I know it can be super hard reaching out and finding a therapist. You've been surviving on your own for a long time! You're feeling okay a few times a week! You've tried before and didn't feel heard by your therapist!
All good points, all valid and real.
But let me ask you really - have you just been surviving? Are a few days a week of peace and contentment really all you want from your life? Don't you long to have a trusted and skilled professional helping you achieve balance?
In this short post I'll give you 3 clues to find out if it's time to start therapy.
3 Ways to Know Therapy is Right for You
1. You've worn out your friends
Sometimes when we are struggling our whole life becomes about that struggle. We can't see our way out of the tunnel or what to do next. Every day becomes centered on surviving until the end of the day or until something changes. We're lost but we don't know where to turn.
Friends and family members are great. They listen, they sympathize and they try to be supportive. But many are dealing with the same or similar issues as you and they might be the first to admit they are not dealing that well. Or they've made some damaging choices and their advice might not be the greatest.
Or sometimes they just have a lot on their plates and don't have the time to listen deeply or help you sort it out.
And that is when a professional who has been trained and who finds their life's purpose in listening and validating comes in real handy.
We don't just listen when you speak - we listen deeply. We empathize and validate your life's experience. We remember things you say or how you say it and reflect that back to you so you can chew on it a bit longer. Real insight leads to real healing and trained therapists know how to hold a safe space while the process unfolds.
It's an hour like no other - entirely devoted to you and your well being.
2. When Grey Turns to Black or Stays Grey
We are great at fooling ourselves. We can have a series of dark days and one that is mildly grey and we tell ourselves that is good enough.
Life doesn't have to be this bleak.
It's not always a crisis that shows you it's time for therapy it might just be a string of grey or dark days. Maybe nothing "major" has happened, you're not suffering from a recent loss or an acute trauma but you have been struggling with anxiety, depression or grief for so long it's become your normal.
We'll always have some grey and dark days in this life but they don't have to make us complacent. We don't have to accept dark days, floundering relationships or memories of pain or abuse as normal.
Even if your life's circumstances can't change a trained therapist can help you honor and respect your feelings while also finding hope in life.
3. Your Quality of Life has Decreased
We live in a culture that is adamant that each of us should "buck up and fly right." By sheer force of will we are supposed to overcome our difficulties and move on.
Grief and pain doesn't work like that.
Because we feel this pressure we might avoid friends, keep our difficulties to ourselves and feel intense shame even thinking about opening up to another person about what we are dealing with.
Our lives can become very small. We might avoid places or people because we might experience panic, we might stop trying to find new friendships because of pain from the past or we might smile when someone asks how we are because we don't want to admit we are on the verge of a breakdown.
I know it can feel scary reaching out. You feel as if no one could ever understand what you are going through and nothing will ever help. You've lost hope.
Therapists know how hard it can be to come to that first therapy session. We do everything in our power to make you comfortable and safe. We know what a big step it is to reach out and start talking!
And sometimes just by talking you feel less alone. And then you find ways to feel better.
So these are just 3 reasons it might be time to start therapy. There are many more! If you feel like it's time to start therapy please reach out for a free 15 minute consultation. You are under no obligation to pursue therapy after we speak.
My hope is that you will find a therapist you feel comfortable working with and that you start to experience some healing.