Many individuals live with a mental illness every day. Some are diagnosed at an early age, whereas others may emerge later in life. Many are treated with medication, which is prescribed by a medical doctor that specializes in these disorders (a psychiatrist). Typically, psychiatrists recommend therapy but problem-solving anything other than medication is not their primary role. Most people need more than that. They often are unsure of what they need to help manage their illness but do not know what to do. Here are several reasons that psychotherapy is a huge benefit.
A New Person Dedicated to Your Emotional Needs
Psychotherapy involves sitting down in meetings with a licensed professional that has received years of training in how to help others. Just like any new person, it can take a little while to establish a good personal connection that makes you want to share your difficulties and receive feedback. They are not there to judge; they listen to what you have to say and provide their input. Therapists view that time in your session as yours. You can discuss whatever you want and they listen. They will, however, tell you when your thought patterns are unhealthy. Psychotherapy is a secure place. Your discussions are protected by the law and you have a devoted listener, similar to a close friend.
Improve Your Coping Skills
Everyone copes with stress in different ways, but some are self-defeating and have a negative impact on physical health and self-esteem. As you get older and encounter stress, you may find that what worked twenty years ago is not working too well now. Life events tend to get bigger over time, and it’s OK to recognize that your “tools” are no longer working. Psychotherapy can help you take steps to re-learn how to process information and cope with life stressors. Healthy coping strategies can help you feel more confident in your ability to manage your life.
Process Emotional Baggage and “Let Go”
There are numerous sayings about differentiating between the things that you can and cannot change and letting go of the things over which you have no control. Carrying around years of emotional baggage (ex. feelings of anger, guilt, resentment) is extremely unhealthy and detrimental. Psychotherapy can teach you the tools you need to start asking yourself: “Can I control this?” If not, then your therapist is going to prod you to let it go.
Psychotherapy is widely regarded as an asset to anyone with or without a mental illness. Anyone can participate in therapy; a mental illness is not a prerequisite. It is safe, confidential space to problem-solve and discuss life issues with a highly-skilled professional.