consider therapy before crisis

People often decide to go to therapy when they are in a crisis. Once the crisis passes or they start to feel a little better, they stop going to therapy until the next crisis hits.

Despite my having worked in human services for much of my adult life, I have yet to be able to understand why more people are not in therapy as a way of being committed to wellness. We have gyms where people go to become more physically fit and reduce their risk of a health crisis. We have faith communities where people go every week to help reduce their risk of having a spiritual crisis. So why not spend an hour once every week or two reducing your risk of having an emotional crisis?
Here are the ways therapy is helpful, even if your life is pretty good right now:

1) You can learn to love and accept yourself. Many people have a hard time with this, not just people who are depressed or who have some other serious mental health problem. Working with a therapist can help you identify the things you are thinking about yourself that are keeping your self-esteem lower than it could be. You could learn practical ways to make your happiness a priority.

2) We were all raised by flawed human beings and are in relationships with flawed human beings. This means we have experienced hurt and heartache at times. Therapy can help you see the ways those hurts might still affect your decisions today. Participating in therapy offers you awareness of yourself, your patterns of behavior, and how to develop healthy ways to get your needs met.

3) Speaking of relationships, therapy is a great place for couples. Maybe things have gotten a little boring or resentments are starting to build? It is important to get to the therapy office before things are falling apart. Every relationship can benefit from having the opportunity to engage in deep sharing and listening with a trusted guide (and occasional referee if things get intense).

Therapy means you get an entire hour where you can focus completely on yourself. You get to explore your feelings, ideas, hopes, goals, and dreams. Therapists are really good listeners. Therapy is also always completely confidential, so your therapist can be a trusted sounding board for whatever it is you want to share.
If you don’t like the way things are going in your life, terrific! Therapy can help you make improvements. If you do like the way things are going in your life, terrific! Therapy can take your good life and make it great!

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