The stigma surrounding therapy paints a picture that only a severely mentally ill person needs therapy to overcome their issues.
The reality is, human beings are complicated creatures, and our emotions, thoughts, and behaviors are all intertwined. Therapy sessions can help the happiest person in the world gain additional skills to deal with conflict, stress, and relationship challenges.
Even if you don’t think you need therapy, the truth is we can all benefit from speaking to a therapist to develop new coping skills, gain insight into how our minds work, and how to find solutions to problems as they arise in our lives.
Keep reading for the many benefits of therapy and how it can help you, whether you’re in a great place in your life or if you have consistent concerns about your mental health.
What is the Purpose of Therapy?
Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, is used in various modalities for those suffering from mental health conditions, emotional difficulties, loss, and more.
Nearly 75 percent of people who receive care show benefit from it. Psychotherapy specifically improves emotions and behaviors and is linked to positive changes in the brain and body.
Talk therapy is designed to help individuals with problems that affect their daily life, including severe stress, physical health problems with no explanation, lack of motivation, or persistent worry, just to name a few.
Additionally, talk therapy can help address certain issues in order to achieve healthy relationships, manage stress, and gain a deeper understanding of how your thoughts affect your feelings, behavior, mood, and overall well-being.
Working with a licensed professional, individuals seeking therapy will gain valuable life skills including coping mechanisms, stress management skills, improved communication skills, and many more.
How Does Therapy Benefit Mental Health?
For those suffering from mental illness, attending therapy helps them learn how to deal with thoughts, behaviors, symptoms, stresses, and past situations that affect their daily life. Therapy can help promote emotional release and teach patients how to regulate emotions, thoughts, and reactions.
Specific modalities of mental health treatment are designed to help people suffering from mental health conditions. These evidence-based practices are used in mental health counseling to teach patients how to reframe negative thoughts and behavioral problems in order to live a happier, more fulfilled life.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an approach that supports patients in identifying destructive and negative thought patterns and behaviors in order to adopt meaningful solutions. CBT is particularly focused on providing a forward-thinking approach to recovery which helps clients create new thinking patterns for long-term remission.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but it can be used to treat mental health conditions of all scopes.
Psychodynamic Therapy supports individuals as they work with therapists to identify unconscious maladaptive behaviors and work to rectify previous trauma and negative experiences through dialogue and feedback from the therapist.
Psychodynamic therapy treats depression, anxiety, panic, and stress-related physical ailments.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) assesses an individual’s thoughts and behavior patterns. Additionally, it helps clients develop skills including emotion regulation, interpersonal relationship management, and incorporates mindfulness practices.
DBT helps people struggling with eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts, personality disorders, anxiety disorders, and depression.
The Key Benefits of Talk Therapy
In general, talk therapy can help those struggling in their daily lives in many ways, from work or family stress to mental health issues, relationship issues, chronic anxiety, and many more.
Whether you’ve been diagnosed with a mental health condition, think you may have a mental illness, or you simply need an unbiased, accepting person to give you professional advice and support, there are many treatment options available for anyone needing support.
The potential benefits of therapy include:
1. Develop coping skills
Healthy coping skills are tactics we use to help us react and move on from a problem. Learning coping skills can drastically improve your quality of life because you are more confident and aware of your strength, personal worth, and value.
Cognitive behavioral therapy sessions teach patients that their internal dialogue has a significant influence on the way they react to situations and conflicts and how to develop coping strategies to mitigate negative thought patterns and responses.
Therapy can arm people with positive coping skills to make positive changes in their reactions to situations and relationships that cause them stress. Coping strategies include relaxation and breathing techniques, physical exercise, talking to trusted loved ones, and many more.
2. Improve communication skills
If you struggle to communicate with family, friends, a partner, or work associates, therapy can help you get to the bottom of the issue that is creating any relationship challenges you are experiencing.
In stressful or sensitive situations, most people respond by either becoming overly emotional or shutting down. In many cases, partners or family members feel like you are aggressive in a conflict, or you avoid talking about your emotions entirely.
Poor communication skills can lead to a wide array of relationship problems, which talk therapy can help to solve.
Both individual therapy and couples therapy work to help you identify your feelings and emotions, how to express feelings in a healthy way, and communicate your needs. Improved communication can lead to improved relationships and more productive, safe environments for partners and families.
3. Improve self-esteem
Therapy is designed to be a safe, judgment-free space where individuals can be themselves, confiding in someone they trust.
With a compassionate, accepting therapist in your corner, the darkest fears, insecurities, and negative thoughts you have about yourself will eventually come to the surface. Sharing these things without fear of judgment or shame puts you on a path to healing any self-esteem issues that you live with.
Psychotherapy teaches individuals that their feelings and behaviors are acceptable, not wrong. This changed perspective of ourselves allows for a new experience, and improved self-esteem becomes a natural progression.
4. Improve stress management skills
Stress is a normal part of everyday life, but when it becomes overwhelming and impossible to relieve, it’s a problem that needs addressing sooner rather than later.
Therapy helps identify the stressors in your life and can help you manage and release the emotions related to those stressors (work, relationships, family, finances, etc.) in productive ways.
Coping skills are developed to help reduce stress and, in turn, can improve physical and mental health. Honing their natural coping skills can help people in the moments when they feel stressed out (deep breathing, relaxation techniques, positive thoughts) to avoid negative thought patterns and emotional responses. Stress management is becoming an increasingly important part of life, as workplace burnout becomes more common.
Self-care is an effective way to manage daily stressors by implementing a routine that will support relaxation and doing things you enjoy to bring happiness and peace to your daily life.
How to Find the Right Therapist
Finding the right therapist is critical when seeking treatment and making your way to recovery or achieving your life goals.
It’s important to know what your goals are when you seek therapy. Whether you want to improve a relationship (including the one you have with yourself), adjust to a new phase of life, recover from traumatic events, or improve your mental health, knowing your goals will help you find the right fit in a therapist.
Many mental health professionals focus primarily on anxiety and depression, so it can be difficult to find specialized treatment for other mental health conditions.
If you plan to use insurance, first look through your insurance provider’s directory of therapists and filter by professionals that are in-network. Think about whether you’d prefer in-person or online therapy, and see what options are available for your preferred location.
You can also search online databases, both virtual and local, on the American Psychological Association website. Search by specialty to find a mental health professional who can meet your needs.
How to Tell If You Need Therapy
If you are struggling in your daily life, feeling drained, hopeless, or if normal tasks feel impossible to handle, it may be time to seek the help of a mental health professional.
There are many symptoms that indicate therapy is needed, so it’s important to check in with yourself to determine if that’s a potential next step on your journey to self-improvement.
If you are experiencing an unexplained physical illness, sleep trouble, or self-medicating with alcohol or drugs, talk therapy has many benefits and treatment can help you gain new skills to get back on the right track.
Find Accepting, Compassionate Therapy with Clear Behavioral Health.
At Clear Recovery, our expert therapists can help you process family issues, marriage struggles, anxiety, anger, depression, and more. Our team has a tremendous amount of experience helping teens, adults and working professionals manage the full spectrum of issues that arise throughout different stages of life.
Clear Behavioral Health’s unparalleled selection of therapeutic approaches ensures each client receives a targeted and personalized treatment plan. Learn more about our treatment here.