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Mental Health Awareness Month: Is Therapy For Me?

Take a minute to answer this question: what comes to mind when you think of therapy? Does mental health therapy jump out first, or another kind of therapy, like physical therapy? As words and images pop into your head, take another second to consider: of the nearly 250 million adults in the United States, how many do you think attended mental health therapy in the last year? Do you have your guess yet?

In 2020 alone, over 41 million American adults attended therapy. That’s about 16% of the adult American population! Not only did 16% of the adult population attend mental health therapy in 2020, but that number is the highest recorded in our history.  More adults than ever are finding mental health therapy to be a recommended and even helpful resource.  

While diagnoses like anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are three of the most common diagnoses, you don’t need to have “severe” symptoms to visit a mental health therapist.  In fact, you don’t have to have symptoms at all if what you’re looking for is just to improve upon your mental health!  If you’re wondering if mental health therapy is for you even if you don’t have recognizable symptoms, check out three reasons why everyone could benefit from mental health therapy below.

Therapy Models Relationship Skills

Oftentimes, the therapy room is a perfect example of your patterns in the real world.  You don’t need significant relationship conflict to benefit from being able to identify your relationship patterns better.  A professional relationship with a mental health therapist not only allows you to learn about your attachment style through psychoeducation, but allows you to see your own patterns in action.  For example, are you consistently canceling on your therapist at the last minute? This may be a trend in how you show up for others.  Do you find yourself not wanting to open up to your clinician? This could reflect a hesitation for emotional intimacy with your friends.  Your relationship with your therapist may look strikingly similar to your relationship with your friends.

Therapy Helps Clarify Values

Therapists make it a goal to enter the world of the client.  This means a therapist should learn about your values and operate within your worldview.  For example, if this means you value a work-life balance, a therapist shouldn’t be trying to convince you to work an 80 hour work week if it sacrifices that balance.  If you aren’t sure what your values are, mental health therapy is a great space to explore what may be valuable to you.  Even if you have a clear idea on what your values are, your therapist and you can talk through if your actions match your values.

Therapy is Validating of Your Experience

Do you ever have those times where you think, “gosh, I must be losing my mind!”? We’ve all been there - and mental health therapists know this more than anyone! Therapy is validating in that therapists can share if your experience is unusual or usual. For example, you may think you’re the only young adult that feels like a failure because they still live with their parents, but a therapist likely has multiple other young adult clients that feel this way.  While a mental health clinician could of course never reveal details (this would violate HIPAA and client privacy), therapists can certainly say “trust me, many young adults come to me feeling the same way.” Mental health counseling can be a validating experience if you think you’re the only one that feels a certain type of way.

I hope this blog shared a little more about why therapy is for everyone, and not just for those with severe or recurrent mental health conditions! If you want to check out mental health counseling for yourself this month, reach out to us at www.higherlifepathways.com.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Higher Life Pathways Counseling Services

1800 Diagonal Road, Suite 600 Alexandria, VA 22314

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (571) 946-8115

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9:30 am-6:30 pm

Tuesday:

9:30 am-6:30 pm

Wednesday:

9:30 am-6:30 pm

Thursday:

9:30 am-6:30 pm

Friday:

10:00 am-3:00 pm

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