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Is Therapy Right for You? 10 Signs to Look For

Updated: Dec 13, 2023

Here are 10 signs to look for in yourself, and also look for in your friends or family if you are already in therapy!

(I'm offering a 10% off what I normally charge for a 55-minute mental health session that you can purchase or ask your friends and family to purchase for you through this egift certificate. Read about it and purchase here. )

In my ideal world, not only would annual physical exams be normalized and covered by insurance plans, but so would routine mental health exams. An opportunity to talk with and be "evaluated" by a trained mental health professional. These days, too many physicians are burdened with the responsibility of doing it all, and for lack of better knowledge, resources, etc. end up prescribing psych medications as their only option when faced with any and every mental health challenge that comes their way. According to the Citizens Commissions on Human Rights International, over 76 million Americans are currently taking psychiatric medications in the United States. ( Forbes also published a 2023 mental health statistic that said that 1 in every 4 people in the U.S. are taking psych meds. ( I'm curious just how many of those people are in on-going mental health therapy or treatment? My personal and professional opinion is that prescription drugs are not a means to an end and while they might support therapeutic goals, those goals are also something important to be worked on with a trained professional as part of a broader, holistic treatment plan. #psychmedsinamerica

I'm not blaming any physicians out there - they've been handed a rough spot within the system. They're doing the best they can to care for the patient that is in front of them - even when it's out of their professional training, since they are not thoroughly trained in psychiatric medications. Ask any general physician and you'll hear the same - that it's a stressor for them as well, and there's only so much they can do to provide care. Medication is a simple, accessible solution to an ever-increasing and demanding problem.

Anyways, I digress a bit - but because we don't have the normalization in place of getting a check up with a mental health professional as well as a physician, and putting the responsibility to direct and support the mental health of patients appropriately - here are 10 signs to look for in yourself or your friends/family that seeking mental health support from a trained professional could benefit you!

  1. You're HUMAN! Haha this is a half-joke. But seriously this life and being human ain't for the faint of heart. We're all human-ing the best we can but we cannot control the life things. We cannot control the complexities of our minds and hearts. We cannot control the oppression and injustices of the system we live in. All we can do is our best to support ourselves through it and I truly believe that each and every person doing the best they can in this lifetime deserves the emotional support and experience of a trained professional to offer guidance, feedback, and exploratory reflection so that they can carry forward more resourced, more loving in their thoughts and actions, and more authentic to who they are meant to be for themselves and others.

2. You feel overwhelmed frequently with thoughts and/or emotions but never seem to have the time/space to sort through them. Having a weekly hour of space JUST FOR YOU to process, reflect, sort through what goes where, be reminded of your priorities, get ideas and accountability to do the things that support you and your lifestyle, and experience a supportive, compassionate presence to help remind you that you are worthy and capable can make a GIANT difference. It can help you go from overwhelm and inability to prioritize and maybe using easy distractions or quick experiences of comfort that lead you away from your goals, to clarity, alignment, and a greater sense of ease. It can give you a safe space to release your thoughts, and sort through which emotions go where so they are no longer all swirling around in your own mind and heart.

3. You straight up don't feel like yourself these days. Where did you go? You don't know. You somehow lost track at some point and aren't really sure what happened, but you just know that you regularly think gee who is this? Who am I being? Is this who I wanted to be? Is this who I want to be? Is this who I am? You're not sure anymore and want to talk and work through what these questions may be trying to tell you.

4. Self-care isn't "working", or you can't bring yourself to do the things. Maybe you try. Maybe you go through the motions of what people say you're supposed to do, but you feel no benefit. Maybe you know there are things you could be doing and maybe you even beat yourself up for not doing them, but you just don't do them. You have trouble finding the time and space, and true authentic desire that will actually bring you to the action. At certain times it can be SO CHALLENGING to just DO THE THINGS. And even more challenging if you do them and DON'T FEEL ANY DIFFERENT. This might mean that it's time to outsource. There might be a deeper issue going on that you cannot resolve on your own. You don't know what you don't know, and that's exactly what a trained and experienced mental health professional is for.

5. Life is actually good, everything is going well, yet there's a nagging stuckness in one or more areas of your life or relationships that you can't seem to shake or get past. That one area of your life keeps coming up, keeping you up at night, bringing you to the brink of intense emotions that you question or don't know where to put, causing you to question your decisions or behavior, and continually feeling unresolved and uncertain. Therapy can help pinpoint what's happening in that area of your life, a trained therapist can recognize if there's a deeper source of your stuckness, and/or help brainstorm productive, healthy actions that can help you sort through or resolve whatever it is that is nagging at you. You don't have to wrestle with it alone.

