What is Therapy? Can I benefit from it?
Sometimes life throws unexpected challenges your way – a difficult loss, a significant change, or an unhealthy relationship, for example. It can start to become overwhelming to deal with various stresses and issues while keeping up with your day-to-day responsibilities. When you don’t know where to turn, it may be time to consider meeting with a therapist.
Your mental health is essential. Feeling happy, healthy, and fulfilled can help make a positive change in so many areas of your life. Whether you’re struggling with a chronic mental illness or going through a difficult season, counseling can help you work through your problems and find that light at the end of the tunnel. Counseling services can help get you through emotional difficulties by merely talking through what has been going on in your life with an empathetic listener.
For years, mental health care has been surrounded by stigma, though approximately 20% of adults experience mental illness. Caring for this area of your wellness has become more normalized recently, and there are many online resources to turn to. Though counseling services have become more popular today, there are still those wondering, “How do I find the right type of therapist for me?” Perhaps you’re curious about what therapy would look like. We’re here to answer your questions. From learning about what counseling is, to what type of therapy may be best for you. Read on to learn more about what therapy is, and how you can benefit from it.
What is therapy?
By definition, therapy is a treatment to help heal a disorder. Mental health professionals use talk therapy, psychotherapy, or counseling to help you work through mental illness, problematic behaviors, overwhelming emotions, and psychological issues. Engaging in therapy and meeting with a professional counselor can be your first step to improve your overall wellness and create a happy, healthy life for you.
You don’t have to have a serious or chronic mental disorder to benefit from professional therapy. Speaking with a therapist or counselor helps you express feelings during a difficult time, set personal goals for your life, or discuss a specific issue you can’t seem to get over. This therapeutic relationship can help you learn skills to more efficiently manage daily stressors.
Your health care process is unique to you, so no two therapy experiences will look identical. You will speak with your counselor directly to set goals for your therapy sessions. Confidentiality is always present, so you can feel comfortable speaking openly with your therapist who will treat you with empathy and compassion.
Are there different types of therapy?
With so many mental health conditions, one size does not fit all when it comes to individual counseling. If you are seeking treatment for a specific issue, you may need to look for the best therapist in that specialty. For example, if you are struggling with relationship issues, you may need to look into couples counseling or relationship-focused individual therapy. Or, if you have issues with anxiety, a therapist with expertise in anxiety treatment may be able to help you. If you are going through a difficult time and want to relate to other’s experiences, group therapy may be a good route for you. Each of these counselors has experiences or licenses related to your concerns and can help you differently.
Maybe you are seeking counseling sessions for your mental health problems or a range of issues. With individual counseling, you may encounter different techniques and types of therapy as a part of the collaborative process between you and your psychologist. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one form of talk therapy that focuses on retraining your brain to cope with hard emotional moments and change unhealthy, unintentional behaviors. Psychodynamic psychotherapy is the other most prevalent form of treatment, leading to increased mental wellness even after therapy has ended. Your counselor may also try a different approach like art therapy or journaling to learn more about your behavior patterns. New ways of finding these insights can help your psychotherapist understand your everyday life better and work to find healthy ways to improve your behavior. Practicing these possible solutions will help you deal with painful feelings and take you to the next step of healing.
Do I really need therapy?
Everyone has highs and lows, but does that mean you need medical treatment? Sometimes it doesn’t. You may just be having a hard day, and tomorrow will be better. Other times, these painful feelings linger, and your mental health issues start to take over your life. That may be a sign you need to schedule your first session with a potential therapist. Big signs that you may need therapy include:
- extreme fatigue
- apathy, withdrawal
- unconscious anger or frustration
- substance abuse
- trouble sleeping or getting out of bed
- loss of appetite
- emotional distress that prevents you from living normally
Your friends and family may also notice these signs and express concern. It can be challenging to take that first step and admit you need help. If you’re not ready to speak in person with a therapist, you may try online therapy or teletherapy.
How do I find the right therapist?
At the Therapy Group of NYC, we believe that your professional relationship with your therapist is an integral part of your healing process. You may not click with the first counselor you meet. As a prospective client, take the time to get to know your therapist and their methods – read through their bios to understand their background. From your first session, getting to know each other, to deeper dives into a specific area of focus, you can tell if their techniques will work with your thought process. With so many diverse individuals working in the profession, you are bound to find the right fit with a therapist for you who listens with empathy and gives you great tools for success.
What should I expect from therapy?
Therapy is a profoundly personal experience, so it can be difficult to tell you exactly what to expect. Sessions will be geared to your specific needs to help you take control of your mental health. Overall, you should expect to talk about your issues and dive deep into why you feel certain emotions. It may be difficult to talk through past trauma or difficult times, but that may be the best way to move forward and make positive change. If you are feeling nervous before your first session, that is normal. Just remember, your counselor is there to help you and is your ally.
You are not alone. Everyone in the world goes through difficult seasons, and by taking the first step towards seeking help, you may gain a tremendous tool to help you live life to the fullest.