We all have that friend who we turn to for advice and comfort. But your go-to person can’t hold a candle to a professional therapist.
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If you’ve been under the assumption that therapy is only for people who’ve been through traumatic experiences, it’s time to reconsider. There is always a place for therapy in your life.
Clinical psychologist Adam Borland, PsyD, shares 10 reasons — big and small — why people go to therapy and also reveals when it’s time to get help.
Dr. Borland says these are the most common reasons for therapy:
“There isn’t a right or wrong reason to find a trusted professional who can help you find peace and happiness in your life,” says Dr. Borland.
Your friends and family want what’s best for you, but does that mean they should be your sole source for advice? “It’s essential to have a support network, but sometimes their opinions can be biased,” says Dr. Borland. “Professional therapists come from a place of wanting what’s best for you while looking at things from an objective standpoint. They emphasize skill-building and can provide tools to help you move forward.”
Dr. Borland tells people that therapy is not necessarily about fixing, but more about helping people develop the ability to manage their experiences and expectations. “How we perceive experiences also makes a difference — therapy may help you change the lens through which you view something,” he says. “Instead of looking through a lens of negativity, for example, we could swap it out for one of gratitude.”
Therapy is a process, so Dr. Borland urges people to recognize that seeing results takes time. It’s also crucial to find a therapist you can open up to — and if the connection isn’t there, it’s OK to seek out another professional. “Your therapist wants what’s best for you and will understand if you need to switch therapists.”
Dr. Borland says there are usually four main reasons why people avoid therapy. He offers his solutions for how to overcome the obstacles:
There’s no right or wrong time to seek out a therapist. Not feeling right and no longer wanting to feel a certain way is reason enough to make the call.
“If you’re questioning whether to come in or not … come in,” says Dr. Borland. “Don’t apologize. You won’t be wasting anyone’s time. Nothing you bring to a therapy session is too trivial to be addressed together.”
Dr. Borland often sees people who are caretakers by nature. “These people do so much for everyone else and often put their own needs farther down on the priority list. When they come to me, they apologize because they don’t feel it’s reasonable for them to be there,” he relates. “In reality, it’s the exact opposite: It’s so important they are finally prioritizing their health and well-being.”