As someone who has been seeing a psychologist for 13 years, you can take it from me — therapy rocks. Although I started going to therapy for my mental illnesses, I have come to realize that my therapist doesn't just help me with my mental disorders. Her advice and perspective have positively impacted my social life, my relationships, my academics and my professional life. Regardless of your medical history, here are three reasons why I believe that everyone should go to therapy at least once.
- We're Living in Unprecedented Times
None of us have ever lived through a global pandemic, so it's hard to know how to react and cope with the current state of our planet. There are no books to read or movies to watch for advice; we're on our own right now. Seeing a therapist, especially during these times, gives you an opportunity to take a step back and evaluate your coping mechanisms. What works? More importantly, what doesn't?
- Your Therapist Will Tell You What You Need to Hear
A therapist is a friend who will stay objective, a parent who won't lecture you and a teacher who doesn't assign homework. There is nothing you can tell them that will phase or shock them, and they will always be a fully confidential resource. Objectivity is more important than many of us realize, and psychologists are trained to analyze situations from the outside while providing advice and counsel that is specific to you, their client.
- Mental Health Is Important (But Often Overlooked)
There is and always has been a stigma around mental health. I have been criticized for going to therapy; people have called me weak, codependent and crazy. But the truth is this: your mental health is just as important and valid as your physical health. No one needs to be diagnosed with a mental illness to need to go to therapy. Not seeing a psychologist because you don't have a mental disorder is like not going to the doctor because you don't have cancer.
We put so much effort into our physical health and appearance that it's easy to forget to take care of our mental and emotional needs. Seeing a therapist does not make you weak; it makes you a healthy and well-adjusted individual.