Maybe not so much anymore, but it used to be, that when you heard someone was going to therapy you assumed they had hit rock bottom. That they were struggling with something and needed help to get out of it. That they had no other options. Thankfully that stigma is starting to disappear. People now go to therapy for all different reasons, and even when they are not struggling with anything in particular.
Earlier in the year I wrote a post sharing how I was focusing on my mental health in 2019. Going to therapy was at the top of that list. I started going in November of last year. Not because I had hit rock bottom or because I was in a particularly bad place, but because I truly believe therapy can help us, no matter the stage of life we are in.
I first went to therapy as a senior in high school. At that point in time I wasn’t in the best place and therapy did wonders for me. Ever since then I’ve been a huge proponent for therapy. Ask anyone who knows me, there is a good chance I’ve tried to convince them to go to therapy.
So why do I think going to therapy is still a great idea, even though I’m not in a “bad place”?
Honestly, there are so many reasons to see a therapist, even if you are in a good place. The reasons listed below are just some of the things I’ve experienced since starting therapy.
Why I Go To Therapy
It helps to improve the relationship I have with myself
Since turning 30, I have learned so much about myself. I have become so much more intune with who I am. And while it has been one of my favorite things about being in my thirties, it can honestly get a little overwhelming.
Going to therapy has allowed me to process and feel more comfortable with who I am now versus who I thought I would be at this age. It’s helped me to appreciate the growth I’ve experienced while putting to rest the anxieties I experience because of the growth. I’ve become more aware of how I talk to myself and the pressure I put on myself. It has truly helped me feel more comfortable with who I am. And it is guiding me towards fully accepting myself without shame.
Therapy helps with life’s big decisions
We are always going to have to make decisions throughout our lives. Some bigger than others. When those big decisions come around it can be incredibly beneficial to have someone to talk to. Especially someone that does not have a personal stake in your life. Someone who won’t be affected by the choice you ultimately make.
I talked about my fear of having children in this post on The Middle Edit. And it’s also something I’ve brought up in therapy. Talking to my therapist about these fears made me realize that I am the only one putting these pressures on myself. No one else in our lives is asking us about kids or interfering with our choices. She made me realize that I don’t need to have the answer right now. Knowing that, made my decision, at this point in time, a lot easier to cope with.
It equips you with the tools for if something were to happen
There is no promise that, just because things are good now, that they are going to stay that way forever. And while that might not be the most positive outlook, therapy is a good tool to have just in case. It can help you be more prepared if/when things do change.
I’ve been taught new ways of communicating that I can now utilize when tough conversations come up. I have also learned how to lessen my anxiety when I get overwhelmed or begin to focus on the future too much. They are not tools I use daily, but they do and will continue to come in handy when needed.
Therapy helps you to recognize patterns you might not have noticed otherwise.
We all have behavioral habits, or ways we handle things, when we are placed in certain situations. While we might not notice them (because they are habits), it could be possible that they are not the healthiest of habits. Talking to someone can help you to recognize these patterns. Eventually you’ll be able to break the habits and learn new ways to deal.
Through therapy, I realized I have a habit of trying to fix things, in a way that I feel they should be, in certain situations. It is not the healthiest of habits as I tend to get very worked-up. There is also a really good chance the other people involved don’t care or even need to see it my way. Being able to recognize this pattern will help me to break it and learn to deal with my frustration in a different/healthier way the next time a situation arises.
In addition to the above and just as a last little note, for me, going to therapy is a form of self-care. It’s a time that I can talk freely about myself, my worries, my successes without fear of judgement or unsolicited feedback. It’s my time. And I think we all need a little of our own time every now and then.