For many, counseling feels like completely foreign territory. While many of us recognize the healthy and healing potential of working with a therapist for everything from our daily anxieties to childhood traumas, we can still feel at a loss for how or if we’re ready to actually enter into a counseling relationship. If navigating how to get started feels overwhelming to you, you’re not alone. Let us walk you through some of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to seeking therapy.
What do I do if I am in an immediate crisis and I need to talk to someone?
If you are in immediate crisis, we urge you to please call 1-800-273-8255 – The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
You can also text HOME to 741741 and speak to someone via text if that feels more comfortable for you.
How do you know it’s time to see a therapist/counselor?
Making the choice to work with a counselor is a personal choice, and can be made for a variety of reasons. Therapy offers a safe place to talk through life challenges such as a loss, a strain in a relationship, struggles in parenting, or a major life change. Working with a counselor can help bring clarity to places of confusion, provide tools to help you be more holistically and spiritually healthy, and help provide a place to grow in understanding of yourself and who you aspire to be.
Here are 10 great questions to ask yourself to help you determine if counseling is a good next step for you:
- Have you considered counseling but keep putting it off?
- Do you recommend counseling to others but haven’t sought it for yourself?
- Do you often feel overwhelmed?
- Are you experiencing fatigue that is out of the ordinary for you?
- Are you feeling unusually apathetic or hopeless?
- Do you find yourself withdrawing socially?
- Do you spend a considerable amount of time every week thinking about a particular issue?
- Have you seen a significant decrease in your quality of life?
- Is a particular issue having a negative effect on school, work, or relationships?
- Are you rearranging your lifestyle to accommodate an issue?
Therapy isn’t only for people experiencing what they would describe as severe changes or mental health crises. Counseling can be a good next step if you’re simply in need of extra support during a difficult season of life or a few tools to help you navigate unfamiliar or challenging circumstances.
Facts and information can be incredibly empowering. Hopefully as you learn more about how and when it’s common to seek therapy, you feel confident about making the right decision for yourself. Because the truth is, we can all use a little help sometimes.
This post was written for informational use only and is not intended to replace advice from a licensed mental health professional.