Executive Therapy: Do CEOs go to Therapy?
Chief executive officers (CEOs) and chief financial officers (CFOs) face a unique set of challenges and stressors in their daily lives—from ensuring their company runs smoothly to being a participating member of a board of directors. According to a 2018 survey from Norwest, many chief executives in the United States experience mental health challenges surrounding various issues, including a fear of failure (90 percent), worries about revenue growth (49 percent), and maintaining work-life balance (46 percent).
Although chief executives face specific challenges, the Norwest survey also revealed that more and more U.S. CEOs and CFOs prioritize their mental health, with 32 percent of chief executives reporting consulting with an executive counselor and 22 percent seeing a psychotherapist or psychologist.
When CEOs focus on their mental health, they can reach higher productivity levels and set a better example for their business. From tackling challenging situations to navigating different types of therapy, here’s everything you need to know about mental health services for CEOs.
Types of Therapy for CEOs
Several therapeutic modalities can help CEOs, and the type of therapy that works best for you will depend on your specific situation, preferences, and mental health concerns. Some types of therapy that CEOs and high-level executives may benefit from include:
- Executive coaching and counseling: Executive counseling focuses on leaders of companies and executives. These job titles come with their specific challenges, and working with a counselor who understands these challenging situations can provide a valuable source of empathy and emotional support. In addition, working through these issues with a coach can help you clarify goals, set objectives, and gain self-awareness.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): Cognitive-behavioral therapy combines cognitive and behavior therapy to help clients identify negative thoughts, behaviors, and beliefs and change them into more positive ones. CBT is an effective treatment for various mental health conditions, including bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression.
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): DBT incorporates aspects of CBT to help clients live in the moment, cope with stress, improve communication skills, and regulate emotions. DBT can help chief executives learn how to accept and tolerate life circumstances and make positive changes in their behavior.
- Psychodynamic therapy: Based on psychoanalysis, psychodynamic therapy targets the psychological roots of emotional pain through self-examination, open-ended questions, and free association. This modality can alleviate mental health symptoms while helping CEOs live healthier lives.
- Humanistic therapy: Humanistic therapy promotes the importance of being your true self to lead the most fulfilling life. Humanistic therapy is based on the concept that everyone has a unique way of looking at the world and that individuals’ world views can impact their choices and actions.
- Existential therapy: Existential therapy helps explore mental health challenges from a philosophical perspective, encouraging clients to recognize their capacity for success.
Many psychotherapists also offer family therapy, couples counseling, and group therapy sessions. Working with a family therapist or a couples counselor can be especially helpful if you find it challenging to maintain a healthy work-life balance or experience relationship problems with family members.
What should you expect during therapy sessions?
During your first session, your therapist will ask about your concerns, what brought you to counseling, and your medical history. Your therapist might also ask about your relationships, education, career, and living situation to learn more about your background. During the first appointment, you’ll also discuss the length of your treatment, the therapeutic process, and patient confidentiality.
You’ll also be able to ask your therapist questions about their education, specialties, and training. No two psychotherapists are the same, and placing your mental well-being in the right person’s hands is essential to the success of your treatment. Because forming a therapeutic relationship with your psychotherapist can improve your long-term psychological outcomes, it’s essential to take the time to find the best therapist for you.
As you dive deeper into the therapy process, you’ll explore your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Therapy sessions can feel uncomfortable at times—and that’s a good thing. Your therapist will provide guidance and help you learn new skills to cope with difficult emotions.
Who can benefit from psychotherapy?
Whether you’re a chief operating officer (COO), chief executive officer (CEO), chief financial officer (CFO), or any high-level executive in corporate America, you can benefit from psychotherapy. Above all else, psychotherapy aims to help prospective clients reach a place of mental wellness and healing.
When mental health challenges are not addressed, they can affect your behaviors, thought processes, and even the people around you. Over time, mental health problems can interfere with your productivity, relationships, happiness, and ability to function at work.
Psychotherapy helps address these issues, allowing you to work toward more positive mental health. During the therapy process, you’ll learn new strategies to deal with triggers and incorporate these skills into your life until it becomes second nature.
Reach out for help if you need it.
Balancing home and work life, dealing with stressful work situations, and managing the hard work that comes with being a chief executive can be challenging if you’re attempting to do it alone. However, starting the therapeutic process is nothing to be ashamed of, and working with a licensed therapist can help you feel and perform your best both at work and at home.
With more and more psychotherapists and online therapy platforms offering online counseling and online therapy services, accessing treatment is more convenient than ever. Especially if you have a hectic schedule or you’re searching for a more discreet form of treatment, live video and phone therapy sessions can take the stress out of mental health care.
To find a mental health professional, reach out to a therapist through the Therapy Group of NYC. Our experienced team of psychotherapists, counselors, social workers, and psychiatrists uses data-driven, personalized treatment to provide guidance every step of the way—from scheduling your first session to determining insurance coverage.
One of our qualified mental health professionals will help you navigate your mental health concerns and cope with work-related challenges to boost your productivity and lead your business with confidence.