Becoming ready for therapy may take some longer than others
I wish we lived in a world where taking care of your mental health was as normal and expected as seeing a medical doctor to take care of your physical health. But, alas we don’t. So, it may take some of us longer than others to look at our lives and pay attention to how we are feeling to realize life, or work, or relationships are not going as we had hoped. Maybe your marriage is strained, maybe it’s depression and anxiety, or maybe you just know you aren’t happy and thriving and you want to feel better and get more from life. Whatever the reason doesn’t matter. The important piece is you feel ready for therapy.
And, for the record, it’s been shown that therapy works for the majority of people. So if you’re wondering if it’s worth it, the answer is yes. Trust me on this, sometimes simply having someone safe to talk to, someone who you can be sure is on your side, makes all the difference in the world.
Congratulations, you’ve made the incredibly important decision that you are ready for therapy
What an incredible place to be when you decide you are ready to seek help for whatever’s going on and you find yourself exploring and ready for therapy. Therapy has been everything for me—it’s helped me learn how to control my feelings and impulses, it’s been a reassuring voice when I needed stability, and it’s helped me understand myself and my family.
Psychotherapy has helped me have healthy relationships with family, friends, and partners, and therapy has helped me part ways with people who were not good for me or who brought me down. Therapy has also helped me to build a healthy lifestyle and balanced life. Basically, with therapy and time, I’ve been able to create a happy, healthy life.
But, where to start when thinking about how to get help?
When you’re ready for therapy, the first question that needs to be answered is, what’s the problem? Are you struggling with alcohol or substance abuse? A bad relationship? Multiple bad relationships? Mood issues? Trouble with the kids? Overwhelmed by sadness or any other mental health issue? Finding clarity around the issues will help you find the kind of therapy and therapist who will be most effective.
What do I mean by find the right therapy and therapist?
There are a variety professionals who treat mental health problems: psychiatrists, therapists, and psychologists , so you want to find the right treatment for your issues. For example, years ago when I was preparing to move cross country and needed a plan for my sobriety, I saw an addiction specialist for about six sessions. We didn’t discuss the past or all my “issues.” We simply made a plan for my move and a way to attack my sobriety when I arrived. I’m a 12-stepper, so my assignment was to get a sponsor and sponsee immediately. Other instructions followed to set me up for a successful transition. And that help was invaluable.
At another time, I sought help for problems in my romantic relationships and behavior. I found a great Cognitive Behavioral Therapist and I worked with her for two years. We started with Inner Child Work and went on to various CBT practices. CBT was fantastic because it helped me identify my harmful thoughts and behaviors and replace them with positive and nurturing thoughts and behaviors. It gave me tools for anxious moments, it helped me develop impulse control, and CBT was invaluable in terms of changing my behavior in romantic relationships.
In a different life, I was married, we were struggling and so we saw an LMFT, also known as a marriage counselor. When I was stable in life but wanted to do away with limited beliefs, I went to a woman who practiced EMDR, a form of Eye Movement therapy, and we worked together for a year on the ideas I was through with and the ideas I wanted to cement into my head. It worked. I healed the wounds of the past and gave myself new self-esteem.
Therapy works if you work it, that’s for sure. Here are the important things to remember:
- Don’t be intimidated by cost. That should not determine whether you start to care for your mental health. Good mental health is VITAL. Insurance may cover some of your sessions, and many mental health professionals will work on a sliding scale.
- Be comfortable with your therapist! For therapy to be effective, it’s critical to feel safe and comfortable with whoever you are working with. If you are nervous, take the time to look into the therapists or ask for referrals.
- Covid-19 has made online and Telehealth the norm, not the exception. This is great because you have access to more therapists. Finding someone local is no longer a necessity. Online therapy is also easier for many people, and it works just as well as meeting in person.
- Worried about how to find someone? Once you’ve determined the issues, click here to find best options for psychotherapy near me. They have listings for a variety of professional who you can look into or reach out to for more information.
Here’s the thing, it’s really hard to know how to fix what’s troubling you if you don’t have the tools. Before I got sober and went into recovery, I had no coping skills. Today, I have tons. In my past, I struggled to get along with people. Today, I’m able to understand other people, and myself better, and it’s helped me keep the peace. Recovery and therapy have given me the incredible life I have today. Take the time to invest in yourself. Now really is the best time because you have the time. Let’s all work on creating better futures for ourselves and find the people who can help us do that.