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Apr 01

8 Reasons to See a Therapist

Why See a Therapist…

Years ago, the idea of seeing a therapist for help navigating through a difficult event or an emotional struggle was often stigmatized, portrayed as a sign of weakness or of mental instability. In recent years, much of the stigma attached to psychotherapy has, fortunately, diminished, opening up a potentially life-changing source of support for those who sought it out.

Still, many do not understand the value of accessing effective therapeutic support as a source of unbiased help for dealing with a specific problem occurring in their lives. Therapy offers a safe, discreet, judgment-free zone where life’s biggest challenges can be parsed out and examined, where new coping skills and life management tools are learned, and where important insights as to the source of emotional pain are gained.

8 Good Reasons to See a Therapist:

  1. Trauma.
    You have suffered a traumatic event or loss, such as a sudden death in the family, a serious illness, a divorce, a job loss, or a car accident, and are left reeling in the aftermath. Sometimes well-intentioned friends and family do not possess the right skill set to help you navigate the emotional fallout from an intense life event. A therapist can walk with you through the journey of pain and grief, offering you tools and techniques to employ along the way to help you wind through the emotional process and get your life back on track.

  2. Depression.
    As rates of depression continue to rise, the role of the psychotherapist becomes intrinsic to providing critical emotional support. Talk therapy is an essential component of treating depression, usually prescribed with antidepressant drug therapy. Because depression is a complex disorder with a variety of causal factors—genetics, brain chemistry imbalances, history of abuse, substance abuse, medical conditions, or major life events—working through the illness with a trained, licensed psychotherapist can be extremely beneficial.

  3. Marital problems.
    When a marriage falters it can impact all aspects of life, including health, work, and family life. When the couple reaches an impasse, unable to come to common ground in solving the marital problems, seeing a therapist can provide unbiased, non-judgmental insights and advice, in addition to teaching the parties more productive, positive communication techniques. Marriage counseling offers the couple a safe place to air grievances and confront the major problems in the marriage, with the therapist guiding the process.

  4. Personal growth.
    When a person is feeling stuck—stuck in a dead-end job, stuck in an unfulfilling relationship, stuck in an emotional rut—seeing a therapist can be helpful in providing the guidance to get unstuck. Talk therapy offers a platform for real personal growth by first examining the possible reasons for life’s logjams and then creating a blueprint for moving beyond it. Each roadblock will be confronted, be it low self-esteem, lack of confidence, or fear of failing, and a game plan for conquering them will be created.

  5. Emotional Turmoil.
    Sometimes life can become so demanding and stressful that you find yourself experiencing anxiety or mood instability. Seeing a psychotherapist is a good first step if you are concerned about mounting stress that is impacting your emotional state. The therapist can teach you deep breathing techniques, guided imagery, and refer you to activities, such as yoga, mindfulness training, and meditation, to help reduce stress and promote relaxation. If the symptoms continue regardless of these efforts, the therapist will refer you to a psychiatrist for further evaluation.

  6. Substance abuse.
    It is very common for someone in emotional distress to abuse alcohol or drugs, including prescription medications, to self-medicate. Unfortunately, without addressing the underlying mental health issue or trauma that has caused the resulting substance abuse, addiction can develop. Substance abuse only compounds the emotional turmoil, as with alcohol increasing depressive symptoms. A therapist can help by using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps clients identify the irrational thoughts and behaviors that result in substance abuse, and replace them with healthy ones.

  7. Parenting issues.
    Parenting is the most demanding, challenging job on the planet. No mother or father gets a How To Be a Great Parent handbook when the nurse hands you the baby, and every parent struggles on occasion. When having ongoing difficulty managing some issue with regard to parenting in general or with a specific child, it helps to bounce it off a professional to see how you might be sabotaging your best efforts. Parents seem to always be judged, no matter what you do. With therapy, just having a judgment-free therapeutic zone can be encouraging as well as instructive.

  8. Change patterns.
    We humans are indeed creatures of habit. Without professional guidance it is truly difficult to examine how repeated behavior patterns, in relationships and work, for example, continue to lead to disappointing or negative consequences. Behavior patterns become entrenched, so without an objective eye helping to identify them, it is difficult to change. Therapy can offer a supportive role in guiding you toward replacing dysfunctional and self-defeating patterns with new, productive behaviors that can be potentially life-changing.

Life can be complicated, messy, and rarely progresses in a straight line.  PeoplePsych is a Chicago-based psychotherapy group that treats adults seeking profound change in their lives.  We provide services that affirm the dignity, worth, and value of all individuals. We strive to create a safe non-judgemental space for clients to explore the issues that bring them. To connect with one of our therapists, please contact our Clinical Coordinator at (312) 252-5252 or