Recognising the Signs: Do You Need Therapy?
Life can be a complex journey filled with ups and downs, juggling work commitments, family responsibilities, social obligations, and personal pursuits. In this whirlwind, it’s natural to face challenges that impact how we feel and think but it can be easy to neglect our mental well-being, especially when we start to feel like there is something not quite right. It’s at that time when people can try to cope by distracting themselves more with what they are doing rather than taking the time needed to stop.
Recognising when you might need therapy or time out to reflect is an essential step in taking care of yourself. A crucial truth is that finding time for understanding what’s happening is not just a luxury; it is a necessity for you. Let’s help you answer the question: do you need therapy?
What are you noticing?
Unhealthy Behaviour Patterns
Do you find yourself doing things you later regret or engaging in harmful behaviours like substance abuse, self-harm, or other destructive habits? Therapy can be a crucial step in addressing and overcoming these patterns.
Traumatic ExperiencesExperiencing a stressful life event can result in trauma. If you’ve gone through a traumatic experience and are struggling to recover, therapy can provide a safe space to process your feelings and work through the trauma. Dr Kaur provides EMDR to help with this.
Feeling weird/off for a while now
If it’s been a while not where you have found yourself experiencing persistent feelings of unease, sadness, anxiety, or other emotions that impact your daily life, something is happening. Sometimes, these feelings can become overwhelming and hinder your ability to function at your best. If this is happening, try to figure out what’s happening by paying attention to recent changes that have happened in your life and how it’s making you feel or think differently. If you reach a dead end you may want to have therapy to help you understand and manage what is happening.
Isolation or Withdrawal
If you find yourself withdrawing from social activities, experiencing a lack of interest in things you used to enjoy, or feeling isolated from others, it might be a sign that something isn’t quite right. A therapist can help you understand the underlying causes and work towards re-engaging with life.
Lack of Clarity or Direction
Feeling lost, without a clear sense of purpose or direction in life, is more common than you might think. A therapist can help you explore your goals, values, and aspirations, providing guidance and clarity.
Are your relationships strained or suffering due to communication issues, trust problems, or unresolved conflicts? Is this causing stress within you, and you feel like you’ve got no-one to talk to? Therapy can help you navigate these challenges and develop healthier relationship patterns with or without your partner.
Finding it hard to cope with Stress
Life is full of stressors, but if you find that you’re struggling to cope with everyday stress or dealing with significant life changes (e.g., loss of a loved one, a major career shift, or a relationship challenge), and you’ve noticed it has been a while since the incident/trigger, therapy can provide you with tools to manage these situations more effectively.
Difficulty Managing Your Emotions
If you find it challenging to regulate your emotions, leading to outbursts, frequent mood swings, or feelings of being overwhelmed, therapy can teach you valuable emotional management skills.
How do you carve out time for therapy?
A mindset shift about your mental health
Taking care of your mental health is essential. Just as you wouldn’t ignore a physical ailment, don’t ignore your mental well-being. Mental health affects every aspect of your life, including your productivity, relationships, and overall happiness. It is not something which should be ignored.
Prioritise and Schedule
Start by making a list of your daily and weekly activities. Identify where your time goes, and then evaluate what can be delegated, postponed, or even eliminated. If this feels overwhelming, set yourself 15 minutes a day to think about how you’re feeling and what you are thinking. This exercise will help you free up pockets of time for reflection. Once you’ve found those pockets, schedule your therapy sessions as non-negotiable appointments. Be clear with potential therapists about what times/days you need therapy. It may take a few attempts, but you will find a therapist. If therapy is through the NHS or other organisations there may be less flexibility, however. Once you have the therapy arranged treat them with the same level of importance as you would a work meeting or a family event.
Consider Online therapy if paying privately
Traditional face-to-face therapy sessions might not always fit into your busy schedule, but the rise of online therapy provides a flexible alternative where you can have sessions from the comfort of your own space, reducing travel time and making it easier to find a convenient time slot. Many therapists offer evening and weekend appointments, catering to those with packed daytime schedules.
Break It Down
If committing to regular therapy sessions feels overwhelming, start by setting smaller goals. Perhaps you can begin with bi-weekly sessions or even monthly check-ins. The key is to start somewhere and gradually increase the frequency as you find what works best for you. You can also find therapy approaches which are more intensive if there are difficulties with finding a weekly slot.
Ultimately, the decision to seek therapy is a personal one, and there’s no shame in seeking help when you need it. If you resonate with any of the signs mentioned above, it might be time to consider therapy as a valuable resource on your journey towards better mental health and overall well-being. A therapist can provide support, tools, and insights to help you navigate life’s challenges and build a healthier, happier future.
So do you need therapy?
It is important to think about the word need. If there is something happening which is causing a significant impact in your life and getting in the way of your day-to-day functioning, yes I would suggest therapy is needed if there is no risk of harm to yourself or others. If however, you are not struggling in such an immediate way but are noticing that you are struggling, then I would encourage you to allow yourself to enter the therapeutic journey. It will be more of a need for yourself, your self-development and your personal growth. I would argue that it is something you could allow yourself to have as it is still an essential and desirable aim. At the same time, you might want to sit with your thoughts which are telling you you don’t NEED therapy and start to challenge them.
If you would like some help thinking about what is happening, don’t hesitate to contact us today. Dr Gurpreet Kaur or a member of her team will be in touch soon to arrange an initial appointment. From there you can think about the best way forward for you.