While for some there is still a (very) small degree of stigma surrounding mental health, if you had broke the news to a friend or colleague two decades ago that you were seeing a counselor or therapist, they might well think that if you weren’t already crazy, you were well on your way. They might have had visions of you lying down on a couch and sharing your deepest, darkest thoughts and feelings to a stranger in a white coat, while being prescribed handfuls of anti-psychotic drugs. Things have changed for the better though, and while not everyone is comfortable talking about their mental health, most of us are.
Many Americans seek therapy and for a range of mental health issues:
It has become comforting for many folks to have a therapist on speed dial, and for them, seeking help and talking about their problems has become the norm, and not something that they’re ashamed of. It might not be quite the same for the eveyone, but every year the number of people seeking help for their mental health increases, showing that not only may such issues be on the rise due to the stresses and strains of modern life, but that more people are actively trying to get better.
Even the small handful of people who once viewed the need for mental health as a weakness or something to be afraid of or a sign of being crazy are learning: There are many folks who visit a therapist or counselor to discuss all manner of issues in their lives and who may never be diagnosed with any kind of mental illness. Many find it helpful to simply talk through their problems with someone outside their circle of friends, family or co-workers.
In what ways can a therapist help you?
Qualified and experienced therapists or counselors are trained to look for the story that is running behind, or parallel to, the story that you’re telling them, and to make you aware of it.
Every story will have a recurring theme, but once your therapist has helped you to identify it, you can work on ways of changing the story so that it doesn’t have a negative impact upon your life.
And you don’t need to be mentally unwell to benefit from this, in fact, if you have a healthy state of mind, you’re typically more open and insightful and can benefit from therapy in myriad ways. Your therapist can help you to transform any negative mindsets which will have a positive impact on both your private and working life.
If you have any issues in your life that you would like to share with a mental health professional, it’s important to do so. Unhealthy thoughts or actions can quickly impact your life; but seek help soon enough and you can nip them in the bud before they have a negative consequence on any aspect of your life. And remember, seeking therapy is a sensible and mature response to a problem in your life, and does not mean that you are crazy — rather, it’s a sign of self-care and self-value.