Do you think something terrible has to happen in your life before you pick up the phone to call a therapist?
Do you think you need to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown or ever think to yourself…well, it’s not that bad…I’m not crazy. I should be able to manage this on my own.
If you’re sheepishly nodding your head yes, then this week’s video is for you. It’s Mental Health Awareness Month, and I’m breaking down all of the good reasons for you to get into therapy as a proactive way to protect your overall health.
There is still a negative stigma around therapy and mental health and, unfortunately, it can be a major deterrent to getting support. You don’t need to be on your knees in pain and despair before you get help. Please don’t wait until you feel like you’re hanging by a thread.
I’m hoping to help shift the narrative around seeking therapy into an empowering, proactive, positive way to care for yourself.
Here’s my story:
I started therapy when I was very young- just 19 years old, in my freshman year of college. We had some big snowstorms that winter which closed the school down and left me with a lot of time on my hands. I had never been great at managing my emotions or my anger (I didn’t learn these skills growing up) and I used alcohol to numb the feelings I didn’t want to feel.
I started waking up feeling down and depressed which was a completely new experience for me. That sense of emotional fatigue was scary enough for me to seek out a counselor at the student union center.
I can’t tell you how liberating it was to be able to talk to an objective individual about how I was feeling. It wasn’t complicated by love or family ties or expectations, and being able to speak freely lifted such a weight off my shoulders. I kept going.
In my senior year, my brilliant therapist Bev shocked me by telling me she thought I might be an alcoholic. That intervention changed the course of my life. It’s possible I might have eventually stopped drinking on my own, but it probably would have been a really messy, depressing decade later. I am so grateful to Bev I didn’t waste all that time. Since then, therapy has been a constant in my life.
Everyone’s story is different. Therapy helped me get empowered to take control of my story. So let’s talk about good reasons to get into therapy.
There are the big reasons- the end of a relationship, the death of someone you love, addiction issues, illness, or trauma. It is always appropriate to get professional support for the peak painful experiences in your life.
I believe therapy can also be a space for you to get to know yourself, learn how to understand your feelings, and essentially become an expert on you. It is an opportunity to understand why you are the way you are and a commitment to getting curious about your reactions and responses to different situations and people. In my humble opinion, self-knowledge and self-mastery are the keys to the kingdom of life!
Therapy can help you learn skills you didn’t learn growing up. If you came from a complicated family system (and most of us did), you might have never witnessed healthy problem-solving or effective communication.
A few years ago, when I was launching my Real Love Revolution course, I did a survey and 67% said they did not have good role models for healthy love. That’s a lot. If you don’t have great role models, therapy can help you learn how to be in a healthy relationship and how to be a good partner.
I want to invite you to look at therapy as a gift you can potentially give yourself. I know it is a luxury not everyone can afford, and inside the guide, I’m giving you many resources, both paid and free. Everyone deserves access to mental health care.
Are you clear about what you feel and why? How is your emotional self-regulation? Therapy can be your opportunity to break old patterns and cycles of learned behavior.
When you find a good therapist using the right modalities for you, it can accelerate your natural growth process. It can also catalyze growth that might not otherwise have been possible for you. A major benefit of therapy is it can cut down the amount of time it takes to evolve certain parts of your personality. Therapy has the potential to fast-track you to deeper self-understanding and higher self-regard.
I can’t tell you how many clients I’ve had who come to me because they want to improve their relationship with themselves. After 25 years as a psychotherapist, I have to tell you, there are SO many of us walking around treating ourselves like crap, having low self-worth, not feeling good enough, and battling imposter syndrome.
You can go to therapy to learn how to love yourself and how to have compassion for yourself. How about changing your career or making a big life decision like moving across the country or something else you have fear around? Get into therapy and talk it out with an objective professional.
There are all kinds of therapy for all different situations, issues, and individuals. Inside the guide, I’ve included a brief glossary of some of the different types of therapists, licensures, and therapy modalities, so you will know what to look for based on your needs.
Choosing to seek out therapy with a desire to continue your own evolution, is like making the decision to be the writer, director, and star of the movie of your life. When you get mental wellness support, your ability to lead a self-determined life is far greater.
Will you join me in flipping the script on the negative stigma around therapy? Be proactive and take preventative steps for robust mental health. You don’t have to wait until you’re in crisis. Consider this your invitation to take care of yourself mentally and emotionally just the way you would go to the doctor to get a physical or go to the dentist to get a cleaning.
If you came from a family system or culture where going to therapy was shameful or considered “weak”, challenge that belief, because being proactive with therapy can spare you an abundance of pain in your life down the road.
There doesn’t need to be anything “wrong” with you for you to want to become more masterful when it comes to your mental wellness. Now, perhaps more than ever is a good time for each of us to take responsibility for our mental health to the best of our ability.
You deserve a happy, healthy life. I hope this episode resonated with you and if it did, please share it. This week’s guide is packed with resources – I’ve even included questions you can ask a potential new therapist to help you find a good match! Download it right here.
Please take care of your mental wellness because the healthier we all are, the better the world will be! As always, take care of you.