Mary-Lauren O’Crowley, MA, NCC

Despite what is often depicted in TV shows and movies, therapy involves much more than just laying on a couch and talking about your feelings. Widespread stigmatization of counseling can lead to misconceptions about what exactly therapy is and how it can be helpful. The fact of the matter is, therapy can be an incredibly powerful tool in helping to work through past trauma, better regulate and manage emotions, navigate grief and transition, improve mood, and even regulate sleep. If you still need some convincing, check out the list below for six reasons you may want to give therapy a try: 

1. You have thoughts that you cannot turn off or you feel a constant sense of dread 

While these are only some of the symptoms of anxiety, they are often severe enough that they interfere with daily functioning. Constant worry or feeling panicky can we signs that there is a deeper mental health issue at play. Fortunately anxiety can be treated and a mental health professional can help you find the right tools and techniques to manage it. 

2. You are experiencing mood swings 

 While it is human nature to experience highs and lows, if you find that your mood is has been abnormally low or you notice yourself rapidly cycling between happy and sad, this could be an indication of something more serious. A therapist can help you address and treat the symptoms while also exploring the root cause. 

3. You are in the midst of a big transition or change 

Whether going through a divorce, switching jobs, or moving to a new state, we can all agree that change can be difficult, and it is normal to need a little extra support. Therapists are great listeners, but they can also be valuable resources for information. They can help you with everything from planning to execution to make things run more smoothly. 

4. You are having thoughts about wanting to harm yourself 

Suicidal ideation, or thoughts about wanting to hurt or kill yourself, requires immediate attention. While they can be a side effect of a new medication such as an SSRI, they are often an indication of a more serious underlying mental health issue. Suicide and self-harm can be treated by a licensed mental health professional. If you or someone you know is thinking of hurting themselves, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 for immediate assistance. 

5. You feel isolated or lonely 

Many people feel as though they are lacking an adequate support system. This can lead to a sense of isolation and even feelings of inadequacy. Humans, however, are pack animals by nature and thus, human connection is an important component to overall well-being. If you notice that you feel socially isolated or are unable to communicate openly with the people you surround yourself with, a therapist can provide a safe space wherein you can think, feel, and say without judgment. 

6. You have started to use drugs or alcohol to cope with difficult situations or emotions 

If you have found yourself relying more heavily on alcohol or drugs as a means of distraction or disconnection from life, it might be time to speak to an addiction counselor. While certified addiction counselors, or CACs, are well-versed in treatment options and protocols, they can also help address any underlying trauma or co-occurring mental health disorders. 

If you or someone you know is considering speaking to a counselor, contact the intake specialists at Symmetry Counseling today.