People who consider therapy do so for many different reasons. Some people have had years- long – or even life-long – challenges, and they are tired of struggling with them. Some people have managed the ups and downs in their life until now, but have some new challenge that they don’t know what to do about. Have you heard of COVID? Many people who felt they were doing well or at least managing to get by before 2020, suddenly have found they are more worried, sad, frustrated, depressed, isolated, or otherwise struggling in ways they can’t fix on their own.
We humans are social creatures, and really smart in many ways. For many of our life challenges, we can pull from previous experience and figure out a good enough solution. We might use our own life experience, what we’ve learned from others, or even ideas we’ve picked up from books, shows, movies, music, podcasts, and other media.* When our own wisdom and experience aren’t enough, often talking to “our people” can do the trick. Sometimes just venting to a friendly ear, or leaning or crying on a sympathetic shoulder, helps us feel better. Other times, our people have suggestions from their own experiences that help us feel okay again. But what do we do when all of this isn’t enough?
That’s where therapy comes in. You can bandage your own scrape, a trusted person can bring you food and medicine when you’re home sick, but if you break a bone, you need medical help. Therapists are educated and trained professionals who specialize in human thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. A therapist – sometimes called a counselor, clinician, or provider – can help you better understand why you think, feel, and act the way you do. They can also help you learn different ways to think about problems, react to situations, communicate with others (and yourself), and much more.
Whether you are struggling with your daily thoughts or feelings, one or more relationships, performance at school or work, or some other area that feels harder than you think it should, a therapist can often help.
* Whatever you learn from media, please be skeptical until you have learned the source of the information, and if you can trust that source.