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5 reasons to try therapy

There’s no shame in trying therapy and successful people don’t fear it – they embrace it. Here are five reasons why.

Imagine this: your doctor’s surgery doubling up as a gym. Somewhere you visit when you’re feeling low and when you want to improve your performance.

When it comes to our mental health, that’s precisely what therapy offers.

Here, we’ll look at five of the many benefits therapy provides – ways it can help you cope and ways it can help you grow to be the happiest, most fulfilled version of yourself.

1. Therapy helps you work through something, however big or small

Grief, work difficulties, the pain of a break-up. We all have our ups and downs.

But whatever you’re going through, a therapist can help by sharing some of the weight. Listening to you, without judgement or agenda.

Therapy enables you to listen to yourself and work out what you really want and need.

No matter how self-aware we are, we all have our blindspots. Therapy is the torch that shines an internal light. It reveals and clarifies – enabling you to make more conscious choices rather than be driven by past experiences, unknowingly.

Therapy allows you to put your own needs first and explore your thoughts and worries without shame.

2. Therapy helps you discover who you are

Do you ever feel like you’re a fraud? That one day everyone will find you out.

You may be suffering from imposter syndrome.

We all have inner commentaries that we’ve internalised from our earlier experiences. And many of us have a tendency to be overly self-critical and that can affect our confidence.

Therapy can help you change your relationship with yourself, learn to be more compassionate with yourself and increase your emotional resilience.

And it can help you get to know and accept yourself for the person you are – and have the potential to become.

3. Therapy offers a safe space to understand your emotions and needs

Most of us have feelings that are unresolved. And there may be good reasons why we’ve learnt to push our emotions down. Perhaps in childhood, the adults in our lives were struggling and unhappy, leaving little space for our feelings, so we learnt to be helpful and put our own feelings aside.

But often, when people reach out to their GP, their difficulties are seen as mental health 'conditions' or ‘illnesses’.

  • If they’re experiencing strong, uncomfortable feelings that are difficult to manage, they’re labelled with ‘anxiety’.
  • Or if they’re feeling overwhelmed and emotionally shut down, they’re labelled with ‘depression’.

Either way, antidepressants are likely to be prescribed as a first solution without an in-depth exploration of the cause.

But repressing your emotions won’t make them go away. And if you allow them to fester, there’s a danger they’ll one day explode.

Therapy can help you untangle years of inner turmoil and confusion and unpick the root causes of trauma. Because, as Dr Gabor Maté writes, “the source of pain is always and invariably to be found in a person’s lived experience”.

And therapy can help you learn alternative ways of coping with your emotions and getting your needs met. Strategies that, like lifting weights, get easier with repetition.

4. Therapy empowers you to achieve your goals

Therapy isn’t just about learning how to survive. It’s an environment where you can discover how to thrive: in your career, your relationships and any aspect you want to improve.

You can gain insight into your patterns, bring unconscious habits to the fore and nip any issues in the bud before they snowball.

Is something holding you back? Therapy can help you overcome that, achieve your goals and realise your dreams.

And if you’re not sure what those are, therapy is where you can explore your hidden desires, find clarity and set realistic steps for arriving at success.

5. Therapy helps you improve your relationships

Through therapy, you can learn more about yourself and discover ways to enjoy fulfilling relationships.

It can help you address difficulties you’re having in relating to or communicating with others and equip you with the tools to improve all sorts of relationships – not just those at breaking point.

Understanding that both people’s needs and emotions matter equally and learning how to:

  • connect with others with healthy boundaries
  • express yourself effectively
  • and be authentically you with other people.

Therapy can help you become a better parent, a better friend and a better version of you. It can help you transform a good relationship into a great relationship.

A relationship and an adventure

“To go into therapy is an adventure, not really to iron anything out.” (Jeff Bridges)

Therapy itself is a relationship. But one where you can talk without judgement about what it’s like to be you. To bring your experiences out into the open and have your needs and emotions taken seriously.

And therapy isn’t just for those struggling with mental health issues. It’s for those who:

  • want to invest in themselves
  • are open to new insights and learning
  • and have the courage to make positive internal changes.

Therapy is for everyone.

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