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Our society still has this stigma of receiving mental health help. I’ve heard things recently like:
“If you see a therapist, there’s something wrong with you.”
“Therapy means you can’t handle your own life.”
“Therapy means you’re weak.”
“Oh…you see a therapist? What’s wrong with you?”
“Why do you see a therapist? Can you not handle life on your own?”

It’s almost 2017 and there is still a misunderstanding of what therapy is, who it’s for, and what the benefits are! Let’s clarify a few things:

What is therapy?

Therapy is a safe space where you can get your feelings acknowledged and validated in a nonjudgmental, unbiased manner. A therapist is there to guide you toward making your own decisions. The therapist’s job is to make sure you aren’t standing in your own way!

Really!

A therapist can offer you insights that maybe you can’t see right away; they are able to look at situations that might be bothering you from the outside, especially if you’re too close to the situation to look at it any other way. A therapist is an educator and can teach you tips and tools to use in your daily life to make living in our society easier for you. And, a therapist acts as a container – all those things that you’re thinking because you can’t say them out loud because they’re “wrong,” “questionable,” or “stupid” you can say in therapy and the therapist will hold it for you nonjudgmentally and without wanting anything in return! The therapeutic relationship is a unique one and hard to recreate outside of the therapeutic environment. Amazing!!

Who is therapy for?

Therapy is for anyone and everyone. You don’t have to be going through “stuff” to see a therapist. A therapist is there for you in good time and bad, in sickness and health. You want to explore opening your own business? Do it in therapy! You want to work on getting rid of your anxiety (major or minor)? Do it in therapy! You want to complain about coworkers/family members/life in general? Do it in therapy! Anyone can go, everyone is welcome.

What are the benefits of therapy?

Do you know that feeling of “ah….I feel so much better!” — that relief?? If not, go see a therapist. If so, that’s exactly the goal of therapy. To help get your worries/concerns/grudges off your chest. To have someone hear you, and I mean really hear you and everything you have to say. To make you feel normal, validated, and cared for. Therapy is not only beneficial for your mental health, but for your physical health as well. If you are suffering from overwhelming feelings, chances are you are suffering physically in some way – whether that means literal aches and pains or a lower desire to do activities you would otherwise be doing. Therapy gives you that sense of “ah…I feel so much better!” because it’s giving you the opportunity to vent everything you want to vent, no matter the content. There are no worries about offending anyone, no worries about being judged, no worries about doing something wrong.

 

Sure, therapy helps those with true mental illnesses, whether serious or not, but therapy can help the average Joe, too. There is nothing wrong with being in therapy; it doesn’t have to last forever; and, you can only receive benefits from being apart of a therapeutic relationship. It might take a while to find a therapist who you click with, but that’s ok, because once you find that person, you’re golden. With all these reasons for therapy, isn’t it a wonder why there’s still such a stigma about it?

 

Copyright © 2017 Michelle Dabach, LMFT. All Rights Reserved