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Is It Time To See A Therapist?

Therapy carries a social stigma as a treatment method only for mentally ill persons. This way of thinking has prevented many who are experiencing personal and emotional problems from seeking professional help to manage their issues.

There are various kinds of therapists who may provide appropriate help in specific situations. Licensed therapists undergo years of education, training and long hours of clinical work to equip them with knowledge and skills to help patients successfully face life’s challenges. Therapists are trained in their respective fields to assess the underlying cause of your mental and emotional problem and to provide appropriate relief by teaching you coping skills and techniques to identify and avoid your triggers.
The aim of therapy is to help you manage and modify negative thoughts, attitudes and behaviours.

When you should see a therapist

TherapistA common dilemma which most people face is not knowing when it is time to see a therapist. While not all emotional problems require consultation with and the advice of a therapist, there are some conditions that may benefit from the intervention of a therapist. These include:
  • Extreme irritability and anger
  • Difficulty in getting along with others
  • Grief from the loss of a loved one or end of a relationship
  • Physical or emotional trauma
  • Uncontrollable crying, profound helplessness and other signs of depression
  • Severe anxiety that prevents you from doing the things that you like
  • Instances when your doctor is unable to determine the underlying cause of your medical condition
  • Inability to get out of your mental rut
  • Serious self esteem and confidence issues
  • Drugs, alcohol, food or sex are used to find comfort
  • Thoughts of self destruction or suicidal thoughts

Where to find a therapist

The best way to find a good therapist is to ask around for a referral from:
  • friends, colleagues and family members
  • your doctor or health care provider
  • local psychological associations
  • yellow pages under categories such as “psychotherapy” or “mental health services”
  • local schools offering graduate programs in psychology or psychiatry
  • local social services and family organizations
  • clergy and religious leaders in your community
Referrals from friends and family members may be your best options for finding a therapist as any of them may have had first-hand experience with these therapists. Narrow down your choices to two or three and conduct telephone inquiries about their background, experience and therapy styles.

A good therapist is not just one with the right educational background and experience. You should choose a therapist with whom you feel most comfortable working with. You may be able to determine whether there is a personality match during your first therapy session and you should feel free to change your therapist if you do not feel comfortable confiding in your therapist.

Seeing a therapist is a personal decision. You need not be out of your mind to want to see a therapist. Getting professional help in dealing with emotions and stressful situations is as important as seeking help for a medical problem like asthma or diabetes. As with most health conditions, early detection and attention improve your chances of obtaining successful treatment.

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