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How Do You Know if You Need Therapy?

We all need someone to talk to now and then, whether we have a mental health disorder or not. That’s how people cope with stress and anxiety and find support to help them through life’s challenges.

Therapy is one solution to help you cope with the mental and emotional challenges you may be facing. Sometimes we are faced with this stigma that surrounds the idea of going to therapy. But there is no shame in seeking out help. In fact, it’s a great first step into leading a happier and healthier life.

How do you know if you need therapy?

It can be hard to decide whether or not you need to try counseling to address the struggles you are facing. If you have a mental disorder, are experiencing distress or constant worrying, or are in need of support from a traumatic experience, you may consider attending therapy.

However, there is no right reason to go to therapy. Sometimes you just need someone you can trust and talk to in confidence.
If you think you may need therapy, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is what I am feeling/experiencing interfering with an aspect of my life?
  • Do I feel the need to hide from others because of how I feel?
  • Has what I am struggling with reduced the quality of my life during the last few months?
  • Am I rearranging my lifestyle to accommodate the problem?
  • Have I felt like a different person lately?

Answering yes to any of these questions may be an indication that you would benefit from attending therapy.

Let’s talk about some other common causes that therapy can help you with.

Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms

Relationships, careers, and personal goals are positive, healthy things, yet they can cause unnecessary stress that leads people to look for ways to cope. Unhealthy coping mechanisms look like abusing drugs, alcohol, sex, or even food to make you feel better. Unhealthy coping mechanisms have negative consequences, and not being able to control these behaviors may be an indication that there is something more going on, like addictive or compulsive behavior. Therapy can help people find better ways to cope with stress, like talking about it, finding a new hobby, or self-care.

Not Feeling like Yourself

When people say they don’t feel like themselves, it may be because they are feeling many deep, powerful emotions that they aren’t used to. They may be withdrawing from friends, family, and their hobbies. Uncontrollable sadness, anger, or hopelessness may be signs of mental health issues. Talking to someone about how you are feeling can help you get the care you need before serious problems develop.

Family and Friends are Tired of Listening

It’s important to talk about your feelings. Confiding in friends and family about what you are feeling and experiencing is healthy and normal. However, sometimes the problems you are facing are overwhelming for your typical support system. When it seems as though your friends and family are no longer there for you or they don’t know how to comfort you, it may be time to see a therapist. It’s a therapist’s job to listen and offer tools to improve your life, not your friends. While friends and family are helpful in the treatment process of therapy, they cannot always act as your therapist.

People Have Noticed a Change in Behavior

Coworkers, classmates, partners, family members, and friends who are around you often may notice that you are struggling and may need help. People typically have your best interest in mind when they ask you if everything is okay. If people have commented that you seem “off” or as though something is wrong, you might consider opening up to a therapist about what you are feeling.

Why do people go to therapy?

Beginning therapy is a brave step that brings people closer to a healthier version of themselves. Visiting a therapist can provide you with the opportunity to discuss your feelings and to feel heard. You can expect that your therapist will support you, listen attentively, and give you appropriate feedback. There are many reasons people attend therapy, but the following list provides some more common examples.

Mental Disorders

Mental disorders include post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, addiction, and phobias. These mental health disorders may affect how people think and behave. Attending therapy can help you learn healthy ways to cope and to find the source of a mental illness.


Life situations, whatever they may be, can sometimes cause a person a great deal of stress. Some examples of situations that cause distress are divorce, financial instability, moving, death of a loved one, traumatic events, and so on. Distress can affect moods, appetites, sleep schedules, and social relationships. Someone experiencing great distress can find that therapy is a helpful way for them to express how they feel and why they are feeling that way.


Grief is a popular reason for people to attend therapy. Therapy provides a safe place for people to express their emotions and adjust to new circumstances. People grieve for many different reasons, like physical illnesses, the end of a relationship or job, abuse, or the death of a loved one. If a person needs support for any reason, therapy is a healthy place to turn to.


Families and couples often turn to therapy if there are problems within their relationships. Therapy provides a safe place to have hard conversations and communicate with partners or family members. Therapists can help mediate in certain situations and help people resolve their conflicts.

Self Exploration

Therapy can help when people just need to develop a better understanding of themselves and what they want. Therapists can help you analyze why you feel the way they feel and why you act the way you do. This can help you to understand and make changes in your career, relationships, and personal goals.

How can I find a therapist?

Finding a therapist is as easy as a search on Google. Taking recommendations and reading reviews are great ways to find a good therapist near you. However, it’s finding the right one that is more difficult. Assessing your needs and dilemmas, including your insurance, may help you decide on the right type of psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist, or counselor for you. It may help to call a therapist’s office for a consultation or to ask them questions about how they interact with their clients.

At High Country Behavioral Health, our therapists are trained in different counseling methods and you may be drawn to one more than another. We even offer telehealth services so that you can virtually meet with a member of our team if you are located far away from our physical office locations.

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