An Introduction to Therapy

Are you struggling in some way?  Is some area of your life not going well?  Do you ever feel too overwhelmed to deal with your problems?  If so, you are not alone.  According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than a quarter of American adults experience depression, anxiety, or another mental disorder in any given year.

Because of the many misconceptions about therapy, you may be reluctant to try it out.  Even if you know the realities instead of the myths, you may feel nervous about trying it yourself. Overcoming that nervousness is worth it.  That’s because any time your quality of life isn’t what you want it to be, therapy can help.

Signs that you could benefit from therapy include:

  • You feel an overwhelming, prolonged sense of helplessness and sadness.
  • Your problems don’t seem to get better despite your efforts and help from family and friends.
  • You find it difficult to concentrate on work assignments or to carry out other everyday activities.
  • You worry excessively, expect the worst or are constantly on edge and anxious.
  • Your actions, such as drinking too much alcohol, using drugs or being aggressive, are harming you or others.

People seek therapy because they have felt depressed, anxious, or angry for a long time.  Others may want help for a chronic illness that is interfering with their emotional physical well-being.  Still others may have short-term problems they need help navigating.  They may be going through a divorce, facing an empty nest, feeling overwhelmed by a new job, or grieving a loved one’s death.

Whatever your difficulty may be, take encouragement and comfort in the fact that your therapist will be non-judgmental and not shocked by whatever problem you bring to the therapy session.  It will likely take several weeks before you become fully comfortable with your therapist.  If you still are not feeling comfortable after two or three visits, let the mental health professional know and explain why you feel that way.  It is possible that the professional you have chosen is not a good fit for you.  This happens in therapy, and is nothing to be embarrassed about.  Your therapist is ethically obligated to refer you to another mental health professional.

 

Please read the section, “Common Questions” which will assist you further in making the decision to try therapy.

 

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