Why should I go to therapy? 11 reasons to go for mental health therapy

November 25, 2021

Mental Health

Mental health therapy can be a brilliant resource, even when you're not struggling with your mental health. It's also often an essential component of treating mental health disorders. However, starting therapy for the first time is often easier said than done. In a society that still actively stigmatizes asking for help, taking the first step towards scheduling an appointment with a mental health professional can feel scary and uncomfortable. There are so many misconceptions about what it means to see a therapist that we might even begin to wonder if mental health therapy is even worth it in the first place. But even the little mental health tips that therapists give their client are a lot beneficial. If you're thinking about questions like "Should I go to therapy?" "Is therapy worth it?" or "Why should I go to therapy?" look no further: here are eleven very good reasons to go to therapy. 


Struggling with your mental health

Despite being relatively obvious, one of the biggest reasons to go to therapy is struggling with your mental health. And remember, 'struggling' doesn't mean that you need to wait until you hit rock bottom before seeking out mental health therapy. Preventive treatment and early intervention are incredibly effective, and it's better to seek therapy right away when symptoms appear or when you first start struggling to ensure that you receive help as soon as possible. There's no threshold for the amount of pain you must be in before you deserve help.


A desire to understand yourself better

Mental health therapy can be a fantastic way to learn more about yourself. One of the reasons to go to therapy can very well be a desire to gain a deeper knowledge of who you are as a person, and why you do the things you do. A good therapist can guide you throughout your process of self-discovery at any age and at any point in life. 


Processing past experiences

Most of us have experienced painful things in the past. Processing past trauma, or events that might not have been traumatic, but have still impacted you in some way, is a great reason to go to therapy. If you feel like something from your past is impacting the way you show up in the world today, seeking out mental health therapy to resolve those problems is a fantastic idea. While our past experiences are bound to shape us and impact the way we see the world, if you feel like your past is limiting your life or impacting your ability to function, therapy can help. You deserve to have freedom from your past, whatever that means for you. 

reasons to go for mental health therapy


Having a space that's all about you

Sometimes we just want to talk about ourselves - and there's no shame in that! It's not selfish to want to have a space that's all about you, and mental health therapy can be a great option for that. In therapy, you don't need to worry about social rules or reciprocity: it's all about you, which can be a very liberating experience. A good therapist will hold space for all your emotions and experiences in a way that is non-judgmental, objective, and accepting, and they will guide you throughout whatever it is that you wish to discuss. 


Breaking dysfunctional patterns

One reason to go to therapy can be a desire to break or address dysfunctional patterns. If you're wondering about things like "Should I go to therapy?" it might be worth reflecting on the patterns you're able to spot in your life. Do you tend to self-sabotage or procrastinate? Have most of your relationships ended for one particular reason? Do you always tend to have the same arguments over and over again? When things go wrong, what's your default reaction - and is it working for you? These are some of the questions that mental health therapy can help you address.


You've experienced something life-changing

If you're experienced major, disruptive changes recently (like, I don't know, a pandemic), that's an extremely valid reason to go to therapy. It's also important to note that a positive change can also be a crisis that brings about grief, stress, and anxiety, even if that seems counterintuitive at first! Experiences like moving to a new place, a new relationship, or a new job are a few examples of things that can disrupt our life. Mental health therapy can be a great place where we learn to cope with these changes in a productive way.

Feeling overwhelmed or hopeless

One of the reasons you might want to seek therapy is experiencing feelings of hopelessness or feeling overwhelmed more often than usual. You might not be struggling with your mental health per se, but feeling like your everyday life is becoming too much to handle can be a sign that you could benefit from mental health therapy as a pre-emptive measure.


Everything is fine

Yes, you read it right! One of the reasons to go to therapy can be that everything is fine - and you want to keep it that way. We go for regular physical check-ups at the doctor's - so why not schedule a mental health check-up as well? Or, on the other hand, you might feel like everything is fine - and you'd like things to be better than just 'fine'. Wanting to shift from surviving to thriving is a great reason to go to therapy, and a good therapist can help you improve your quality of life and maintain your well-being, even when everything is okay.


Your old coping skills aren't working as well as they used to do

Are you feeling like your old coping mechanisms aren't working as well as they did before? Perhaps those coping skills, techniques, and self-care tools you've relied on previously are no longer as effective as they used to be in the past. Or, on the other hand, you might find that some of those skills and techniques that served you well in the past are no longer serving you, and they might even be causing more harm than good. If you feel like your coping skills are keeping you stuck, mental health therapy can be incredibly helpful for that purpose. 


You wonder if therapy could help

If you're wondering if you should go to therapy, you probably should. In fact, I think that the best answer to the question "Should I go to therapy?" is that if you're thinking about it, it's probably a good idea. If you opened this article to see if anything on this list applies to you, consider that your reason to go to therapy. 


You don't have to have a reason

Despite listing reasons to go to therapy, it's also important to know that you don't have to have one big reason to seek out mental health therapy. You can start your therapy journey for any reason, and you do not have to justify your choice to see a therapist to anyone. You can work on your defining goals together with your therapist if you're uncertain about what exactly you want to achieve. And, on the other hand, sometimes we have so much stuff to unpack that it becomes difficult to discern one big "reason" for seeking help. That's okay too - no matter what you're going through, mental health therapy can help you navigate that. You deserve help and support: you don't have to figure things out alone.

To conclude: there is no harm in taking a mental health therapy. Yo get a chance to know yourself better, your source of happiness and pain and much more. Along with therapy you can also your mood tracking app or try journaling, it will also help you to learn about your mood variations.

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Ilona Myllyniemi is a mental health advocate based in the UK and the founder of the social enterprise I Go to Therapy. After seeking therapy for the first time at age 17, they became passionate about destigmatising going to therapy and educating people on mental health, therapy, and mental health disorders in a nuanced but approachable way. She hopes that eventually mental health discussions will become as normal as talking about what you had for breakfast.

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