Reaching out to a professional for support and guidance has become popularized in our society. Movies, television shows and series have highlighted characters and themes around going to therapy. Celebrities, athletes, and other social media influencers have personally talked about being in therapy and their need for help and support. Therapist have become a necessary commodity instead of a once novelty for the well-to-do. Therapy has become accessible through in-person, in-home and on telehealth platforms. Therapy has also become affordable through using Employee Assistant Programs and insurance to cover costs. People have become more open to exploring issues and concerns with the expertise of licensed professionals.
Who can benefit from therapy?
Simply, anyone. Most people think that they only qualify to meet with a therapist if they are under imminent distress. Although, that can be true to some extent, therapist can assist in many ways. Life transitions, feeling “stuck” and uninspired, seeking clarity can be a few reasons to get professional support. Expecting a child, getting married, exploring sexual identity, looking to make a career or educational move can be other reasons to reach out to a licensed clinician.
What can I expect in therapy?
Therapy sessions generally last 45 – 60 minutes but sometimes can last longer depending on time agreements and the need from the individual seeking support. The duration of therapy can also depend on the goals and objectives determined by the client and therapist. Sometimes several weeks and months are needed to achieve goals and other times in may take longer. Again, this is determined through collaboration of people involved in therapy. Often times, the presenting problem can be linked to other problem areas. For example, someone seeking therapy for anxiety may find that after developing adequate coping skills realizes their negative thoughts and belief system impacts their anxiety. The therapist may then prompt the client to explore how irrational thoughts impact anxiety and may even explore the origins of these beliefs. Therapy is not an event; rather, it is a process and processes take time. Payments, insurance benefits and any financial responsibility will most likely be addressed at time of scheduling appointment or in the initial session.
What if I am unsure if therapy is right for me?
If you’re unsure about therapy and meeting with a professional, then do some research. See what’s available in your area and consult with the people in your life. Most professionals are open to consultations and listening to your concerns about therapy. Again, we can never have enough support and we all need at least one non-biased person to talk with. Having family and friends that are supportive is extremely important and the people in our lives can be somewhat biased. Research the person you are reaching out to by reviewing social media content and reading reviews. Also, ask questions when you meet with the therapist. After all, it’s important to make sure it will be a good fit. In essence, therapy is about developing a safe and trusting relationship with someone.
Seeking a therapist and beginning therapy can provoke many feelings. Getting support from a therapist is not a weakness or a negative thing. It takes great strength to reach out. Again, we can all benefit from talking with someone at any given moment in our lives. I hope that if you need anything, that you will find some of what you need in therapy! You are not alone.