Here is a list of reasons to start psychotherapy. It is not exhaustive and does not guarantee that you will be able to “fix” all the things that are bothering you. Is there a way that you can connect with the part of you that wants to hang in there and work hard to feel better? And is there a way to see the bigger picture, and how solving one problem could lead to solving others?
1. You’re struggling and white knuckling through a loss, or a depression. Your friends have done as much as they can do to be supportive and now they try to give you advice that doesn’t work. Or you have stopped talking because you don’t want to burden anyone. Isolation at a time of loss, heartbreak, or depression is not helpful. You’ve had therapy before and are feeling bad that you are still suffering so you question whether it would help to start psychotherapy again. It’s a good time to consult even by phone to see if that helps you feel any better. Sometimes taking a simple action can shift your mood and give you more hope.
2. Your anxiety has gotten worse. Maybe you know why and maybe you can’t quite figure it out. You’re having trouble sleeping and under or overeating. Yoga or meditation feels overwhelming. And you don’t want to get started on drugs that could be addictive. There are other kinds of therapy besides talk therapy that could be helpful. These include but are not limited to art therapy, music therapy, somatic therapy, (using the body to heal), Trauma processing therapies such as EMDR, and more.
3. You’ve had a recent or past trauma that is getting triggered more lately. You find yourself getting angry and feeling scared or having nightmares and feelings of dread. It can be very helpful to get help sooner than later. Sometimes a recent trauma can bring up traumas from the past, but sometimes a recent trauma can be healed in a short amount of time.
4. You have heard about EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) for processing trauma and have been curious but unsure about trying it. You may have friends who have had really good results with this type of therapy. Or you may have seen it online.
5. You tried coaching but weren’t able to follow through on the action items you set up together. Sometimes having a goal is not the same as being able to move forward through what is blocking you. It is important to keep trying different ways of getting help. If you feel ashamed of yourself, this is even more reason to try psychotherapy. Shame is an emotion that heals through naming and understanding it, rather than hiding it in the shadows, where it likes to go.
6. You’re still trying to figure out how to like yourself more. We hear a lot about how to improve self esteem. Sometimes it’s not as easy as it sounds on paper.
7. You want to think about why everyone who knows you says you have a drinking/drug problem. Denial is a hard defense to break through but certainly a good idea to avoid many of the negative consequences of an alcohol or drug problem.
8. You have decided you have a drinking/drug problem and want to figure out how to stop or how to stay stopped. Support groups are wonderful but many people don’t feel they are enough to help them with self harming behavior or underlying trauma that has been behind the drug usage.
9. You have a complicated history and want help but have found it hard to find the right resources. It’s important to find the right fit between you and your therapist. Some need strong support while others need a much more gentle approach. Some want homework and others need to go at their own pace. Your therapist needs to be able to explain why she is working with you the way she is. And you have a right to ask lots of questions.
10. Your circumstances have changed and you have insurance or other resources that make therapy possible now. Even though many therapists are out of network, there are still reimbursements to be had. And if this is a time of better financial fortune, it’s a good investment in yourself. In addition, there are many low fee options especially in large cities, so don’t give up looking even if your bank account is stretched thin. You can find a way to start psychotherapy even if the resources are not readily apparent.
Please Contact me, or call 415-273-1036 with questions or comments, or comment below.
Thanks for reading and best wishes for healing in 2017!