When is it Time for Therapy?

When is it Time for Therapy?

Going through the ups and downs of life is just that - life! Sometimes we assume the struggles and pain we experience on a day-to-day basis are normal, deserved, or not as bad as we think. It can be difficult to know when it's time to let go of the reins and seek help navigating the dark spots. The way I explain it to my clients is that therapy can help if you’ve had the experience of not being yourself for an extended period of time. This can mean different things for different people, but I see it as an overall sense of being "stuck". The following list includes several reasons someone could seek out therapy:

o   Feeling “off” most or all of the time

o   Feeling shut down or “turned off”

o   Being quick to express agitation or anger towards themselves or others

o   Crying a lot or feeling sad on a regular basis

o   Having difficulties finding joy or humour in things that used to make them happy

o   Having trouble feeling motivated to do day-to-day tasks

o   Avoiding responsibilities that used to be easier to accomplish

o   Having consistent thoughts of helplessness or hopelessness about the present or future

o   Finding themselves thinking frequently about something that happened in the past

o   Finding their mind racing, distracted, worried or anxious on a regular basis

o   Experiencing a change in sleeping patterns

o   Losing or gaining a significant amount of weight or a change in eating habits

o   Isolating themselves from others or withdrawing from friends and family.

o   Feeling alone and without support

o   Using a substance or unhealthy behaviour to help cope on a consistent basis (such as alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, or food)

Of course there are many more examples than those listed above. However, regardless of the reason, therapy can be an important tool to help someone feel more like themselves again. Above all, there doesn’t need to be a crisis for someone to seek out professional guidance. In the end, it's up to each of us to make the decision to make that first step.

Coming to therapy is a step of courage, hope, and growth; an invitation to curiously explore a different way of being. There is no "right" time to begin this journey and it is happening all around us everyday, anyways. The guidance of a therapist along the way is an invaluable gift - or so says the biased Marriage & Family Therapist!! :)