Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, can help people manage a wide variety of mental illness diagnoses and emotional challenges. It can help eliminate or control symptoms so that a person can heal, function better, and improve their overall wellbeing. Psychotherapy aims to help the patient understand their feelings and equip them to face new challenges. Research shows that most people who receive psychotherapy experience symptom relief and are better able to function in their lives. According to the American Psychological Association, about 75% of people who enter psychotherapy show some benefit from it. The benefits of psychotherapy alco include less sick days, less disability, fewer medical problems, and increased work satisfaction.
Did You Know?
Psychotherapy can even be beneficial for people who have not been diagnosed with a mental illness. It can help with several of life’s stresses that can affect anyone. According to the Mayo Clinic, psychotherapy can help:
- Resolve conflicts with your partner or someone else in your life
- Relieve anxiety or stress stemming from educational, professional, or other situations
- Cope with major life changes such as the death of a loved one, loss of a job, and more
- Learn to manage unhealthy reactions such as road rage or passive-aggressive behavior
- Come to terms with an ongoing or serious physical health problem, such as diabetes, cancer, or long-term pain
- Recover from physical or sexual abuse, or witnessing violence
- Sleep better if you have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep (insomnia)
How Do you Know if Psychotherapy Is Right For You?
Although therapy isn’t usually necessary for every struggle that life brings, most people can benefit from therapy at some point in their lives. You don’t have to have a mental health diagnosis or be on the verge of a meltdown to benefit from talk therapy. According to Psychology Today, a few of the signs that that talk therapy might be right for you include:
Feeling sad, angry, or otherwise “not yourself.” Uncontrollable emotions may be a sign of a mental health issue that can improve with treatment. If your eating or sleeping habits are changing, you’re withdrawing from loved ones, or just feeling “off,” then it might be time to seek help.
Abusing drugs, alcohol, food, or sex to cope. If you find yourself turning to a substance or behavior to help you feel better, distract yourself, or to feel “numb,” then talk therapy can help with improving your coping skills. Being unable to control or stop the behaviors despite negative consequences may be a sign of addictive or compulsive behavior that requires treatment.
You’ve lost someone or something important to you. Grief can be a long a difficult process, and there’s no shame in needing a little help to get through the loss of a loved one, divorce, significant breakup, or the loss of a job. Especially if you’ve experienced multiple losses in a short period of time, talk therapy can help.
Something traumatic has happened. For people with a history of abuse, neglect, or other trauma, or if you have been the victim of a crime or accident, talk therapy can help find healthy ways to cope.
You can’t do the things you like to do. Many people find that painful emotions and experiences keep them from the activities that they enjoy. This can be a red flag that something is amiss in your life and talk therapy can help.