The Who, Why, and What of Seeking Therapy

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by Nancy Bergeron, RPsych | [email protected]

While mental health is in the forefront of media these days, many do not seek help. Some may feel their ‘problems’ may not be big enough, important enough, or perhaps unsolvable. Others may think therapy is just for those suffering from a mental illness. Hopefully this article will shine a light on who seeks therapy, why people go to therapy and what therapy can be like.

Who goes to therapy:

  • People wanting to learn why they self-sabotage (what’s the story behind the behaviour)
  • People wanting to work through relationship issues
  • People making life transitions like divorce, having a baby, empty nesting, or retirement
  • People who want to vent about life events
  • People who are determining if they are ready to make a change
  • People who need support when making difficult changes
  • People who experience anxiety, depression or other mental/emotional issues
  • People who are struggling with global events
  • People dealing with a loss or trauma
  • Therapists, coaches and leaders
  • People of all types

Why go to therapy:

  • To cry without being prompted to stop or cheer up
  • To have someone to hold space for your difficult emotions
  • To learn more about yourself
  • To talk about people in your life who need therapy but won’t go
  • To have someone sit with you through difficult times
  • To hear yourself talk without having to listen to another person talk about themselves
  • To process your life events
  • To share things that other people don’t have time to or want to hear about
  • To have manage physical pain
  • To get a new viewpoint or unbiased perspective

What therapy might be like:

  • You won’t hear things like “it’s going to be okay” “I know how you feel” or “you’ll get over it”
  • Your feelings will be validated
  • You will feel empathized with instead of pitied or judged
  • You get an entire hour to talk about whatever you want guilt-free
  • You get to ‘think’ out loud as this helps you understand thoughts in a different way
  • A therapist helps you develop insight and coping skills
  • There is no competition in dialogue, a therapist won’t talk about their problems or make their problems bigger than yours
  • You will feel like you are not alone in your challenges
  • The only normal is that we are all abnormal

As you can see, anyone can go to therapy. Many people have a therapist just as they have a doctor and a dentist. The sooner you can seek some extra perspective on things that may be troubling you, the better you will have the skills to cope with other things that come along. Sometimes just a few sessions can do a world of good. Please consider your mental health as important as your physical health. Just an FYI, you do not need a doctor’s referral to see a therapist. Wishing you all good mental health and wellbeing.