Do I Need Therapy & Will It Help Me?

By Michael Puskar

Updated August 28, 2019

Therapy can be a very valuable resource for people trying to overcome obstacles in their lives. However, many people are curious about whether or not it is right for them or if it works or not, and taking step first step and admitting "I need therapy" is an enormous feat for many people who have been considering seeking help for some time. This article will attempt to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about therapy so that you can get a better understanding of it and its efficacy.

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What Is Therapy?

Therapy is a very broad term for any form of treatment for diseases and disorders and usually involve a rehabilitative or curative process. However, for most people, they are inquiring about the psychotherapy techniques, which is also a very generalized word in itself.

Psychotherapy involves the use of techniques to psychologically treat mental disorders or maladjusted behaviors instead of using medicine to treat patients. Although, therapy through medication may be recommended in some cases, and can be used concurrently with psychotherapy. [1]

In addition to treating people's problems, therapy can also help patients gain insight about themselves or others and can also facilitate growth in themselves or their relationships.

Within psychotherapy, there are countless different types of therapies, which can also branch off into more specific ones. Here are some of them to give you an idea:

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
  • Client-Centered Therapy
  • Family & Couples Therapy
  • Interpersonal Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
  • Existential Therapy

These are by no means all of the types of therapy a person can use, but it does demonstrate its diversity. All of these therapies mentioned above can have numerous different uses, and in the next section, you will learn more about what issues therapy can address.

What Can Therapy Be Used For?

If you were wondering, "should I go to therapy?", there is a good chance that you are not aware of some of the most common reasons that people find a therapist. People can seek out therapy for just about anything and will get something out of it, here are some of them:

  • Addressing all mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, etc
  • Dealing with a chronic, life-changing physical illness
  • Learning how to cope with stress, such as occupational, or new life events, like having a baby
  • Solving relationship and marital issues
  • Developing communication and other skills
  • Struggling with bereavement (mourning the death of someone)
  • Overcoming substance abuse and dependency
  • Fixing sleep disorders

As you can see, these are all distinct problems that people can find a therapist for, and the possibilities are endless. Even some of the smallest issues can add up and become overwhelming, and once your mental health starts to be negatively affected, there is a high probability that your physical health will also deteriorate.

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According to the American Psychological Association, your mind and body are linked together, and if you develop a more positive outlook, your physical health should improve, and vice versa. [2]

By building resilience with the help of a therapist, you can significantly improve both of these aspects simultaneously. If you can adapt and cope with stress, you will have a much stronger emotional well-being, which can lead to better relationships and more optimism overall. All of these things have been demonstrated to improve the health and longevity of people.

Should I Use Individual Or Group Therapy?

If the previous section didn't quite convince you that there is something for everyone when it comes to therapy and anyone can benefit from it, this one would elaborate even further to show you how much more flexible it can be.

Therapy sessions can either be on a one-on-one basis, or they can be group settings, and while neither one is objectively better than another, and each has their pros and cons, there are individuals who will prefer one over the other.

For example, some people like group therapy because it allows them to connect with other people, and you can listen to their stories, in addition to talking about what is on your mind, of course. The ability to share with one another creates a unique experience, and this unity makes people feel better by reassuring each other that they are not alone in their struggles.

On the other hand, some people might not like the idea of speaking in groups and would prefer to have individual therapy sessions. Being able to talk to a therapist one-on-one, can relieve some pressure and anxiety, and can allow you to open up more comfortably. Let's not forget that all of the time will be dedicated to helping you since it will be just you and therapist.

Ultimately, it's up to you on which one you choose, and either one can be effective depending on your personal needs. If you don't know which one you prefer right away - that's fine; spend some time considering which one sounds more appealing with you so that you can be ready when you schedule an appointment. Depending on the therapist, you might also have the option to participate in both types of sessions.

I Need A Therapist - How Can I Find One?

Once you have decided that you should go to therapy, it is time to take the biggest step and try to find a therapist that has experience helping others with what you are going through. Do not worry, though - this part should be relatively easy, and you have a few ways of finding a therapist that is right for you.

The most basic option is to run a search on the internet to see if there are any local therapists in the area. For example, you can type in "depression and anxiety therapist near me," and you will most likely be able to retrieve multiple results. You may also be able to see reviews, which can give you the confidence that you are making the right decision.

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Another option is to see if there are any therapists that are involved in your insurance network, and your health insurance provider may have a directory of therapists who can help you. Alternatively, your doctor may be able to refer you to a therapist as well.

Health insurance is not necessary to receive therapy, and the final option you can consider is trying the online treatment. Online therapy offers a convenient and affordable way to get help by allowing you to avoid traveling and enjoying sessions from the comfort of your own home.

Depending on where you go, online therapy is just as high quality as traditional in-person sessions, and at Regain, licensed professionals are available to anyone needing a helping hand.

Many people considering therapy worry about the entire process of finding a therapist and get stressed out even more; however, it is pretty straightforward, and online services aim to make it as simple and painless as possible.

Conclusion - Does Therapy Help?

Coping with life changes, managing stress, fixing relationship issues, and addressing mental conditions are all a few examples of what millions of people use therapy. A significant portion of these individuals have found it to be beneficial and have even successfully addressed the issues that they were experiencing.

In 2017, out of the 46.6 million adults struggling with any mental condition, around 42 percent of them, or 19.8 million, sought treatment. [2] One explanation for why this value is low is because costs and lack of medical insurance coverage are perceived to be barriers to getting there. Fortunately, statistics show that stigmatization regarding mental illness and seeking help is on the decline. [3]

An older poll conducted in 2004, stated that 59 million Americans received treatment between 2002 to 2004, 80 percent of them found therapy be an effective tool. [3] Therefore, the issue is not with how therapy is effective or not; instead, it is public perceptions regarding access to mental health treatment.

However, with options, like Regain, that are affordable and accessible to anyone, treatment statistics should be on the rise. It is also worth noting that out of the 11.2 million adults with a serious mental illness, 66.7 percent of them, which equates to about 7.5 million, received treatment, which is quite groundbreaking. [2]

Regarding the efficacy of specific therapy methods, you will be able to find many that are empirically supported and have evidence that they are helpful. One example of these methods is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and there is plenty of research and literature about it, involving many people with different mental conditions. Because of this, it has become known as an evidence-based treatment and has been used successfully on those with depression, anxiety, OCD, and more. [1]

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If you have still been wondering, "do I need therapy?", that's okay, and you can weigh out your options; however, keep in mind, sometimes stress, anxiety, and depression do not go away on their own and require the help from a professional. If you have been struggling with any issue for a prolonged period, you should consider going to therapy. The odds are, you will be thanking yourself for doing so.

References

  1. National Institute of Mental Health. (2016, November). Psychotherapies. Retrieved August 7, 2019, from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/psychotherapies/index.shtml
  2. American Psychological Association. (n.d.). For a healthy mind and body…talk to a psychologist. Retrieved August 7, 2019, from https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/talk
  3. National Institute of Mental Health. (2019, February). Mental Illness Statistics. Retrieved August 8, 2019, from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/mental-illness.shtml
  4. American Psychological Association. (2004, July/August). Survey says: More Americans are seeking mental health treatment. Retrieved August 8, 2019, from https://www.apa.org/monitor/julaug04/survey

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