5 Phenomenal Benefits of Therapy

Therapy is a word that used to have a lot of stigmas attached to it. We’ve come a long way since then are people are starting to be more open to the fact that sometimes, we need to go to therapy to process changes or experiences in our life the same way we would go to a doctor for a check-up. I’ve been in therapy on and off ever since I was in seventh grade and it has helped me gain a better understanding of who I am. However, it must be acknowledged that therapy is expensive and some insurance companies do cover the costs. There are also non-profit counseling services like the Center for Psychological Services and the Women’s Center that offer therapy at a subsidized rate. Overall, therapy is an investment in your mental health and future well being. Here are some benefits of therapy:

1. Becoming more self-aware

Therapy has given me the space to process certain actions that I might unconsciously perform. I was able to link certain events together and see patterns across my life. I noticed that when I am stressed, I put a lot of pressure on myself and my inner dialogue mimics that. I also learned to identify how I was feeling and scanning my body to relax after recognizing that  I felt stress in my shoulders. Being self-aware has also helped me understand other people, how they perceive me and my attitude and responses to them at the moment.

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2. Soothing your inner child

We all have an inner child within us who is worthy of love and affection and needs love to thrive. Our inner dialogue plays a role here as the way we see ourselves and talk to ourselves affects our inner child. Therapy has taught me that I need to ‘mother’ my inner child by giving her the recognition and comfort that she deserves. It can be as simple as saying, “I’m so proud of you because I see you working so hard.” Soothing your inner child is a part of therapy because you learn how to be kind to yourself in your harder moments which is a skill that we have to learn. 

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3. Un-learning negative coping mechanisms 

When challenging moments arise, we sometimes turn to coping mechanisms that might not be the most beneficial in the long term. While alcohol can help cloud our mind or help put us to sleep at the moment, it could also lead to a substance abuse problem if it is used to escape dealing with our feelings. Negative coping mechanisms also arise from thinking styles. An example of this is assuming the worst of every situation or thinking universal unrealistic thoughts like “I’m never going to find someone that accepts me.” Therapy helped me recognize my personal coping mechanisms and substitute the negative ones for more positive ones. Therapy in itself can be a positive coping mechanism. 

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Related: How Therapy Has Helped Me Gain Self-Confidence

4. Safe space to navigate sensitive topics

While we might have best friends and people that we can turn to talk about sensitive issues, it is beneficial to have a trained therapist who can provide a non-judgemental zone for you to navigate topics that you are of a sensitive nature. The safe space allows you to say what you truly feel without worrying about how the therapist will perceive you as their job is to guide you. This can be truly comforting if you feel like no one will understand you and need guidance. 

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5. More self-love and acceptance 

This by far has been the greatest gift I could give to myself. I have learned through therapy that I have so much to offer this world with all my complexities and ideas. I have learned to accept the harder to love parts of myself and hold my own hand. The end goal of therapy is to be able to guide yourself in a constructive manner and this comes from loving yourself and making decisions for yourself with compassion. Therapy has also been a form of self-care for me because while face masks are great, they do not help me feel fulfilled in a way that therapy does.

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If you are on the edge about therapy and need a sign, THIS IS IT. Therapy is a wonderful fulfilling experience that will enable you to live a healthier life. I can’t promise there won’t be tears and lots of self-reflection but it pays off in the end. When life gets challenging, it is easy to feel stuck and helpless and making a call to get help seems like the most daunting task. However, it could be a gift that you give to yourself in those harder moments...invest in your mental health and invest in YOU.