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Tips and Advice

Is therapy right for me?

4-6 minute read.

For anyone considering therapy for the first time, this article aims to give an overview of how it works, what to expect at a session and the wide range of issues it can support with.

Exploring the benefits of therapy: understanding its power and potential

If you’ve landed on this page, it’s likely that you’re curious about the benefits of therapy, and there may be some issue in your life that’s sparked that curiosity. Therapy can be beneficial for people who are feeling stressed, anxious, depressed, overwhelmed with challenges in life, at a difficult point in one or some of their relationships, or having sexual difficulties. It’s a widely championed supportive treatment for people coping with grief, needing help to process traumatic experiences, or dealing with any number of diagnosed mental health issues. But one thing I’m always keen to communicate to anyone interested in therapy is this: you do not need to have identified a problem in your life and you do not need to have a diagnosed mental health issue to find therapy useful.

Part of what makes therapy so powerful is its ability to unlock areas of stress or tension that may have secretly been causing discomfort for a while. Therapy can help you better understand complex thoughts and feelings and find ways to articulate whatever it is that is bothering you. Understanding what happens during therapy and what role your therapist plays during sessions can help you better understand if therapy is something that would benefit you.

You do not need to have identified a problem in your life and you do not need to have a diagnosed mental health issue to find therapy useful.

What happens in a session?

Therapy may look slightly different depending on the area you’re looking for help with and the type of therapy you opt for. Relationship therapy naturally involves working together with a partner or family member, and sex therapy is designed to address a specific issue. But for the most part, one-to-one talking therapy involves you sitting down with a therapist, in-person or online, and having a discussion focused on the issues that are important to you.

During your first session, your therapist will ask what problems you hope to address, or if there is a particular feeling you’re holding on to that has led you to therapy. You may talk about the kind of therapy you’re interested in.

If you decide to proceed, you can discuss if there’s a particular issue you want to work on, or if you just want to focus on whatever area you feel you need help with at each session. Simply having a professional to guide you through talking about personal thoughts and feelings can give you an insight into your experiences that you may have never had.

What role does a therapist play?

Therapists support people to resolve problems. These can be short-term or long-term difficulties related to things happening in your life, or they can be problems that result from ill mental health.

Therapists do not diagnose mental health conditions, but they can help provide relief from them through talking therapy.

A therapist always remains neutral. They listen to you talk about your issues without judging you. Therapists rarely provide direct advice, but they can help you come to decisions yourself .

Therapists may provide you with exercises to do outside of sessions for certain kinds of therapy, or they could ask you to think about things that you’d like to bring to your next session.

Why go to therapy?

Even if you have people to lean on, it can help sometimes to talk to someone outside your usual support network. Though you may be the kind of person that shares their problems with family and friends and receives support back from them, therapy provides a different and unique form of support.

Therapists are only concerned with you, do not have their own agenda, and will never give advice based on emotions or their relationship to you. While family and friends often have the best intentions, they can never provide the same level of neutrality that a therapist can.

Expressing your thoughts and feelings to a person that is removed from your immediate personal support network and reflecting upon them can help you learn more about yourself. You can think of talking to a therapist as holding a mirror up to yourself.

If you do feel that you’re experiencing mental health difficulties like anxiety or depression, it can be a good idea to seek therapy before you’re at a crisis point. Your therapist can provide you with advice on where to go, who to see, and what you can expect if you’re considering looking for a diagnosis. If you have found this advice helpful, consider chatting to our experienced team.