As a therapist, I’m often asked, “How do I know I need counseling therapy?”
Here are the signs I usually give folk to consider. Understand, this is not a comprehensive list, THERE ARE MANY MORE REASONS, but these are for people wondering if they should consider therapy and the answer isn’t obvious to them.
HERE’S YOUR SIGNS
- MOOD CHANGES
Do you seem short-tempered more than usual? Or you can’t seem to feel happy even when you know you should? If your mood seems a little out of whack, therapy may be necessary for insight and to empower you to be able to more effectively regulate your emotions.
- ANNIVERSARIES OF EVENTS YOU GRIEVE
We grieve many things throughout life; the loss of a loved one, a transition in life, losing a job, a child moving up a grade. At each anniversary, you are reminded of the loss or transition. These anniversaries often bring up grief and memories that need to be processed with a therapist.
- CHANGE OF SEASONS/HOLIDAYS
The change of seasons can change your affect. Longer periods of darkness each day, no color on trees, birds flying south, and other seasonal changes can change your mood. Holidays can be reminders of hard memories or losses. When seasons or holidays approach, go talk with a therapist to help you move through them more effectively.
- YOUR TRIGGERS SEEM TO HOLD MORE POWER OVER YOU
Although some triggers can be positive, the negative ones can require therapy for insight and tools to help regulate them. Triggers occur when our senses are woken and remind our brain of trauma or create negative thoughts. Pay attention to how you are responding to them. You may need to address them with a therapist.
- ANXIOUS AND INTRUSIVE THOUGHTS
Anxiety can be a source of many physical problems and can produce intrusive thoughts that keep you from functioning well. Therapy can provide many mindfulness techniques that help you calm your anxiety and provide your brain with the much needed chemicals to find balance.
- A GLOBAL PANDEMIC
There it is. Yes. In the midst of this pandemic, issues like fear, change, uncertainty, and isolation reside. It is important to have a trained professional with whom to work through these issues. You might find a new perspective or tools to regulate the emotions.
If you notice any of these symptoms, contact a local therapist. Understand that good therapy involves a therapist that empowers you to learn to regulate your thoughts and emotions and one who empowers you to make informed decisions.
A therapist’s job is not to give you advice. She or he should help you verbally process your experiences and provide you insight, perspective, as well as tools and techniques to help you work toward integration and self-actualization.
If you are asking the question above, you probably need therapy.
Lastly, treat therapy like a checkup with your doctor. At minimum, go two times a year. Talking is cathartic and opens up your subconscious to avoid new triggers from forming. It pulls you from the fog and gives you a new lens from which to view your issues.
If you need help finding the right one, let me know.
Featured image by Tim Mossholder.