Sometimes it’s a joke thrown around at a party – someone will talk about a bad habit, hurtful situation, or a dysfunctional family member, and then add, “…so maybe I’ll need therapy!” and everyone will chuckle.
But, seriously, what are some of the reasons that prompt people to actually start therapy? Here’s a list to give you a general idea:
-A troubling relational pattern: You realize that all of your dating relationships tend to end the same way. Or you seem to be attracted to the same type of person that is no good for you.
-A big decision: You’ve come to a crossroads and don’t know what to do. You want to talk with someone outside of the situation to figure out what to do.
-Communication problem: You find that it’s difficult to express what you want in a way that others can hear and respond to. Or you are overwhelmed with everything you’ve agreed to do.
-Feeling sad and depressed: You’ve lost motivation and have difficulty concentrating. It’s starting to affect your daily life and work.
-A crisis situation: You experience the sudden (or not-so-sudden) end of a relationship
(i.e. break-up, divorce, death.)
-Self-awareness: You’re interested in personal growth and would like to do more in-depth processing of your past and present.
-Feeling anxious: You’re tired of being in a constant state of worry about one particular thing, or about everything.
-Grief: You’re grieving the loss of a loved one and tired of the clichés of well-intended friends and family members. You want someone to sit with you and listen and talk with you through the pain you’re carrying.
Maybe something on this list resonated with you, or maybe not. There are many other reasons why people start therapy. This is just a starter list to give you an idea of what your work in therapy could focus on. What could you use help with?
I’m Elaine Gee-Wong and I'm a therapist with a private practice in Santa Clara, CA.
Any information or advice on this website is for informational purposes only, and should not take the place of information or care provided to you by your physicians, medical, or mental health care professionals.