Bouncing back and forth on a decision of whether or not you should participate in therapy is the most common barrier for anyone considering counseling or therapy. Ambivalence and apprehension tend to prevent people from taking that first, most difficult step of setting up and following through with an initial appointment. If you are someone who is considering participating in therapy, it’s very likely that you are dealing with the your own level of ambivalence and apprehension about making that very call as well. This is understandably intimidating and something that’s easily put off for various reasons. Like a dental problem, health problem, or eye problem, you may procrastinate dealing with an emotional issue as well. Many people do this. In fact, many wait until the pain becomes unbearable. Although this makes the initial goal of a therapeutic relationship easy to identify, dealing with such a level of pain may be preventable if you don’t wait this long to seek out help.
You may be intimidated by being a client of a counselor. Some view this as a weakness, but the truth is that it is strength. Reaching out to someone does put you in a vulnerable place, which is not easy at all to do. Thus, the recognition, and the follow through are to be commended.
There are several areas that a therapist can help you with, but the following are definite reasons to consider contacting a therapist:
1. Anxiety: If you are dealing with a feeling of worry, near constant stress, fear. Avoiding particular situations or people, or developing rituals to cope.
2. Depression: Prolonged grief related to a major life event or feeling that you are the problem. Struggling to find motivation.
3. Addiction: Problems in your relationships, loss of relationships, or trouble establishing relationships. Problems stopping the behavior. Participating in an addictive behavior to cope with negative feelings.
4. Anger: Feelings of resentment towards others. Having a short fuse. Being easily frustrated. Reacting to others by yelling, with verbal or physical threats, or physical violence.
This 4-point list is an extremely simplified list to help you determine if you may benefit from therapy or not. If you are dealing with any of these issues, or some subdivision of any of these issues, you likely could benefit from contacting a therapist or counselor. For a guide on how to find a therapist, you can read my guide: choosing a therapist. No matter what therapist you decide to go to, do not procrastinate the decision longer than needed, and with the right help, you’ll be feeling better than you ever thought possible.