Don't wait until it is too late. Get the help you need.
Just like there isn't one single recipe for how therapy happens, there isn't a single reason why people should go to counseling. It's not just for "crazy" people, or the place to turn as a last resort. There are many reasons why you should seek help from counseling, from traumatic life events to ongoing depression. Here are some of the top reasons people should go to counseling:
You should go to counseling if…
Whether you lose a family member, pet, or friend, grieving the death of a loved one is a difficult process. You might be crying one minute, laughing the next, and then experiencing guilt over having a smile. These feelings are complex, and going to counseling will help you navigate the road of grief in a safe and constructive way.
Long-term sadness or depression makes you less motivated, can damage your relationships, and definitely reduces the quality of your life. If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, counseling will help you get to the root of the issue, and your therapist can make a recommendation about whether or not medication could be of service.
Sure, we all feel nervous sometimes, like before a big job interview. But if anxiety is interfering with your daily life, you struggle to leave the house or complete everyday tasks, and you feel yourself withdrawing from friends — it’s time to talk to someone. Chronic anxiety can be the result of an issue like general anxiety disorder, or derived from a specific fear. In either case, counseling helps you get to the bottom of things.
4. Low Self-Esteem:
Building the strongest you possible doesn’t happen overnight. If you have been bullied, or just have a tendency to think negative thoughts about yourself, you may need some help increasing your self-esteem. Counseling is a way to rewire the way you talk to yourself and start to focus on positive things.
5. Life Changes:
Moving to a new city, getting married, or having a baby are very exciting times, but any change can yield some stress and turmoil. Going though a major life change is often a good reason to enter counseling. If the change is less than happy, say a divorce, then counseling might be an essential component of getting your bearings back.
If you experience a traumatic event, such as rape or a horrible accident, counseling will help you identify your feelings and learn how to move past the trauma. You might also need counseling if you experienced trauma in the past that you never dealt with.
7. Anger Issues:
If you don’t get to the bottom of anger, it can jeopardize your home life and professional reputation. You will have festering feelings that are bound to pop up at bad times and in ways that can hurt others. At worst, they might even lead to violence. Anger management is a very serious issue, and counseling will help you develop coping mechanisms as well as figure out the root of your anger.
If you and your significant other are not communicating, counseling is an excellent way to get back on track. The counselor will serve as an impartial mediator, giving an objective look at what she sees missing in your communication. Counseling will give you tools to communicate in a safe way with your partner, as well as the other people in your life.
9. Confusing Emotions:
If you are feeling overwhelming feelings of any kind, counseling is an excellent step. When you’re crying, feeling nervous, or having swings of emotion that you just can’t explain, you should always address the issue.
When there has been infidelity in a relationship, rebuilding the trust takes time. Counseling is very crucial to finding your way back to a place where you can trust each other and have a fulfilling relationship again.
If you recognize any of these within yourself or someone you love, consider reaching out for help.
About Jennine Estes, MFT
Think of me as your relationship consultant, I'm your neutral third party that can help you untangle the emotions and help you figure out what's really going on. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego, CA. Certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. Supervisor. I write relationship and self growth advice for my column Relationships in the Raw. Creator of #BeingLOVEDIs campaign. MFC#47653