7 Ways Therapy Can Help You and Your Family
Some people think that seeking therapy makes you weak or defective in some way. The truth is, some of the strongest and most intelligent people in the world are the first to pursue therapy, as they understand that mental health support can improve their relationships, success, and happiness.
Ditching the “Costly Couch” Stigma
Despite what you may have seen on TV, therapy doesn’t usually look like a person lying on a couch figuring out ink blots. Methods have evolved over the years and there are many different types of therapy, but modern-day therapy generally revolves around one goal: for the patient and therapist to work together to find ways to overcome challenges that are holding the patient back in any areas of life.
Patients? Aren’t They Called Clients?
In the world of mental health, the terms “patients” and “clients” are used interchangeably. “Clients” has been used in an effort to destigmatize those who seek mental health support. At Variations, we use the term “patients” because we believe that seeking mental healthcare is no different than getting professional support to heal a broken ankle or heart condition.
Therapy through the ages
Therapy for children, teens, and adults can be very beneficial, and it often looks different between age groups. A specialist in child therapy will know how to use a variety of age-appropriate techniques including play therapy or art therapy to help the child feel comfortable, open up, and discover problem solving techniques. An adolescent specialist will understand how a teen’s brain is developing and support them in adopting healthy coping skills to deal with social, emotional, and academic obstacles. An adult therapist will understand the many challenges that can present themselves throughout adulthood and empower patients with tools to improve their mental health.
What Therapy Actually Looks Like
Regardless of a patient’s age, a therapist works to build a trusting relationship with each patient. They learn about the patient’s struggles, fears, symptoms, and strengths. Parents of children in therapy can work with the therapist to learn about their child’s development and discover strategies to support their mental health. Therapists can help patients and family members set and achieve wellness goals by teaching them positive thoughts and behaviors to cope with their problems.
Approximately 75% of people who try psychotherapy show some benefit from it, and patients who experience family therapy are 76% more likely to show improvement than patients who receive other therapies or no treatment.
Here are 7 Reasons Why You Should Consider Trying Therapy:
1. It Addresses Root Issues
If your roof has a hole in it, you can place a bucket on the floor to collect the water, but you’ll never stop the leak until you find the hole in the ceiling and patch it. Similarly, it can be challenging to overcome mental health issues when you don’t understand why they exist in the first place. Therapy can lead you to discovering why your mental health issues may have developed. This gained understanding can help you challenge negative thoughts and feelings as they arise.
2. The Benefits Can Last a Lifetime
Our thoughts and feelings are shaped by our unique perceptions of the world, and therapy helps us develop a healthier “lens.” If your brain has been conditioned toward sad, angry, or fearful thoughts, it can be hard to enjoy life’s pleasures and manage its difficulties. The good news is, therapy has the power to help you re-wire your brain over time to “default” to more positive thought patterns. Once you’ve developed these healthier thinking patterns, they will stick with you far beyond your last therapy session, and you will be able to apply them to future challenges.
3. It’s Physically Healing
The mind and body are connected, and when people improve their mental health, they often experience physical benefits as well. Head and body aches, gastrointestinal problems, fatigue, and muscle tension are just a few of the physical symptoms that can result from poor mental health. Therapy gives you tools to cope with emotional distress in healthy ways, reducing its impact on your body.
4. It Improves Your Parenting Skills
Let’s face it, parenting is stressful. If you are struggling with mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety, or stress, it can impact your relationship with your children. Therapy can help you improve your mental health which will not only result in more positive interactions with your kids, but will also help you model healthy emotional expression to your children. Seeking therapy also shows your child that it is ok to ask for help when they are feeling overwhelmed.
5. It Strengthens Your Family Bond
While families are made up of individuals, they also operate as a unit, and research has shown that family therapy is effective in improving the mental health of the entire household. When children or parents engage in therapy, the treatment is designed to support the individual as well as the family system. When a family is functioning as a healthy unit, this automatically improves the mental health of each family member.
6. It Benefits People in All Walks of Life
Therapy is not one-size-fits-all, and a qualified specialist will understand how to tailor treatment based on the patient’s age and circumstances. Children and teens benefit greatly from therapy, as therapy has the power to condition their minds toward resilient and positive thinking as their brains develop and mature. Young adults often find therapy extremely helpful in supporting them through major life transitions such as college life, launching careers, or relationship challenges. For adult men and women, a men’s specialist or women’s specialist can provide support and empowerment through the unique challenges that they may face throughout life. No matter what your age or situation, therapy can improve your relationships, problem solving, communication, emotional intelligence, and self-image.
7. It Provides a Safe Place
No matter how loving and supportive friends or family may be, it can be hard to talk about our challenges to loved ones. This can be especially true for children and teens, as they may be afraid to admit certain things to their parents in fear of shame or punishment. A specialist can provide a welcoming, judgement-free environment to openly discuss challenges and work to discover resolutions.
Interested in Therapy? Connect with Us!
If you are interested in therapy services, please contact us. We would love to talk with you and discuss what therapy could look like for you.
More about Variations Psychology
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