The Mighty Logo

3 Simple Reasons Why Trying Therapy Is Worth It

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

My therapist looks like Sandra Bullock, except younger, cooler and prettier. She’s a LPC (licensed professional counselor) and we talk about stuff. I also have a psychiatrist that handles the medication side of things.

Although I like to talk about therapy casually, there seems to be this horrible stigma surrounding it. Why? Most of the reasons I’ve heard aren’t worth my time, so here’s a list of reasons why therapy can not only be cool, but actually worth your time if you feel like it’s something you need.

1. You probably see a specialist for everything else — mental health should be no different.

If you have a toothache, you see a dentist. If your vision is blurry, you see the optometrist. If you have a cold, you see your primary doctor. If you’re having mental struggles, why not see a therapist? It’s their job! A mental illness isn’t any “better” or “worse” than a physical one.

When we don’t have the tools to better ourselves by ourselves, it’s OK to admit we need help finding a solution. Therapists and psychiatrists tend to have great toolboxes.

You can’t drive with a flat tire. If you have no way to fix it, how are you supposed to get home?

2. You get to talk about you — and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Being in therapy gives you an opportunity to learn about yourself. In fact, learning more about who I am as a person has been one of my favorite parts of therapy. Being in therapy gives you an opportunity to learn what you like, what you don’t like and more importantly why you feel that way.

Sometimes, we make fast decisions about how we feel about something but then never dig deeper. For example: I hate outside. I don’t like going outside at all and try to avoid it at all costs. When I was reflecting on why, I could trace one of my reasons back to a childhood camping trip. When I moved a layer past that, I could then label the feeling. Now I have a better understanding of why I react the way I do, and I can work on it.

You can learn so many insightful things about yourself in therapy. Although this might freak some people out, don’t be afraid of yourself. Humans are so complex. Understanding our home base (and inner self) is of the utmost importance.

3. Anyone can benefit from it — there are no rules or requirements.

Even if you don’t have depression, anxiety or another mental illness, that doesn’t mean you’re barred from seeing a therapist.

And the best part: They don’t know anyone you know. It’s great!

Depending on what kind of person you are, the opportunity to talk about yourself can be refreshing, whether you’re tired of not being heard or have so many thoughts inside your head you just need to get them out. Getting the opportunity to talk about yourself can relieve some major mental tension.

A problem I frequently grapple with is trying to identify my emotions and reactions. I sometimes second-guess what I’m feeling, unsure if it’s something “everyone else feels” or if I’m overreacting. During therapy, I’ve learned my thoughts and experiences are valid. I’ve also learned sometimes my thoughts are just thoughts, and nothing more than that.

Choosing to go to therapy is extremely courageous. While I don’t believe you should tell someone they should go to therapy — it’s an individual’s decision, and they can go if they want to go — we shouldn’t be discouraging people from seeking therapy either. If you have any inkling or curiosity about therapy, don’t be afraid to try. Then, stick with it. Therapy can honestly change your life for the better. It’s astounding how much progress I’ve made.

Follow this journey on Involuntary Sass

Originally published: November 5, 2015
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home