6. You want to be a more evolved, respectful leader or parent. You may have noticed there's a new wave of how to be an authority in the workplace or at home that involves being respectful to the people you're in charge of. It involves recognizing and building on their strengths, taking their opinions and feelings into consideration in decision-making processes, while still being the one to hold the container of safety and values. You have an ideal or vision for how YOU want to start showing up as a leader that is part of this new wave, but you struggle to implement what you have learned. You end up feeling like your behaviors and values are not aligned and you crave more integrity so that your impact is more meaningful, more respected, and you experience greater connection with those you are in charge of. A trained therapist can be great at helping you work through whatever blockages you have that interfere with you being the leader you want to be. Usually there are root causes to the areas or ways we are blocked that can be hard to see for ourselves. A therapist can act as a mirror, reflecting things you might not be able to see. As a leader, your work on yourself can have a major positive impact on everyone following behind and whose lives you touch.

7. You straight up don't want to end up like your parents! Whoops, can I be more blunt? No offense parents, we love you and thank you for everything! All the love and no blame, just that we see certain traits or behaviors that lead to life experiences or relationships that we personally would prefer not to have. We'd like to shift our behaviors and work on ourselves so that we can end up with the relationships and lifestyles that suit our needs and our visions for ourselves and our lives, and also, once again, our values. These values that we've worked hard to cultivate and that we are sorting through how to live them out in a reasonable way. A trained and experienced therapist can support you to do just that, looking at what has been passed down, how it's impacted you, and what you can do to shift the pattern and create something different for yourself and your life and your relationships.

8. You're in the midst of a life transition - questioning something you've always counted on, experiencing something unprecedented, and not sure how to navigate it. Maybe you're thrown off course for the first time. Existential dread or newfound awareness. You're used to having the answers, knowing what to do and how to best move through something, but this newfound awareness or experience has you doubting yourself and uncertain. Therapists with experience have tools, knowledge, and support to help you feel more clear, confident, and like you know what direction to head now that you have been tripped up a bit. I see people go from turmoil and uncertainty to clarity and groundedness with the help of a good therapist. You don't have to go through this alone.

9. When you get quiet, and super honest with yourself, you realize that you don't like yourself. This is a painful one. Not liking yourself can lead to all sorts of unwanted and destructive behaviors, at times and for some people. It can also result in a sort of numbing out and disconnecting while simultaneously going through the motions of life and appearing fine on the outside. If you're ready to face this about yourself and start compassionately working on what might not be working any longer, therapy is the right place for you.

10. You simply want healthier, more meaningful connections with your partner, kids, co-workers, or friends. You're tired and depleted by all the social drama, or surface level interactions that you seem to have around you. It is no longer a good fit for who you are or want to be, and you see things in yourself that contribute to these unsatisfying relationships.

You can read about self-help and personal growth all day and night, but I'm telling you from my own personal experience as well as the transformations I watch in my clients, that there is no substitute for investing the time, money, and energy into a therapeutic relationship with a trained professional. An hour where you don't have to give anything back except our current form of trade frequency ($$). Where you literally pay someone to listen, be there for you, "figure you out", look into the spaces that are hard to look at and see what's there. Uncover and unlayer whatever defenses and walls have been built up that are blocking you from living in a way you can feel fulfilled by. Help you dive deep and get in touch with your wisest inner self, the Self who has the answers you need and are looking for. Notice your strengths, notice why you are the way you are, what makes you tick. See your challenges and support you to work through what you can control and accept what you can't and function in the world accordingly. What a huge gift to give yourself!

If you don't know where to start, I have an invitation for you. I would love to support you to get started on your mental health journey and have a way for you to do that that involves no commitment and minimal investment. For $165 (10% off my normal services), you can consult with me for 55 minutes on a video call. We can start to unwind what's making you tense, sort through some of your plaguing thoughts or anxieties, start to discover the root of any depression or stuckness, or help you gain a sense of direction with your desire to make a healthier impact on those around you. Whether that results in working with me, or me giving you a referral for someone else to work with longer term, is not my concern. This is your way to do your "mental health check-in" and see what's there you might have been ignoring. If this isn't for you, and you would think about those in your life and pass along this opportunity I would greatly appreciate it! The link to purchase an e-gift card for this purpose is here. We'll start the convo with "What's going on in your life? How can I support you today?" and go from there. :)

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