The decision to enter therapy is sometimes complex and unclear, sometimes pretty obvious! We have included a question and answer section on our website to help you with this decision. Of course such general information does not answer all concerns or all situations.
One of the major obstacles for seeking therapy is the stigma associated with mental health issues. Although, strides have been made much remains to be done. The public’s knowledge of our military personnel’s struggle with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has created a new view of mental health needs and resources. We all want our service men and women and their families to receive the best physical and emotional health care. The recent events depicting very disturbed individuals acting out their emotional dysfunction by killing, wounding, or creating trauma in the public world has put all of us on alert in our community. Such acts of violence press on us in different ways, but it does illustrate the need for reliable mental health services.
In the smaller world of our daily lives, stressors, conflicts, losses, and relationship struggles accumulate and affect our personal equilibrium. When these reach a critical level therapy may be a consideration. Overcoming how others view therapy, or your own worries about therapy can shut down this very useful option. The heart of the stigma question is usually about viewing therapy as: 1. only for those who can’t take care of their problems, 2. people who are emotionally/mentally weak, 3. people who are crazy or sick, or 4. people who worry some deep-seated disturbed element of their psyche will be revealed. There is some measure of truth about therapy including the possibility of all four points being present in some form or the other. The much larger truth about therapy is that the therapy process requires a measure of: 1. self awareness and acknowledgment of personal liabilities/problems that affect one’s functioning, 2. self exploration to establish a clarity of one’s strengths, 3. reviewing a persons life, situation, and resources to rebuild stability and improve self functioning and 4. struggle to understand and accept who we are and the assets we possess.
In summary, the last four points are more relevant considerations for deciding about therapy. Therapy can be rewarding and provide a basis for improved living. Doing the work of therapy is not for the week or inept! Facing one’s reality, problem solving the conflicts and building healthy relationships is a challenge for those determined to be in a better place emotionally!
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