Many people struggle with the question, “Do I need therapy?” This is a highly individualized question. Ultimately, you must make the best decision based on how well you know yourself. However, there are some common signs that you could benefit from professional counseling.
Why Do People Go to Therapy?
People go to therapy for a number of reasons. They might have a diagnosable mental health condition, or simply feel like they need some insight in a particular area of their lives.
Everyone feels upset or sad once in a while. It is a normal feeling, but you want to pay attention when you have not felt like yourself for a while. When you begin to experience uncontrollable sadness, hopelessness or even anger, then you may have a mental health issue that requires addressing. If at any point you question whether life is worth living, then you should seek help immediately. Other signs that it might be time to talk to a therapist include:
- You no longer participate in activities you used to enjoy.
- You develop unhealthy behaviors, such as drinking alcohol to cope with sadness.
- You avoid social situations.
- You have experienced an immense trauma recently, such as the death of a loved one.
- You have a difficult time forming new relationships.
- You want additional support outside of friends and family.
- You want to understand your inner self better.
Remember, it is never too early to ask for help. You don’t want to wait until you’re in a crisis situation to seek professional counseling. Everyone could benefit from therapy at one time or another, so do not hesitate to get some extra help when you need it.
How To Tell If a Loved One Needs Therapy
If you’re concerned about someone and think they might need therapy, keep an eye out for the same symptoms above. It can be harder to tell with friends you don’t see often. These days, it is easy to assume people are fine because they look happy on social media. Pay careful attention to their behavior.
Know the signs your teen needs counseling:
For instance, you may invite a close friend to go out several times, but they always refuse. They may have loved meeting up in the past, but they seem more isolated recently. Or, you might notice that they’re drinking a lot more than usual at a party.
Additionally, you should be cognizant of when a close friend experiences a drastic life event, such as loss of a job or a family death. It never hurts to lend a helping hand and check in on those you love every now and then.
How to Tell Someone They Need Therapy
Therapy is a sensitive subject. You might be worried about offending your loved one. Here are some tips for bringing up the idea of going to counseling:
Pick the right time and place.
Make sure you’re alone with the person and that they are in a neutral or good mood. When we’re in a bad mood, we tend to be closed to new ideas, even helpful ones.
Use sensitive, non-stigmatizing language.
Avoid words like “crazy,” “troubled,” “unstable,” “disturbed,” etc., even if you’re describing the behaviors and not the person. Instead of saying, “Your behavior has been unstable for the past few months,” tell them, “You haven’t been acting like yourself lately.”
Express how much you care.
You may assume they already know, but remind them. Tell them, “I’m concerned about you. I just want to see you happy and healthy.”
Prepare yourself for a negative response and don’t take it personally.
It’s easy to fall into a defensive mode if your loved one becomes upset. Mentally prepare yourself to remain calm. Getting upset will only cause tension and conflict.
Offer specific types of support.
Instead of saying something vague like, “I’m always here for you,” tell your loved one that you are willing to help them find a therapist, drive them to their therapy appointments, or even sit in the session with them (if they want this).
Counseling With The Light Program
If you or someone you love is in need of a therapist in Pennsylvania, The Light Program can help. Call (888) 686-7511 to learn more about our counseling services and to find a location that is convenient for you.