Do you sometimes wonder if now is a good time to go to individual therapy? There be times when you know therapy is absolutely needed. Whether it’s your mood, or something significant is going on, and life just feels like more of a struggle. But, sometimes that moment passes and that sense of urgency or certainty has gone.
Here at Better Being Mainline, we often use the phrase, “Strike while the iron is cold.” Individual therapy can be extremely beneficial even during non-crisis moments in your life. You may still be functioning, but it may involve a lot pushing down and pushing through specific stressors and moods. Individual therapy can be a great preventative measure. Therapy is useful for a crisis, however that’s not the only reason to utilize or consider therapy.
If you are questioning or second guessing the need for individual therapy, here are 5 reasons to consider scheduling your first appointment.
1) Feeling Off. Not Yourself
Are your occasional bad moods becoming not so occasional and more of the norm? Do you find yourself irritable with friends and family more often? Or maybe you have moments of feeling anxious or sad/depressed, but these feelings are surfacing more often and last longer? This can be your mind and body telling you something isn’t right, and to pay attention! Very similar to maybe you feel a pinch in your knee, or you’re getting too many headaches in small period of time. Most people would take this as a sign to check in with their General Physician.
If activities, things that once brought you joy are no longer bringing you joy, or isolating yourself in a way that’s not typical for you, these may be signs of depression or something else just as concerning. These are legitimate reasons to reach out to a therapy. Please remember, if any of your thoughts, feelings, experiences accompanies thoughts of not wanting to live anymore, or thoughts of self-harm, reach out for help immediately.
2) Developed or Returned to Unhealthy Habits/Coping Mechanisms
Are you coping with life stressors by drinking too much, suddenly overspending, or turning to substances? Sometimes people may over exercise, overeat, or stop eating when there’s too much stress. Sex is also a common crutch people use to escape pain and numb feelings. This is a sign you could benefit from learning new coping skills and ways to decompress and manage emotions.
If any of these negative coping skills are presenting a risk to your health and well-being, this is could be a sign of compulsivity that requires help and attention right away.
3) Your Current Ways to Cope Are Suddenly Failing You
You may have great strategies already to handle anxiety, or maybe you’re running 5 miles daily to help manage depressed moods. But lately your tools are not getting you the same positive results? Coping skills are similar to medication dosages; once in a while the amount or the prescription itself needs to be tweaked. A therapist can help you figure out what’s impacted your current coping skills, and how to make the necessary accommodations to get you back on your healthy track.
4) Your Friends/Family Are Tired of Hearing About Your Problem
Sometimes when we are struggling with specific issues, such as reeling from a breakup, grappling with a problem or making a decision, it can be a long process, and sometimes this long process has surpassed the tolerance or needed sensitivity of your inner circle. Maybe they’ve given you all of the advice they can think of and now you’re just repeating the same story. Or, you may even be feeling self conscious and embarrassed to bring the same issue to your people again. Either way, that means your story/problem must sound like a broken record to them, and it’s getting you zero results. This can be a good time to change up your approach and share your story with a therapist who can serve as an unbiased, outsider.
5) A Life Transition Is Happening Or Needs To Happen
Job burnout, breakup/divorce, new relationships, relocation, thinking about bringing in a new addition (child, dog, etc). Any of these events can be a challenge to your current ability of handling stress. Stress and major life decisions can be a major preoccupation in one’s life. Any of these events can present new issues that can be helpful to process and problem solve with a therapist.
6) A Significant Event has Happened:
Loss of a loved one, a specific trauma has happened now or in the past and you’re wanting to finally address it’s impact. These intense events can be obvious to some in terms of needing therapy, but not obvious to all. A major significant event can mean our current coping strategies are no longer enough, or our ability to function and stay “above water” is now being challenged. A significant life even can cause in major shift in our world, and having an outsider to help make sense of it all, be an ear and a support, or even help you develop new ways to cope with this shift can go a long way.
These signs all hold similar themes: feeling stuck or in a rut, experiencing sadness, and wanting more for yourself. These are all great reasons to give back to yourself an invest in your own individual therapy. If any of your reasons for considering therapy don’t fall within these 6 signs, that shouldn’t stop you from reach out and simply asking a therapist for their feedback on why you’re considering therapy. Bottomline is, if you’re thinking about it, that’s a good enough reason to try individual therapy.