In some circles, going to talk therapy still carries a stigma. It’s seen as something that “weak” or “crazy” people do. Therapy is for everyone! If you’re not stable, it’s definitely helpful. If you are just not your highest and best self, it can help to get you there. Here’s why.
Gives Social Contact
People are social creatures. Modern society is very isolating. Loneliness is epidemic! There are so many people who seem outgoing and happy while at work or school, but have no connected relationships outside of work or school. They find it hard to find true friends. So who do those people talk to? Their therapist. It’s a safe place to think aloud, talk about their deepest secrets, or admit their fears.
Brings the Inside Out
There is something magical about saying aloud the thing that you won’t say or haven’t said. It’s one thing to have a thought inside of you. It’s quite another to have it exist in the outside world for others to know about. It’s like having a poem in your head vs. writing it down. A thing materializes as reality when it’s seen the light of day. If it’s a dream, it can then solidify and become reality. If it is a fear, it can be faced. Here in the outside world, you can begin to do something with it.
Helps You Reach Goals
Sometimes the issue isn’t about getting the inside out. It’s about making it coherent or organizing it so that it’s useful. When you can’t see the forest for the trees, a therapist can help you sort things out. She can help you reduce your chunk size so that you can begin accomplishing small things that lead to finishing big things.
Therapy also creates accountability. Most of us want to do what we say we are going to do and be what we say we are. When we tell our therapist, “I am going to do this,” we are more likely to do it. It’s hard to come in week after week and say, “I didn’t get to it.” Even when you do, it’s not a failure. It just means that you either aren’t wholeheartedly committed yet or there is something you still need to do or know first. Either way, a therapist can help you clear that hurdle too.
Grows Your Thinking
Talk therapy isn’t just about sharing your thoughts and feelings. It’s about growing. Everyone only has their own culture, history, and experiences to draw upon. Therapists make a study out of human behavior. They have many client’s histories, cultures, and experiences to draw upon. They use all of this information to help you get to the next level. This can help you grow your thinking so that your world expands beyond your own experience.
Calls You on Your BS
One of the roles of a therapist is to challenge you. Sometimes the reason we aren’t getting what we want or aren’t happy is because of the lies we tell ourselves. A lot of our friends are the “support you at any cost” types. Or maybe they are just as deluded as you are. A therapist will shoot straight and let you know that maybe things aren’t what you think they are. While this may not be comfortable, sometimes you need this to get back on track.
Builds Your Skills
Sometimes talk therapy focuses on skill building. There are lots of things that people don’t know. Maybe your communication skills aren’t what they could be. Perhaps you are impatient, depressed, or unsure of what you feel. Skills can help you to do things differently. After all, if you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten.
People need growth. Some have a high need for it. Others need less, but we all need it. We no longer live in societies where many of us have elders or clergymen to serve as informal mentors. We outsource this role. So when you’re in need of a supportive person in your life, reach out. Be strong and ask for what you need. We’re here to help.