Thinking About Therapy? Here’s What to Keep in Mind:

— by Dr. Sandip Roy.

“Anyone can reach out to a mental health therapist to feel better and find ways to be happier. You too.”

Therapy can make a big difference to your mental well-being when you are struggling to cope with life’s everyday issues.

On a more positive note, therapy can also help when you cannot clearly define your issue.

When you sense that something is vaguely wrong with your mental health, and you can’t seem to figure out this invisible black dog that lurks in the background, a therapist can help.

Let’s touch on some vital factors that you need to consider beforehand.

things to consider when going for therapy

Deciding to see a therapist is undoubtedly a positive decision towards feeling better overall. You owe it to yourself.

Here’s what to consider as you decide to start therapy:

1. Assess Yourself Honestly.

Evaluate your coping strategies. Think about how you’ve been dealing with the stressful stuff.

It might be the right time for therapy if:

  • You tried to fix things on your own, but you are still stuck in a mental rut.
  • You feel deep sadness, or feel caught in a loop of worry, that just won’t go away.
  • Your chats with friends or family, self-care rituals, or meditation videos aren’t cutting it.
  • You have tried too long to keep it all together, but life seems to get more overwhelming each day.

You have a right and a requirement to simply enjoy living your life.

2. Check Your Symptoms.

How harsh, and how long, have you been feeling down or anxious? Write them out.

If things are getting worse or have been bad for a while, you are right to seek help.

Tip: Ask your close ones to help you notice changes in your behavior.

Especially, do not delay reaching out to a therapist if you notice severe symptoms like deep sadness every day, panic attacks, uncontrolled rage outbursts, or thoughts of harming yourself or others.

The Lesser-Known Symptoms of Depression
Depression can manifest as self-blaming and rumination.

3. Notice Your Daily Life.

If what has been bothering you for some time is now messing with your day-to-day life, then professional help may be a pressing need.

  • Are you unable to focus on your work?
  • Do you find it hard to get motivated to do your daily duties?
  • Have your eating, sleeping, or hygiene habits changed drastically?
  • Do you feel you get a tense feeling rising near the time your workday starts?
  • Do you don’t feel like talking to your colleagues or people who are close to you?
  • Do you feel troubled and confused making small daily decisions for no apparent reason?

Therapy can help you find ways to wade through your struggles and get you back on track. So you can once again enjoy the things you loved and do the activities that made you feel fulfilled.

4. Can You Embrace Your Vulnerability?

Before deciding to go into therapy, consider if you’re ready to open up and show your vulnerable side.

True progress comes from being honest about your feelings and experiences, even when it’s tough. It’s this openness that sets the stage for deep healing and growth.

Tip: Recognize that being vulnerable is not a weakness. It means you’re ready to confront uncomfortable truths and emotions, paving the way for healing and growth.

5. Are Your Present Supporters Are Enough?

Friends and family are great to lend a patient ear and a comforting shoulder, but not always.

There are times when you need someone unconnected and neutral to discuss your issues with. A therapist can be that person.

Therapists provide a safe space to explore your thoughts and feelings without judgment.

If your go-to support system isn’t helping, or making your situation worse, therapy can show you healthier ways to cope with life’s ups and downs.

what to consider when going for therapy

6. Decide What You Want From Therapy.

Think of the goals that you, as a therapy-seeker, are hoping to get out of therapy.

Here are some therapy objectives:

  • Understanding Patterns. You want to figure out why you keep falling into the same emotional traps and how to sidestep them next time.
  • Managing Emotions. You would like to learn ways to handle big feelings like anxiety, anger, or sadness without them taking over your life.
  • Improving Relationships. You hope to work on communication skills or deal with trust issues, so your relationships feel more fulfilling and less like minefields.
  • Boosting Self-Esteem. Your idea is to build up your sense of self-worth, so you can start feeling like you’re enough, just as you are.
  • Facing Your Fears. You are keen to learn ways to face your fears head-on, instead of running from them. Because you know they are holding you back from doing what you want.
  • Setting Boundaries. You don’t know how to say “No” and desperately want to learn how to do so and set boundaries with people in a way that feels healthy and respectful.
  • Dealing with Past Trauma. You are looking to process things that have happened in the past so they stop affecting your present and future.
  • Finding Joy Again. This may not seem therapy-worthy, but believe me (and I say from my decade-long experience), finding your happiness is the ultimate key in life. A therapist can help you rediscover what makes you happy and how to make more room for happy things in your life.

Whether it’s understanding yourself better, making changes, or just feeling better, therapy can be a powerful tool for personal growth.

7. Commitment To Change.

Therapy requires both a willingness to work and a discipline of time.

Therapy won’t work unless you work with the therapist.

It means you must be self-compliant to apply the newly learned strategies to your life.

Reflect on your readiness to commit to the process. Ask yourself:

  • Are you ready to be open, honest, and actively engaged in the process?
  • Are you willing to challenge yourself, and apply what you learn outside of sessions?

You could stand before a mirror and promise yourself that you commit to positive change.

Your therapist can help you set up a schedule for regular sessions.

8. Set Realistic Expectations.

Have realistic expectations from the therapy process.

My sincere advice: Don’t go into therapy expecting a quick fix, or leave therapy midway because you expected quicker results.

Remember, issues that affect your mental well-being do not disappear as easily as they appear overnight.

Therapy isn’t just about feeling better right away. More crucially, it’s about learning coping skills like grit and resilience that keep you moving forward across hard times.

Your progress will take time and patience. But it’s a journey whose positive effects can last many years after your therapy ends.

Prepare mentally before going into therapy that you may go through some great days and some not-so-great days.

In fact, that is the truth of life — we all have some good days and some not-so-good days.

9. Fix A Budget For Your Wellbeing.

Therapy is an investment in your mental health. But, let’s be real, it must also fit your budget.

Make calculations. Dive into your insurance benefits or ask about sliding scale fees to keep it within your budgetary reach.

10. Find Your Therapy Match.

Your therapist has to be one you are comfortable with, can open up to, and feel they understand you.

You must feel that they will take that extra step to help you, and you will go the extra mile to work with them. That connection is key to making therapy work.

It’s not much use going to a therapist that you struggle to reveal your deep secrets with. A therapist won’t help if you have little confidence in their suggestions.

After you zero in on some recommendations, the best way would be to set a one-time appointment to find the one who gets you.

You should declare to the therapist that you are going for a preliminary discussion.

Final Words

Finally, the benefits of good therapy can stick around way longer than any social media life advice.

Takeaway: If your self-help efforts and talking about your condition with others aren’t helping you feel better, professional therapy should be your next step.


√ Also Read: 10 Ways To Be Happy In Daily Life – Tips From Science

√ Please spread the word if you found this helpful.

Our Story!

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When it comes to mental well-being, you don't have to do it alone. Therapists can help you work through your trauma triggers and emotional patterns. Reaching out to a professional to feel better is a positive choice.