5 Reasons You May Need Therapy
First off, I am not a therapist but, “I think you may need therapy.” Did that statement make you tense up? Does it make your body cringe or do you feel defensive? I totally understand if it does because I once felt that way myself. However, I’m here to give you 5 reasons you may need therapy and to try and give you a different viewpoint of it.
Well, let me just say, in the black culture, therapy is not popular. We are raised to take our problems to God, go to church, and pray over the situation. All of these things are great and necessary, but not always enough.
I personally used to think that going to therapy meant something was wrong with you mentally. After all, if God can’t fix you, something must be wrong, right?
That is so far from the truth
Well, I don’t know about you, but 2020 had me doing some major reflection. I mean really…what else was there to do when you’re home half the year? I realized that when you’re praying to God, He will make you aware of things that you need to do. Therapy was a part of His answer to me. So that goes to show that prayer is always needed but God can direct you to do more.
“I don’t need a stranger to tell me about myself!” Is that a phrase you have heard or even said before? If it is, then the person who said it has the wrong idea about it. Therapy is more of someone guiding you to the answers on your own. They’re actually not telling you anything about yourself. What a therapist does is assist you in getting a better understanding of how and why you feel, react and think certain ways. It is soul work.
Here are 5 reasons you may need therapy
1. You are married or in preparation for marriage
Getting married is so much more than a dress, wedding, and reception. Outside of being a parent, you have to put in the most work in a marriage. It is a time where you really get to see your true self if you allow it. Marriage is a mirror being held up to yourself. It is your spouse reflecting who are you currently, who you’ve been, and even what you could become. It is iron sharpening iron.
The problem most couples face is that they chose not to face themselves. Everything you experienced throughout your life before marriage, comes into your marriage whether you realize it or not. Going to marriage counseling can only be beneficial to both people. Unfortunately, many people do not want to face themselves or their past due to pride, fear, and shame.
Counseling is only a tool that sharpens each individual. Yes, it can get ugly and send you through an array of emotions. However, doing the work will only strengthen the marriage if that is the intent of both people. Even if your spouse doesn’t want to participate, go for yourself. At the end of the day, it will help you be better. And who knows, if your spouse sees a change in you, it could spark a desire for them to want change as well. Pray to God that their heart will be willing to make that change.
2. You notice old patterns creeping back up
Old patterns? What do you mean? Well, I am referring to habits you once had that weren’t good for you that you find yourself going back to doing again. Maybe that smoking, drinking, overeating, a toxic relationship, a nasty attitude, self-sabotage, your guards are back up and the list can go on.
Often times there is an underlying reason that may be buried so deep inside of you that you never dealt with. Therefore when certain things happen, they trigger you to turn back to what was never good for you from the start.
You may say tell yourself all kinds of excuses as to why you are doing what you’re doing, but this could actually be a pattern. The only way to break those bad habits is to get to the root of what causes them to arise.
3. You have experienced some type of trauma
Trauma can look different from person to person. This includes but is not limited to: abuse or violation of any kind, death, divorce, illness, unemployment, financial ruin, abandonment, and rejection.
None of the things listed would make anyone feel good talking about. You may have said or heard “Why bring up the past? I’ve moved on from that.” or “ I’m good. I will handle it on my own.” If you feel that way, I really encourage you to think about why you feel that way. If the foundation of those statements is because you don’t want to re-live it or it’s too painful, then that is all the more reason to give it a try. What you don’t realize is that the pain is just lying dormant within you until the right trigger is pulled.
Trauma of any kind can change you for the worse. The thing is that you don’t even realize it because you’re so wrapped up in the hurt you choose or don’t choose to admit. It clouds your thinking, your judgment, and drives how you interact with others.
5 Reasons You May Need Therapy
4. You don’t feel like yourself
Are you sad more? Is it hard to get out of bed? Does it hurt to live? Is there something you can’t shake but you also can’t identify what it is? Does fear over certain things leave you feeling paralyzed? Maybe your fuse is shorter than normal and you have less patience for the smallest of things. Or perhaps you find it hard to bond with your newborn baby.
All of these are symptoms that you may need therapy. None of it means you’re crazy and don’t buy into anyone who says otherwise. Something is just off and that’s okay because it happens to everyone at some point and time. It is just harder for some people to snap out of the funk that they’re in or it takes a little longer. Things like this happen and you have no idea why. Talking through it with someone who won’t judge you but whose intent is to only help you through it could really do you some good.
Family, friends, and loved ones can really mean well. But let’s face it, their love can sometimes come across as judgemental or even an attack on your soul. This is why talking to a licensed therapist will help in giving you the freedom to speak freely without those feelings.
5. For regularly scheduled maintenance
You don’t have to wait for a crisis to happen to seek some type of counseling. The same goes for the upkeep of your car. There is nothing wrong with scheduling an appointment to make sure you’re truly in a good place. Just like you would take your car to have the regular maintenance done, your soul needs that as well.
The counselor will take a look under the hood and make sure all of the fluids are topped off and belts are lubed up and turning as they should. After all of that, if you’re told everything is good to go, then you can feel even more confident driving down the road of this thing called life.
If you’re anything like me, opening up to anyone can be hard. However, I suggest that you pray about it and ask God to direct your paths to the right therapist that will handle you with care and help get you to the place that God wants you to be. Unlike some people we know, a therapist is bound by law to keep every conversation confidential that does not involve harming yourself or others. Therefore you don’t have to worry about your business being out in the streets.
So while you are giving Jesus a try, allow Him to direct you to therapy as well.
In Relentless Pursuit,
** If you don’t know where to start on how to find a counselor, first do a Google search for the ones in your area. Also here a few links that you can look into. **