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  • Writer's pictureDr. Elena Duong

Who Needs Therapy?

Updated: Mar 10, 2023

Have you wondered whether you need therapy? Do you have questions regarding therapy and mental health? We hope to address this in today's post.

Let’s start with the basics. According to the Mayo Clinic (2021) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC; n.d.), “mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being.” Our mental health impacts our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. For example, you have a presentation coming up, and you suddenly feel nervous, nauseous, or may even want to go to the restroom. This is an example of your mental health at work.

Everyone has mental health, just like how everyone has physical health. Your genetics, chronic stressors, and difficult life events can impact your mental health. Some common mental health concerns include anxiety, depression, and adjustment issues. Mental health disorders are a combination of different symptoms that cause significant distress and impairment in your daily life. Anyone struggling with mental health symptoms or a mental health disorder can seek psychotherapy for support. You can go to psychotherapy to work on a range of concerns, such as adjusting to new life circumstances, coping with the pandemic, work stress, and relationship problems.

Psychotherapy (also known as talk therapy) involves working with a licensed psychotherapist to learn techniques like problem-solving and changing unhelpful thought patterns to improve your mental health symptoms. Therapists can use different therapy styles and offer various interventions to help you. Progress in therapy is enhanced when there is a collaborative relationship between the client, you, and your therapist. As you conclude therapy, there is often a decrease in your overall mental distress.

Some things you may want to consider before going to therapy:

  • How are your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors impacting your life right now?

  • Have you or a loved one noticed that you have not been feeling like yourself?

  • Do you feel frazzled/overwhelmed and not sure what to do?

  • You can no longer push your concerns away, and it's affecting your mental health.

  • If you have a mental health condition, we definitely encourage you to seek psychotherapy services.

Going to a therapist is different from getting advice from a friend. Therapists are trained through research and practice to help people with various mental health issues. Therapists can help with your mental health struggles by creating a treatment plan, specifically for you. While friends may/may not be invested in a specific outcome, which may/may not be for your benefit. Friends are often not trained to deal with mental health issues and leaning on them may cause strain on your friend as well as the friendship. Your friends can still support you in other ways.

Making the decision to go to therapy can seem daunting, especially if you have never sought therapy before. It can be helpful to view going to therapy as an integral part of staying healthy in the way that you would go to see your physician and dentist for routine care. Your therapist may ask several questions during the start of therapy to get to know you, to understand your mental health history, and to collaborate on a treatment plan with you. If you ever feel uncomfortable with the questions, you can take your time to build trust with your therapist before opening up, or you can tell the therapist you don’t want to answer the question. Usually, the therapist will be okay with that and move on unless the questions are specific to risk/safety. The therapist is required to ask/assess to make sure you are physically safe.

Everyone can benefit from therapy, and therapy is not for everyone. What we mean by this is all people can benefit from insights/skills learned in sessions, but some people are not ready for therapy or do not feel like therapy is for them. That is okay. If you happen to be emotionally intelligent and very insightful/introspective without mental health issues, you might not need to go to therapy.

If you are ready for therapy, feel free to look through our site and see if we are a good fit for you. Our contact information is located in the "Contact" tab on our website. We look forward to connecting with you.

Stay tuned. The next topic is "New to Therapy?"



Written by Elena Duong, Psy.D.

Edited by Susanna La, Ph.D.

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