It isn’t always easy to know when help would be nice vs. necessary. If something is interfering with your ability to love, play or work, then it should be taken seriously. Ignoring it might lead to it becoming more entrenched, cause you to miss out unnecessarily and prevent you from succeeding in the way you should. Therapy is not only helpful in cases of mental illness. Most people experience times where they would benefit from working with a therapist and ironically, healthier people gain more quickly from therapy and are often able to use it to deepen their maturity and growth.

One of three things will usually bring someone to see a therapist:

  1. They may have things that they would like to discuss that they can’t share with anyone else or are aware of aspects of themselves or their lives that they would like to change. Examples include things like…
    • Doing something that they are ashamed of
    • Wanting to feel more at ease with themselves or others
    • Not enjoying life as much as others seem to
    • Ending up in unhappy relationships or ones that don’t last
    • Feeling inhibited in life and not following through with their aspirations
    • Needing to process difficult or traumatic experiences
    • Struggling with destructive patterns or addictions
    • Persistent sadness, worry or feeling overwhelmed
  2. They seek help after an incident like a relationship breakup, crime or a significant loss. These events can cause a breakdown in a person’s ability to function and it is important to find help since this can harm their personal and professional lives.
  3. They come for therapy because they have been told to do so. This is common with adolescents but also applies to adults who are either unaware of the need for support or do not believe that help is possible. It is harder to help this group, but many do still benefit.