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How do I know if I need therapy?

This really is a hard question to ask ourselves. From my experience the majority of people benefit from having a dedicated time and space in which they can think about their own needs, however you don’t necessarily need a therapist to have that experience. You could book a slot in your diary once a week to check-in with yourself and think about you. After all, if you were thinking about going for therapy you would be committing your time in a similar sort of way so there must be time and space for this to happen. If you manage to make that time, but you go around in circles, feel worse after doing it, or find that your overwhelmed by the things you notice when you have that time, then you might conclude that a therapist might be helpful.

I suppose the next thing to consider is how long you have been feeling as though you might need help? We all go through periods of our life when we feel more stressed, low in mood, anxious about something, or even different a little lost with life however, if we notice that these feelings are lasting longer than they have done previously, that they are more intense, that there seems to be some cycle involved with this feeling coming back, your experiencing feelings of hopelessness about your future, or you are prevented you from doing your daily activities in the way that you normally would, these could be indicators that you need some support.

I often hear clients say “I’ve been getting through the days, but I don’t feel right and things are getting worse” “I don’t think I’m as happy as other people are” “I’m a really good listener and problem solver for my friends and family, but I can’t do the same for myself” “I’ve become so fearful of everything” “I feel so hopeless, everyone is doing better than I am”. These sorts of statements might be indicators that therapy could be helpful.

Thinking about goals can also be a really useful way of answering this question. Try asking yourself ‘what would I want to be different by going to see a therapist?’ ‘What would need to change for me to feel like seeing a therapist was helpful?’ ‘What do I want to be different?’. Once you've generated a list of answers to these questions, think about what stops you achieving these things without a therapist. If there are barriers in the way, and you don’t know how to manage those barriers, then a therapist might be able to help.

If you’ve worked through all these things and are still unsure if you could benefit from therapy then consider talking to a therapist about it.

I offer all clients an initial assessment appointment and if you’re still unsure if you could benefit from some therapy then make a referral and attend an assessment appointment. We can think about the answers you’ve generated to the questions, and decide together if seeing me for some therapeutic sessions could be helpful.

#CBT #CognitiveBehaviouralTherapy