How To Know If You Need To See A Therapist

“You should go to therapy” is a phrase that often feels like an insult or some sort of punishment. We might say it angrily in an argument or to someone that upsets us. Viewing therapy negatively, or when used as a weapon, creates a stigma in society instead of looking at the potential of what therapy has to offer. Because of that stigmatization, many don’t seek therapy to avoid being perceived a certain way.

Despite what many tend to think, therapy isn’t just for those who struggle with mental illness. People seek therapy for things like stress, dealing with intense emotions, or when they are going through life transitions. The common goal is typically to overcome challenges and improve your life.

There are plenty of good reasons to see a therapist, and it doesn’t make you any less of a person for wanting or needing it. Here we look at some of the potential reasons you may want to seek counseling.

Difficulty Regulating and Dealing With Emotions

We all experience sadness, anger, or anxiety at some point in our lives, but it’s important to take notice of how extreme these emotions feel and how often they arise. It’s common for men to have their irritability or short temper considered masculine traits, but anger is something that can reflect deeper into how one feels about themselves, the world around them, the frustration they feel, or having unhealthy reactions to stress.

When someone constantly feels sad, hopeless, and disinterested in most things in life, it can be a sign of clinical depression. This is more than just feeling bad occasionally, and other than being consistently sad, one may also show signs of irritability, anger, or hostility towards those around them.

By seeing a therapist, you’re able to confront difficult and uncomfortable feelings in a confidential, honest, and trusting space. Being vulnerable and discovering deeper issues is difficult, but a trusted professional who deals with things like trauma or risky behavior can help you confront future negative situations with new coping skills and increase your ability to put things in context.

Having Trouble Processing Something In Your Life

Therapy can be beneficial for those who can’t quite place what it is they’re feeling or struggling with. Having space where you can work with a therapist through your thoughts, feelings, and challenging situations can be valuable when healing from trauma or dealing with symptoms of depression, anger, or anxiety. Therapists see their clients more comprehensively, giving you an outside perspective that may be hard to see yourself or hear from a loved one.

Feeling Unfunctional

It’s a large red flag when we start feeling the weight of everything more heavily and letting it start to interfere with our relationships and how we function at work, school, or even at home. Changes in your mood, dealing with heavy anxiety, or constantly feeling annoyed can affect how we make decisions, our levels of concentration, and even our memories can feel foggy, which inhibits us from getting anything done.

With therapy, you and your therapist can look deeper into why these changes have occurred and how you can get back to functioning optimally. You can create schedules for yourself, making time for activities that you enjoy, and other cognitive behavioral therapy skills to help create a smoother, more productive day and improve your mood.

Changes in Sleep or Appetite

Our mental health can be deeply impacted by how we take care of ourselves and vice versa. Someone with mania may feel sleeplessness, whereas someone with depression may sleep more frequently or for longer periods of time.

When you notice drastic changes in your eating habits or that your sleep schedule is off for long periods of time, it may be time to take a moment to look at the deeper problems and assess why your symptoms are manifesting in this way. Your therapist can ask questions you’re unable to ask yourself and create some positive changes to your food and sleep habits.

Struggling to Build and Maintain Relationships

Dealing with mental health issues can impact relationships in many different ways. They can cause you to withdraw from those close to you or cause insecurities within your relationships.

If you find yourself unable to properly talk about your feelings, or if you have a difficult time building relationships with coworkers or working in teams, therapy can improve your social skills and how to communicate effectively. 

If You’ve Experienced Trauma

Talk therapy can have profound success for someone who has gone through any mental or physical abuse or any other trauma they haven’t completely assessed or recovered from. Therapy allows patients to explore their past painful experiences with a professional that is well-equipped to listen to these kinds of issues. A skilled therapist can help someone build new ways to think about their trauma and offer techniques to guide them through their negative associations differently.

Trauma can be an exhausting burden to hold on your own, and looking for a therapist can be daunting. Stanley Wipfli is a licensed trauma-based therapist in downtown San Francisco who specializes in anxiety, depression, and PTSD therapy. Offering a variety of trauma therapy techniques, Stanley Wipfli can help you overcome your struggles and work towards a more fulfilling life.

Contact Stanley Wipfli today for a free 15-minute consultation. In-person therapy is available in downtown San Francisco, as well as virtual therapy sessions for all California residents.