Seeing a therapist isn't just for the 'diagnosed.'
A staple to every worthwhile Rom-Com is the faithful sidekick. You know her: Frizzy hair, disastrous dating life, possibly a few colors short of a rainbow? Oh, and she’s always mentioning her therapist. Her therapist says this, her therapist says that. The message is clear: Therapists are "for the wackos who can’t handle life" (and aren’t pretty enough for the lead role).
There’s always been a stigma on seeing a licensed professional counselor. Many people still believe you must be really sick to do it. That’s simply not true. Seeing a therapist can be an invaluable component to a balanced, happy life. Here are some reasons why we all can benefit from seeing a therapist.
Should I See a Therapist?
1. No Judgment Allowed
Everyone has secrets, and that’s fine. The problem with secrets is when you’re keeping them for the wrong reasons, because you’re ashamed of them, for example. That’s when a therapist can be an oasis in the desert. They are a neutral third party who is literally paid not to judge you. Tell them your deepest and darkest and if they’re worth their salt, they won’t even raise an eyebrow (this isn’t to say that if you’re in the midst of destructive behavior, they won’t try to help you out of it. But no one, especially not a therapist, should ever tell you that you’re less valuable or inferior because of your skeletons).
2. They Know What They’re Talking About
I once was talking with a sweet friend of mine about my struggle with body shame and eating issues. I was describing how I’d gotten rid of my scale (no small victory) but was still feeling really anxious. My friend, confused and a bit anxious herself, simply suggested I go out and get a new scale. She was wholly well-meaning, but she was dead wrong. Getting a scale would have been incredibly destructive for me at that time. Sometimes, life’s issues demand a more knowledgeable authority, and therapists offer that.
3. They’re Like a Talking Journal
Sometimes, life is hard. It doesn’t have to be complicated and you don’t have to have an illness. It can just be hard. There are lots of things to juggle, people to please, deadlines to meet, and often self-imposed standards to live up to. For many, nothing is more peace-giving than taking an hour or so off your feet to just talk it all out. We humans, and especially women, were meant to live in community. Sharing your burdens, large and small, with a kind listener can be wonderfully cathartic.
4. If You Are Sick, They Can Help
Beyond a listening ear or a wise advice-giver, therapists can play a life-giving role if you are truly suffering. Mental illnesses are absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. There are hundreds of thousands of kind, willing, knowledgeable professionals out there who know what you’re going through, no matter how much you might think they don’t, and can help show you that light at the end of the tunnel. Trust them, they’re doctors!
Whether you’ve got a case of the Mondays or you’re suffering more deeply, seeing a therapist can offer a beautiful sense of acceptance and belonging that everyone needs. Let the stigma be a thing of the past and see if your life doesn’t increase exponentially in peace and balance.