This article was written by Lynn Joseph on behalf of Sherley Altidor.
Since March 2020, millions of people around the world have begun going to therapy that didn’t previously go. A global pandemic and all of the ripple effects of it (death, unemployment, losing homes and relocation, breakups, being stuck in unsafe environments during a quarantine, etc…) will certainly do that. A lot of people were stressed in ways they never have been before. A lot of people spent quarantine time with others they had never intended to spend that much time with before. But if you’re still on the fence about whether or not you should go and if therapy can really do anything for you, I’m here to tell you that it can work for you! You’re probably thinking that’s not enough to get you to start your research in finding a therapist. I get it.
You’ve gone this far without a therapist, so why would you go now? Well, have you gotten this far and been truly content about it? Have you found a newfound stress or anxiety that you have been unable to manage during the pandemic? Can you say that you could have handled past situations better had communication been clearer on both ends, had either parties had better skills to resolve conflict, had there been a better coping mechanism for you?
Everyone can be better humans. To themselves and to others. So whether you’re looking for solo therapy, partnered therapy, or group therapy, there are benefits to therapy that have been scientifically proven. So what do you say? Sometimes your closest confidant, no matter how amazing they are, just is not equipped to sufficiently handle what you’re throwing at them. Want to talk about why therapy is important?
Also read: How To Survive In A Relationship
Let’s dive in.
Five Reasons Why Therapy is Important
Everyone wants to be heard, know that they are heard, and understood. When you learn how to communicate with others and do the work to get through uncomfortable conversations, you’ll have the tools to create even stronger relationships with those around you who also are willing to do the work to be good communicators. A lot can be lost in translation, a lot can be misconstrued. There’s a lot people think and don’t say, and a lot people say with certain intentions but they do not possess the right words and framing to get that intention across. When we sit down and learn how to have a conversation, learn to sit in the words spoken, learn to understand what’s being said and why, our communication skills transcend. Holding yourself accountable to being a good communicator means being more honest with yourself than you’ve ever been moving forward. It means taking responsibility for your thoughts, words, and actions. Everybody is not ready for this but it is life-changing. Becoming a great communicator doesn’t happen overnight but if you’re willing to do the work, your therapist is there to help walk you through understanding how you can become the best communicator that you can be.
This not only benefits you but those around you. This includes your household, family, friends, colleagues, peers, and everyone you interact with, no matter how big or small that interaction may be. Whether you need to learn how to be a better listener, be more present, be more compassionate and this includes being more compassionate to yourself, etc… you will be given the tools to slow down, pause, examine conflicts, and make more thoughtful choices.
Whether you’re dealing with anxiety, depression, grief, etc…, therapy is a safe space to talk about what’s on your mind and your therapist can help you process what’s happening in a healthy way. This means that they can help you get to the root of unhealthy coping patterns and give you a safe space to grow as you leave those patterns behind. Have you ever really analyzed how you handle stress? Have you identified what your stressors are? Do you use your strengths to the best of your ability? There’s a lot of unpacking to do in therapy but there’s also a lot of homework too – the good kind, the heart kind. Don’t be afraid or intimidated by this at all. You are guiding the ship and the therapist is taking your lead when it comes to the pace in which you unpack but do be prepared to be given the tools to better handle what you’re holding and break harmful patterns to create healthy ones.
Also read: How To Be Okay With Saying NO
Once you get to a point where you have that trust with a therapist and you allow yourself to open up to them fully and completely, understanding that the therapist is there unconditionally and without bias, you will be able to unpack your past traumas in ways you never have before. The best part is, you will have a licensed mental health professional there to walk you through every step of the way. As long as you’re willing to go there and put those puzzle pieces together, your therapist is there to help you do this. You do not have to do this alone, especially if you feel you are not equipped to. A therapist is out there willing to be by your side and put those pieces together with you.
This may seem silly at first, because we spend 24/7 with ourselves. But stick with me here. If we’re digging deeper than your astral chart, and really digging deep to the core of who you are, you may be surprised by what you find. In the end, you may find yourself much happier, much more productive, much more excited about life itself. Never underestimate the power of taking the time to get to know yourself. This is doing the work to make sure that the inside matches the outside of your cookie cutter self-care day that you put a filter on before you posted it to Instagram. And hey, you might even rediscover an old passion, find a new purpose, or gain a clearer vision of how to get to where you’ve always seen yourself going in your dreams.
These are five reasons why therapy is important but this is only touching the surface of the many reasons why therapy can be beneficial to you. If you can find a way to see a therapist, definitely consider doing so. Whether that means doing so monthly, biweekly, weekly, or multiple times a week, do what you can mentally and financially afford to do. Whether you’re able to go in person, meet through video cam, phone calls, email, or text message, there are multiple ways to receive therapy as well. Online therapy is an accessible avenue to go down and it can be just as effective as in person therapy. Don’t get discouraged if your insurance doesn’t cover a therapist near you or you don’t even have insurance. There are ways to get insurance outside of the designated times we’re so used to all registering and there are avenues to pay out of pocket as well that won’t break the bank.
The road to finding a therapist may be a quick one. But sometimes, you do have to meet with a handful of therapists before you find the one that you feel safest with to be your most authentic self, be understood as such, and learn how to come into your own as such while unpacking past trauma and breaking years long unhealthy behaviors. This is perfectly okay. Don’t think that if you meet with one therapist and it doesn’t go well that therapy doesn’t work.
Therapy is work on both ends and both parties need to gel. And if it takes a bit longer to find a woman therapist, a Black therapist, a queer therapist, a therapist that shares or specifically does not share your religious beliefs, etc… then do not be discouraged. Especially during the pandemic when people have been seeking out therapists in droves. Be patient, be kind to yourself, and be proud of yourself for taking this step. Don’t be afraid to ask your loved ones for referrals. You don’t have to talk about your experience in therapy. They don’t have to either. Boundaries are important. But if you know someone who’s in therapy, ask them if they would recommend their therapist to you, which gives you a good jumping off point.
Also read: How To Love Yourself Through a Heartbreak
Resources For You:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free 24/7 support at 1-800-273-8255.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Helpline also provides a free, confidential, 24/7, 365 day a year information service at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
The Trevor Project provides free, confidential, 24/7 assistance to the LGBTQIA+ community at 1-866-488-7386.
The Rape, Abuse, Incest, National Network (RAINN) provides a National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
For resources on Temporary COVID-19 Financial Assistance for Food, Housing, and Bills, visit USA.Gov.
Take care of yourself.
Articles you may enjoy:
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, I will get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through any of my links, at no cost to you. Please read my disclosure for more info.
A place that all women who are transitioning out of a crisis in their relationships - looking to get support, share encouragement, and connect with others.