So, you’ve thought about going to counseling. But where are you supposed to start?
Not only is it intimidating to share your thoughts with a stranger, but, it’s tough to sort through all the jargon as well. Mental health therapy…psychotherapy…behavioral health therapy…talk therapy…what does it all mean?! And, are you wondering if and when should I attend therapy?
Good news: this is Part One of a Three-part series designed to help guide you through learning more about the counseling process, and if it’s right for you. In this article, I discuss what therapy is and more importantly, what it isn’t. In Part Two, I discuss “The Benefits of Attending Therapy with a Counselor and Therapist.” In Part Three, we explore “What To Expect At Your First Therapy Session at Fort Wellness Counseling in Fort Worth.”
The official name, “psychotherapy”, is also frequently referred to as talk therapy, counseling, psychosocial therapy, or just simply, therapy. According to the Mayo Clinic, psychotherapy is a general term for treating mental health problems by talking with a mental health professional. Mental health professionals include Licensed Professional Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists, Social Workers and several others. I obtained my master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC). I am also certified as a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP).
According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is a way to help those struggling with a broad variety of mental illnesses and emotional difficulties. Psychotherapy can help eliminate or control undesirable symptoms so you can function better and can increase well-being and healing.
Attending therapy allows you to learn about your mental health and emotional well-being, emotions, thoughts and behaviors. Therapy can also benefit you by learning how to take control of your life and respond to difficult situations with healthy behaviors. Psychotherapy can be helpful in order to treat mental health problems, which include:
Now that we’ve talked a little about what therapy is, let’s talk about what therapy is NOT. Unfortunately, therapy has gotten a bit of a bad rap from the media. Think of any movie where there’s a therapy scene. How many of those scenes involve a patient laying on couch during an uncomfortable silence? Probably all of them.
One of the biggest myths about therapy I hear is, “therapy is for crazy people.” Ouch! Seeking mental health help does not make you “crazy.” It makes you brave. Mental health is not a functioning vs. non-functioning issue. Even fully functioning, successful people seek therapy in order to grow.
Therapy does not require a mental health disorder diagnosis, such as depression. In fact, practically everyone can benefit from it! Counseling has been proven to be effective with a number of life’s everyday stresses, like: resolving conflict, relieving anxiety or stress, coping with major life changes, managing unhealthy reactions, coming to terms with an ongoing mental health or physical health problem, recovering from sexual problems, learning to sleep better, and many other benefits.
If you still have questions regarding what therapy is, please visit our FAQ page for more helpful information.
If you are considering if you should attend therapy, I highly encourage you to just give it a chance. You would be surprised at how often I hear, “that was so much better than I thought it was going to be.” You do not have to commit to anything more than just one session at a time.
To learn more about Fort Wellness Counseling, please visit our Counseling Services and check out the rest of our website and official Facebook page. For further information about therapy, you can visit our FAQ page and check out some other articles on our blog that you might find helpful. If you are ready to schedule a session, you can book an appointment online easily by visiting our bookings page.