Do I Need A Therapist? …Answers from a Marriage and Family Therapist

Wow, what a good question.  Do I need a therapist?  How many of us have ever wondered if we do?  How many times have we just thought that life felt too overwhelming for us and maybe, just maybe, someone could help us figure it out?  Probably a lot of us have thought this at some time or another, and why not?  Living can be complicated.

And that’s just one of the reasons people call on a therapist.  Here are some more thoughts that could lead someone to wonder if they need one.  It’s not uncommon for people to say to me, “I’m not sure what to do next, I feel stuck.” “I am sad about my life and don’t know what to do.” “I am always mad at my boyfriend and feel unhappy.”  These may sound like every day occurrences, and they are. But what is an anthill for one person could become a mountain for another.  Maybe there’s a problem at work, or with one or both of your parents.  Any of these issues could make a person wonder about seeing a therapist and getting some counseling.

Marriage and Family Therapists are trained to help people sort out their difficulties.  That’s our skill set and that’s what we do.  We help people look at their struggles.  We help people understand their thoughts about those struggles.  Then we help people understand their feelings about the struggles.  For most people this is a new opportunity to explore one’s self.

Some people hold on to the notion that they should be able to figure themselves out.  They can’t imagine allowing a stranger into their world.  But sometimes the discomfort of not knowing how to fix a problem can lead someone straight into therapy.  And here is the good news; through therapy people get better!  Yup, people learn how to understand themselves, and that allows for all kind of new experiences in life.  When we understand what we like, don’t like, want, don’t want, we can then learn how to ask for what we like, or say no when we’re confronted with something we don’t like.  For most people this is the key to feeling good in life; knowing what will make you happy.

Through therapy people also learn they can’t always control their surroundings or how people should react.  Expecting people to act a certain way can lead to stress and aggravation.  Becoming disappointed because things don’t work out the way you think they should doesn’t have to be a way of life. Through counseling people learn that they may not be able to control their surroundings or other people but they can control how they act.  That can lead to increased self worth and that’s freedom.

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