Mental health isn't just for the mentally ill. One of the greatest overlooked elements of good mental health care is prevention. Many people falsely assume that you have to be at a breaking point to seek help from a professional, but the truth is that counseling is good for everyone.
Therapy isn't just about fixing problems. Mental health professionals teach their clients to become more introspective and insightful, how to manage their stress more effectively and how to improve their relationships with others. We've all wished we had someone to vent to at some point or another; a therapist is able to provide an open opportunity to let out all of the pent-up frustrations, worries and any other feelings you can't (or don't want to) tell your family or friends.
If you are curious about why therapy really is good for everyone, read on to learn about some of the top benefits of counseling and how to find a therapist.
You Realize Problems You Didn't Even Know You Had
A therapist's job is to provided an unbiased and objective view of your life and current situations you're dealing with. A licensed counselor is a neutral party that only has your best interest in mind. You won't be given any subjective advice or told what to do. Instead, using a clinical approach, a therapist will help you understand how underlying thought processes are impacting your everyday life. You may be surprised that a lot of your impatience, stubbornness or other traits you write off as "just me" have a deeper meaning.
You'll Learn Healthy Ways to Cope with Stress
Stress is toxic to our well-being. Physically, mentally and emotionally, the effects of stress can be detrimental. A therapist can help you learn better ways to cope with stress and life pressures in order to make better decisions and lead a happier life.
Do you ever find yourself unhappy with how you react to certain situations and can't understand why? A lot of our habits and coping mechanisms are formed early on in our childhoods. A therapist can help you identify your instinctive reactions to stress and develop more effective ways of coping with problems.
You Get to Talk A Lot About Yourself
This might sound narcissistic, but think about how good it would feel to be able to just talk to someone about all the things going on in your head without having to apologize for "venting". We all need someone to listen to us and make us feel heard. A therapist gives you the opportunity to talk about anything you need to. Therapy can help relieve you of built-up stress, work through any insecurities and fears you know are holding you back and just give you a safe haven to let out all the things you keep to yourself for fear of being judged or misunderstood.
You Learn to Be More Honest With Yourself
Even happy people can benefit from talking to a therapist. You may go once or twice and realize that nothing really needs to be changed in your life, and that's great! You got the affirmation you needed, and life isn't any different. But it's safe to wager that the majority of people all have at least something they'd like to get off their chest, or some thoughts that keep them up at night.
When you go to therapy, you don't have to be "on" all the time. You can tell a therapist or counselor everything that you think about during the day, and you learn how to validate your own emotions. Often times, we have a tendency to disregard things as "not a big deal" because we don't think they matter much in our lives. But feelings play a vital role in our relationships, self-confidence and so much more.
A therapist will be able to teach you how to listen to yourself and understand why that's so important.
How to Find a Therapist
You've decided to give therapy a shot, but now what? First, check with your health insurance provider and ask about their mental health coverage. Depending on your plan, you may have to choose a counselor from a list of in-network specialists.
If you're a bit shy or reserved about going to a therapist's office, then consider the digital approach. Thanks to technology, you can gain instant and affordable access to some of the best online therapy out there with apps. There are over a million people using this technology. These apps match users with licensed counselors, therapists and other mental health professionals in their area. All of your sessions are entirely online, so you can get counseling anytime, anywhere.
Remember that you have nothing to lose by going to therapy. Part of good self-care is pursuing new opportunities that can benefit us. A therapist is one way you can prioritize your mental health and focus on the things that matter most.