How do you know you need to see a therapist? The answer might surprise you. Therapy isn’t just for the obviously depressed, anxious, or uptight.
Do You Need to See a Therapist?
“Maybe you need to see a therapist,” Pedro told me.
I laughed. “I’m fine.” Sure, life had thrown us a lot of curveballs, but he had recovered. I didn’t feel overly stressed. Why would he insult me by suggesting that I may need to see a therapist? The conversation ended. I may have harbored a sliver of hurt at his suggestion.
Decades later, after writing about self-care for years and studying the importance of good mental health, I came up against a wall of emotion I couldn’t break through. Regrets piled up like semis on a slick freeway. I felt short-tempered and out of sorts. Just about every other song I listened to brought tears to my eyes or sobs shoving through the narrow space in my throat.
I called a therapist. Why did it take so long for me to take my own advice? Intellectually, I knew the important role a licensed counselor can play in a person’s mental wholeness. Emotionally, I didn’t want to admit I needed help. But I did.
Adults and children alike may need mental-health check-ups (or check-ins). I remember reading The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch years after Pedro’s miraculous recovery from cancer. The author talked about how he and his family saw a counselor as part of his cancer treatment. I remember thinking, “Why didn’t they include counseling in Pedro’s treatment plan?”
It made perfect sense a family going through a catastrophic illness could use counseling and support from a professional during a time of crisis. But we can benefit from seeing a therapist even when we aren’t facing a crisis. Today’s podcast walks you through seven signs you (or someone you love) may need to see a therapist.
I loved this book, but I used a box or two of tissues just to get through it.
Let’s Normalize Mental Wholeness
Have you had your teeth cleaned lately? Do you go for your well-woman visits once a year? How often do you evaluate yourself for mental wholeness? Have you considered (or do you) taking a child to see a therapist? If we want to normalize good mental health, we need to start talking about it!