Five (Not So Obvious) Reasons You Might Need Therapy
By Candi Higley
There are often misconceptions surrounding therapy and one of the biggest is that therapy can “fix” us. Last I checked, we weren’t machines, we aren’t broken, and we don’t need fixing. But what if there was another way to view therapy, as a way of reshaping ourselves? Fred Newman, a psychotherapist and philosopher who at first was anti-therapy, was stumped as to why talking to others in therapy sessions helped people who were struggling with emotional issues. After much research, in the early 1990’s Newman discovered therapy works because of what the therapist and the client are creating together—a new relationship, a new way of speaking and finding new meanings. Newman said this, “The process of therapy has nothing to do with any kind of internal mental surgery. I think that in the process of therapy, what happens is that we reshape community, we reshape our lives. Therapy has to do with helping people to be more giving, to grow, to learn, to be more responsive to environments, to learn how to interrelate and to recreate our humanness.” So, if a little reshaping is what you might need or even if you think you don’t, here are five signs you might benefit from therapy:
- You care too much about what others think. We want to feel accepted and we often base our actions and decisions on how we think others might perceive us. Oftentimes, we aren’t always true to ourselves because we are afraid of what others will think. But the part about not caring, is where we get hung up and this is exactly where a therapist can help.
- You avoid certain people, places and situations. Do certain things always make you feel stressed, anxious, nervous, scared or depressed, no matter what you do? Talking with a therapist may help you in working through your past and any trauma that you have tried to block out or didn’t realize was trauma.
- You feel like you cannot control your emotions. Some people are more emotional than others, but if you are feeling like you cannot control your anger, sadness or anxiety working with a therapist to get to the root of your emotions and learning new skills to cope with these emotions could be a huge benefit.
- You are going through a life transition. Whether it is a new job, a change in relationship, a different school, the loss of something or someone in your life or the routine of day-to-day we are all going through life transitions. And because we likely haven’t navigated these transitions before, talking to someone to get a different perspective or just have how you are feeling normalized could help you through the transition.
- You are a human-being. We are social beings that are interconnected with those around us just by being alive. As Newman said, therapy works because it exposes us to and creates a relational interconnectivity. It “brings out” and develops what’s most positive about us. The best therapy helps people be nicer.
Life is hard and knowing you are not alone can be a huge comfort. Sometimes just knowing that you have a scheduled weekly appointment where you can go and receive support can be a relief.