You do not need a diagnosis of mental illness to benefit from therapy. Mental health issues are really common, and you can visit a therapist if you feel you’d like to. Read our blog to learn how you might want to approach a therapist about your concerns.
Everyone feels low at some point, but if you consider harming yourself or ending your life, seek urgent help.
Who needs therapy?
There is quite a stereotypical view of the type of person who seeks therapy. Many believe they must be “crazy” or completely overwhelmed to qualify for help. Or they think their problems are too small for therapy.
There are no set rules for who should and should not speak to a therapist. However, we may recommend seeking a particular type of therapy or a specialist in the area of your concern.
Signs you might need therapy
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Ongoing tiredness/ fatigue
- Low-level self-critical thinking
- Spending a lot of time alone
- Avoiding challenging situations
- Experiencing intrusive thoughts
- Daily life not as you expect it to be
- Assuming the worst in situations
- Having a general lack of interest in activities
- Feeling unmotivated
- Losing hope that life will ever be as you desire
All struggles are entirely valid. No matter how big or small they may feel to you, therapy is likely to benefit you in improving things. Moreover, there are often more issues and psychological barriers than the ones you notice.
Therapy helps to shine a light on these too.
Are my problems too small for therapy?
No problem is too small to see a therapist. If something has been bothering you, maybe even for months or years, it’s worth speaking to someone to move forward. A problem that appears small can in some instances become bigger in the long run, especially if you ignore it.
You don’t need to have a problem to see a therapist either. You might want support working through a transition in your life. For example, getting a new job, moving home, or starting a new relationship. Some people also visit a therapist to maintain their mental health and identify potential issues early. One type of therapy that can be useful for this is counselling.
Common reasons people don’t seek a therapist
Not feeling their problem is big enough for therapy is one of many reasons people delay going. Some people believe that talking with a therapist will be the same as talking to a close friend or family. Though, a therapist can offer an impartial view and structured advice that your loved ones often cannot.
Many people don’t realise the impact their problems are having on them or those around them. This often becomes clearer once the issues are lifted through therapy. A common belief is that low-level unhappiness or anxiety is a fundamental part of life that should just be accepted. That isn’t true, and therapists enjoy seeing their patients live more fulfilled lives.
Another reason for avoiding therapy is believing that because your problem comes and goes, you should wait to seek help. Even if you feel the issue is less noticeable than usual, it’s still a good idea to tackle it.
You may be worried about the therapist or other people judging you for your problem. Yet, a good therapist will not pass judgement, shame you, or blame you. Therapists have always seen it before!
Misconceptions about therapy
“They’ll just give me a tablet.”
You might think that the only solution your therapist will offer will be in the form of a pill. But, therapists cannot prescribe or recommend medications. They can, however, recommend a suitable form of therapy, such as CBT, ACT, or EMDR.
“I’m too busy for therapy.”
Many people worry that therapy sessions won’t fit with their busy lifestyles or that they’ll need to attend weekly sessions. We organise your therapy sessions around your needs.
You could schedule a session once a month if you prefer. Though, there may be circumstances when we recommend more frequent sessions.
“Everyone struggles sometimes, and they cope. It’s not just me.”
Thinking like this is a sign of mental health impostor syndrome. You may believe that your problem isn’t as bad as someone you know, so you don’t need to seek help.
However, try not to compare what they are going through to what you are. People cope with situations differently. They may deal with it in a way they haven’t shared with you.
Some people use unhealthy coping strategies, such as excessive drinking or drug use, to avoid confronting their issues. This can make it seem like they are doing fine to the outside world.
How to find a therapist
Before starting therapy, we recommend taking time to find a person that will be a good fit for you. It can be hard to get comfortable with a stranger, especially if you will be discussing personal matters. Read our blog for tips: How do you build a trusting relationship with a therapist?
You will also need to consider whether to go through the NHS or choose private therapy. At The Vyas-Lee Practice, we offer free telephone consultations to discuss your concerns before deciding anything. Book an initial consultation today to get started.
If you are still unsure, you may find some useful information on our FAQs page.