Therapy is one of the best treatments one can have for major emotional challenges but, most of the time, many perceive going to a therapist as an offence because one may not feel ill, physically or mentally, at that moment.
The difference between views on mental and physical health has been characterised by stigma for years. It is presumed that when one chooses to see a doctor monthly for optimal wellness or because of physical pains, nobody passes silent judgement; but facing emotional problems on a daily basis or being in a sickbed for days is often neglected and termed as being weak.
It is hard to imagine seeking the knowledge of a therapist or a trained counsellor who can assist one to learn a new perspective on life, grow steadily and away from life challenges, and be stronger, which are often ignored and dismissed as unnecessary.
It is worthy to note that whether one is facing difficulties in their career life, workplace demands, and family or one is confronted by a huge unstable mental health problem that has left one bewildered, therapy can be a useful tool. Also, when one needs a clear understanding and perspective of life, therapy can serve such a purpose.
Develops new coping mechanisms
Humans are likely to cultivate certain habits from childhood and to use various methods for coping with challenges encountered even before the adolescent stage. Various methods one may develop in childhood or during the early stage of life, such as the use of drugs to help get enough sleep and a particular variety of food to help to cope with life’s stress can be modified with therapy.
While one may have a problem with a negative aspect of coping, visiting a therapist can assist one to analyse why certain strategies were adopted and to enquire if these really work or if they only worsen the feeling of stress at a later time. Thus, a therapist can be the best option to help scale through the difficult process of reversing hard-formed habits and to assist in building new productive ones.
Enhances deductive reasoning
Therapeutic sessions are done in a serene and peaceful environment where individuals do not feel guilty or insecure. In a meeting, a therapist may not always tell individuals all they need to do but they try to assert thought processes from what is being said and those not through guidance.
The therapist may further provide more professional education, support, and empathetic feedback to assist individuals in uncovering what they like and wish for. The different therapist who specialises in various aspects of treatment may teach individuals where feelings and symptoms might be emanating from and techniques to feel better from such feeling in different situations.
Provides an opportunity for experimentation
Therapists provide a variety of options to help individuals that are suitable for solving a particular challenge. The things that adults know are due to experimentation from childhood. Some people are rigid in making certain decisions and are less willing to experiments in order to avoid making mistakes.
With a therapist, it could be an opportunity where judgement-free decisions can be made and new things can be tried out in a less demanding situation. Individuals are safe to explore feelings and practise behaviours that prompt anxiety in daily life and discover new solutions to such challenges.
Provides meaningful insight into life
Understanding the aim behind every thought and action is normal; even though hardship is experienced in the various challenges, this helps to give value and meaning to ongoing difficult situations and reduce the complexity of any challenge.
With therapeutic sessions, a thinking process can be facilitated, which then assists in discovering the lesson to be learned from a difficult situation and see prospects in overcoming challenges.
Therapy helps to look out for how mental instability may lead to physical illness in conjunction with approaching difficult situations surrounding it because prioritising psychological states promotes healthy self-care practices. Just talking about one’s problems with a trained counsellor without censoring any detail regarded to be sensitive is beneficial, invigorating, and liberating.
Helps to explore the mind
Introspection of one’s thought and action is one method being adopted over time that is beneficial to emotional and physical health through reversing old thought patterns and behaviour.
With engagement in therapeutics sessions, a variety of life momentum can be preserved in small ways. It can help function in tapping into the unconscious mind in daily life, by enriching and building self-esteem, self-confidence, relationships, assertiveness in anger, and help in setting daily routines and life goals.
Though there may be several spontaneous moments, it also has a tantalising, slow-building progress for mind growth. Thus, therapy is like exercising: the more consistently an individual engages in it, the stronger one becomes. It’s like training a muscle in the body and brain for a greater task ahead.
Provides room for self-development
There has been significant study over the last decade that indicates that allowing susceptibility is essential for a happier, self-fulfilling, and more connected life.
One motivation why everyone should seek therapy is because it helps in pushing one outside of their normal and comfortable environment.
The thought of presenting fears, private thoughts, and needs to an unfamiliar person or a stranger may sound overwhelming, but then it provides room for improvement and self-awareness. The link between individuals who are happy and those who are not is the ability to take a calculated risk.
Hence, if getting therapy sounds uncomfortable because one is healthy or one thinks therapy is just for those who are mentally ill, that’s a sign that it can probably serve a fulfilling purpose.
Onah Caleb is a research assistant at Benue State University (Nigeria). He runs the blog KaylebsThought.