Even in 2017, mental health still remains highly stigmatized within our community. The fear that people would judge those who see a therapist refrains and discourages many to actually follow through with therapy, even if they need it.
An analogy that best conveys what therapy is meant for would be to compare mental health to physical health. Every once in awhile, a visit to the doctor is necessary for a simple check-up, to make sure that nothing’s wrong. Therapy is also a check-up for our mental health, something we shouldn’t take lightly but often ignore.
In an article published in the Huffington Post, Dr. David Siegel, the associate chair of psychiatry and behavioural studies at the University of Stanford, explained what the various advantages of therapy are. “Therapy can be an interpersonal laboratory,” he said. “It’s a way of working with cognition, emotion and interpersonal relationships in a way that helps you manage your emotions and learn to see it in a different perspective.”
Highly trained professionals can help verbalize your feelings and have significantly positive effects on your well-being. Contrary to popular belief, therapy is not an indication or a sign of weakness or craziness.
An unfortunate common misconception is that something has to be wrong with you to go to therapy, and it prevents many people from seeking help due to the fear of being judged. On the contrary, therapy can benefit everyone and is not only reserved for those suffering from mental illness.
Indeed, individuals experience pain and react to situations differently, no matter how big or small the problems are; pain is relative to each person. Mental health is a right for all, and an obligation we owe ourselves to ensure our well being.
No one has life completely figured out, therefore reaching out for professional help can be a solution. Therapy can help organize your thoughts, as well as help you understand and make sense of your emotions. Self discovery is important to be able to exploit your full potential.
Therapy can also help by allowing you to learn how to accept yourself, your qualities, your flaws, and to set goals. It can also help work on ways to achieve those goals to prove yourself, or get a sense of your efficacy.
Another misconception of therapy is that it’s as useful as talking to a someone of your entourage. Sometimes friends and family can’t be objective or empathize, so the help of a therapist or a counselor would validate those feelings and help in understanding and accepting them. A support system is essential for growth and mental well-being.
Moreover, therapy helps you adapt a problem-solving technique with stress elements you are facing. It can help identify the problem, or the core of the problem, and guide you to the solution.
Finally, an important advantage of therapy is that it helps in gaining a better insight on your life and the world as a whole. We all have a different tolerance level and threshold for pain, and respond to stressors differently. Therapy helps rationalize other people’s behavior, and gives them the benefit of the doubt.