Ten Reasons You May Want to Talk To A Counselor

Medically reviewed by Karen Foster, LPC
Updated April 5, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

Many people talk about how helpful their counselor or therapist is, and maybe you are wondering if you should speak with a counselor, too. The answer to that question is very personal. But if you are asking yourself that question, it could be that you feel you may have something positive to gain from therapy.

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10 reasons you may want to talk to a counselor

Here are ten of the most common reasons that you might want to visit a counselor.

To find ways to manage stress

Stress is a normal part of life, but stress that interferes with your daily life or well-being can take its toll. A therapist can help you identify areas of your life causing you stress and then help you find tools to address the stress. You might find ways to eliminate stressors, as well as learn healthy coping strategies. 

A therapist can also help you learn tools so that you’ll be equipped to manage stress in the future too. The present and future can both be brighter with healthy stress management.

To build confidence and self-esteem

Therapists can work with you to help you recognize your full potential. Sometimes people feel down about themselves or doubt their strengths and abilities. If these feelings become more common, begin to interfere with functioning, or hold you back, they can cause serious concerns.

Therapy can help you feel better and learn to recognize, challenge, and change negative beliefs you may have about yourself. By developing healthy self-esteem, you can feel more positive about yourself. This can help you better take on challenges, set and meet goals, and live a more productive and content life.

To treat depression 

Therapy can help you explore what may be causing depression. A therapist can also help you learn to manage your symptoms, which can provide relief. Depression is one of the most common health concerns. The good news is that depression is highly treatable. 

Therapy can help you identify negative beliefs and behaviors and replace them with more positive ones. You can also work to gain a sense of control over your life that can help with feelings of anger or hopelessness. In therapy, you can learn ways to tolerate feelings of distress and focus on healthier emotions.

To manage anxiety

Virtually everyone experiences feelings of anxiety from time to time. However, fears and worries persist, worsen, or become out of proportion to what is happening in reality. A therapist can help you learn to identify and manage anxiety. In therapy, you may learn how thought patterns can contribute to anxiety symptoms. 

You may then find healthier thought patterns and behaviors that can lessen anxiety. According to the American Psychological Association, anxiety disorders are very treatable, and most people can reduce or eliminate their symptoms through effective therapy.

To work through grief and loss

Therapy can help you process and cope with a loss, whether it’s due to the death of a loved one or the loss of something else of personal significance. Grief is very personal and can affect people differently. A therapist can help you work through your loss and manage emotions related to grief, such as sadness, anger, confusion, guilt, and more. A therapist can help facilitate the healing process.

To address relationship concerns and strengthen relationships—Both for couples and families

Relationships, whether with a romantic partner, friends, or family, are meaningful in life. Ensuring they are healthy and positive can help everyone involved feel more emotionally content and supported. Relationship and family therapists can help you strengthen relationships or learn healthy ways to move forward. 

In a relationship or family therapy, you can learn productive ways to address and resolve conflict and communicate and listen. Therapy can also help you address specific issues such as coping with infidelity or learning parenting techniques that work well for your child and family.

To address sleep concerns

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder. It can make falling asleep and staying asleep difficult. Getting too little sleep or irregular sleep can take its toll on both mental and physical health. 

In therapy, you may address thoughts, behaviors, and feelings that are underlying causes of sleep problems. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for insomnia is often called CBT-I. It is considered an effective treatment for sleep problems.

To treat the effects of trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder

If you experience trauma, therapy can help you recover from its effects. People respond to trauma differently, so a therapist can help you find the right treatment plan for you. 

A trauma-informed therapist can help address distressing thoughts and feelings that are related to trauma. They can help with behaviors and symptoms resulting from trauma, such as sadness, fear, anger, avoidance, detachment, and more. A therapist can also help rebuild self-esteem that may have been affected by trauma.

To work through times of change and transition

You may want to make positive changes in your life. A therapist can help you consider your goals and motivations and work with you to find healthy behaviors as you progress towards your goals. Sometimes changes and transitions—whether your choice or not—can be challenging or require taking new steps to navigate them. Therapy can be helpful when you choose to make changes or find yourself needing to adjust.

To develop more positive behaviors, thoughts, and feelings—and to change unhealthy patterns

Sometimes negativity can interfere with relationships, everyday life, making progress, and overall well-being. A therapist can help you identify and reshape negative thoughts through cognitive restructuring. During cognitive restructuring, a person can discover, identity, challenge, and modify or replace negative thought patterns. 

Through behavioral therapy, people can find ways to change negative or unhealthy behaviors.

Other situations

There are other situations when therapy can be very important, and seeking help can be in the best interest of the health and safety of you and your loved ones, such as having feelings of extreme highs and lows, dramatic changes in eating habits, or concerns about disordered eating, misusing sustances such as drugs or alcohol, intense anger, delusions and hallucinations, social withdrawal or isolation, prolonged depression, excessive fears or worries, a growing inability to cope with everyday challenges and activities, or suicidal thoughts.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thinking, please reach out for help immediately. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is available 24 hours a day/7 days a week/365 days a year.  The number is 1-800-273-8255. There is also an online chat option on the website. Additionally, if you or someone you know is experiencing any crisis, you can connect for free with a crisis counselor at the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

How effective is therapy?

Research shows that talk therapy, also known as psychotherapy, is very effective. Hundreds of studies have found that therapy effectively helps people make positive changes in their lives—approximately 75% of people who go to therapy benefit from it. The average person who goes to therapy feels better by the end of treatment than 80% of people who don’t receive treatment. 

Each person’s experience with therapy will be different. Sometimes therapy can be effective in as few as six sessions, while other times, it may take longer. A trusting relationship between the therapist and the client can help with the effectiveness of therapy, so finding a therapist who is a good fit for you can be important. An effective therapist can bond with you and collaborate with you to help you reach your goals. 

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Is your challenge worth meeting with a professional counselor?

Connecting with a therapist

Whether a therapist is a good fit for you is very personal, but in general, an effective therapist will be someone you feel comfortable with and have a good rapport with. With a therapist, you should feel safe and not judged. An effective therapist will use evidence-based therapy (strategies that are backed by research). They’ll provide clear communication and feedback and regularly check in with you about how you think you’re progressing. Working with a therapist who is experienced in the areas you want to address can help with the effectiveness of therapy.

There are many different therapy and counseling options, such as marriage and relationship counseling, family therapy, individual therapy, group therapy, reality therapy and more. Therapy has been shown to improve emotions and behaviors. It is also linked to positive changes in the body and brain. At Regain, you can connect with licensed mental health professionals. 


There are a wide range of reasons you may choose to seek counseling. By finding the appropriate counselor for your situation, you can get the help you need quickly and effectively either in person or online.

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