feeling flat, empty, often scared, or worried
- Feeling angry or resentful
- Impacts to work or study performance
- Sleep issues or appetite disturbances
- Physical health concerns
- Substance abuse
- Noticing changes in behaviour which are causing negative consequences
- Change or loss of a relationship – person, people, pets, other
- Change or loss of job/career
- Witnessing violence, aggression, accidents, abuse of others (as a second or third person)
- Experiencing violence, aggression, accidents, or abuse from others (as a first person)
There is a long list of things that cause people to ask for help, more than are listed above. And it can be a very good idea to do it, even if it feels hard to do so or that the affliction could be impossible to resolve. Although suffering is an inevitable part of the human experience, it can be processed, worked on, reduced or even resolved in many cases, with the right type of support.
In the case of challenges in resolving one’s problem(s) it can help to measure how much time has been spent struggling, or how confident one feels in successfully addressing their concerns within their current capabilities or relationships. In measuring this, consider with self-honesty:
- How much time is spent managing or thinking about the problem?
- Does thinking about it or having the problem impact quality of life?
- Is it something that the person feels they cannot share with others or people will judge them for?
- If it is shared with others, are they capable (or suitable) to help with the work on healing? (This means: no conflict of interest, no self-interest for the problem to remain in place, not a cause of the of the problem, have the skills to support the person, or have the required emotional maturity to help the person move beyond the level of the problem).
If the problem takes up more time than is healthy, or there are limitations to one’s life because of it – such as losing jobs, not being promoted, not attempting to reach professional or personal aims because of it, damaging or avoiding relationships or social events, increasing or perpetuating financial or physical/mental health problems etc…it could be time to consider finding someone to help.
In my next post, I will be discussing how psychotherapy helps.
These articles are not to replace a licensed therapist’s advice, or to influence any choices in where one gets therapy, who with and at which time of an experience. The posts are simply designed to help people find out what they might like to look further into regarding the psychotherapy industry. The reader is responsible for their own decisions, actions and behaviour, and further exploration on topics is recommended before making any decisions related to the details in the posts. These articles are designed to be at a superficial level of discussion. In compiling the articles, we have attempted to keep triggering material to a minimum, yet we cannot guarantee that readers will be comfortable when reading posts at all times. If you are experiencing any type of discomfort while reading any of the posts, please consider if you need some support.