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Should I See A Therapist? 10 Questions To Determine If Therapy Is Right For You

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Should I See a Therapist? 10 Questions to Determine If Therapy Is Right For You
Self, Health And Wellness

Is it time to get professional help?

New Year, new happier you. If you entered into 2019 thinking it’s time to make some big changes, good for you. One of these changes may be major, like getting help with an addiction, eating disorder, or a mental health crisis. It could be something on a smaller scale as well, like gaining more confidence or learning better coping strategies.

You may find yourself wondering if perhaps, to improve yourself, you should find a therapist. What is a therapist? Depending on the type of therapy you seek, these are professionals who are trained to handle treatment.


RELATED: Why Your Goal For Therapy Shouldn't Be Happiness (And 5 Things It Could Be Instead)


So, if you’re wondering if therapy is right for you, consider these key questions to make that call. These will help you decide if therapy is the way to go. And these experts — therapists and social workers — recommended these questions to help make your decision process smooth. When should you go to therapy?

1. Am I seeing unhealthy patterns in my life?

Many of us have unhealthy habits or patterns that don’t serve us. And Karen Osterle, LICSW, says that asking “Am I seeing a pattern in my reactions or behavior that I don't understand and/or need to let go of?” is a great way to decide if therapy is right for you.

2. Am I struggling with self-love?

Osterle brought up something that really resonated: self-love. She suggests asking, “Are there aspects of myself that I don't like or can't accept?” She goes on to say that guilt, shame, and/or perfectionism can be mighty powerful forces.

“If you haven’t yet developed the ability to clearly understand your motivations and actions, and the way that these might have been influenced bit by your past experiences, then you have no consistent means of seeing them — and the inner turmoil they can cause — as anything other than inevitable,” she advises

What Osterle means point blank? Your struggle with self-love may be deeply rooted, and therapy can help get you digging.

3. Do I feel hopeless and unmotivated?

Ruthie Kalai, a licensed clinical social worker, shares, “Many times, people might notice that they are feeling more sad, unmotivated, hopeless, or scared than they are used to. Sure, we all go through periods where we feel down but if it's lasting longer than seems typical, there might be cause for concern.

For example, things that once brought you joy just don't bring you pleasure anymore. Or you're having a hard time falling asleep, staying asleep, or feeling rested. You might be pulling away from friends and family. Your work might also be suffering because you don't have the same motivation you once had."

These signs could indicate that it’s time to find a good therapist.

4. Have I been feeling unhinged?

“Do you find your life overwhelming or unmanageable? Do you feel angry and frustrated more that you would like?” If you answered yes, Christine MacInnis, LMFT says therapy could be key in helping you manage these feelings of anxiety, frustration and anger.

5. Do I have constant anxiety?

Jill Whitney, LMFT suggests asking yourself these two key questions if you’re broaching the idea of therapy and are on the fence making the call: “Do you feel as if you are trapped in something, whether it’s a job or a relationship? Is your anxiety getting in the way of living and enjoying your life, preventing you from doing things?”


RELATED: 5 Reasons Therapy Isn't Working (That Have Nothing To Do With You Being Broken)


6. Am I receiving advice but not changing my behaviors?

Deborah M Gonzales, LCSW brings about a key issue no one else had brought up: Friends are good for venting, complaining, having someone agree with you and sympathizing. But if you have feelings or behaviors that you want to change and haven't been able to change on your own, want guidance on how to cope with a troubling situation, or find yourself overwhelmed by your life, then a therapist is a good option.

This is a big distinguishing factor in deciding if therapy is right for you. Ask: “Are you getting advice from friends but having trouble making changes?” If the answer is yes, it’s time to seek therapy, not just support from your friends.

7. Do my coping skills need tweaking?

“Do I want to learn better coping mechanisms to deal with life's stressors? Do I want to work on being the best version of myself?” Tala Johartchi, Psy.D suggests taking a deep look at yourself with these two questions before signing up for therapy.

8. Am I dealing with a crisis?

“Are you going through a life event where a non-judgmental person would be helpful?” asks Patrick Tully, MA, AMFT. Tully says if you know you are in a crisis, it may be best to seek professional help.

9. Am I struggling with abuse or addiction?

Ruthie Kalai points out that if you are struggling with abuse or addiction, therapy is really pivotal in helping you manage these heavy issues.

10. Do I want better relationships?

Many of us want better relationships in 2019. Osterle shares a key question many of us would benefit from asking ourselves: “Do I have more conflict than harmony in my most important relationships?”


RELATED: 7 Reasons Going To Therapy Is WAY BETTER Than Talking To Your BFF


Laura Lifshitz will work for chocolate. The former MTV personality and Columbia University graduate is currently writing about divorce, sex, women’s issues, fitness, parenting, marriage and more for YourTango, New York Times, DivorceForce, Women’s Health, Working Mother, Pop Sugar, and more. Her own website is frommtvtomommy.com.