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What is therapy for? Who is therapy for?

Growing up I always thought therapy was for “the crazies”. The people who were extremely psychologically inhibited, hearing voices, seeing things that weren’t there, or people who appeared to just not be here with us on earth. I know this idea came in large part from how I saw therapists portrayed on tv. They were typically in the “insane asylums” working with the people who lived in padded rooms with white straight jackets on. Many people typically have some version of this view of therapy and therapists, but it couldn’t be further from the truth.

Therapy is for anyone facing difficulty in their thought life. Maybe they are feeling tremendous pressure from the many roles they play every day causing feelings of stress, frustration, sadness and even anger due to the pile up of undealt with feelings. Therapy is for anyone who is feeling confused about where they are in life. Maybe they feel as if they don’t know who they are anymore. They’ve changed roles so much in life (student, to employee, to spouse, to parent, to empty nester, etc.) and kind of been on autopilot for so long that they’ve gotten lost. Therapy is for anyone struggling to make decisions in life and feeling frustrated and overwhelmed by this fact. Therapy enables people to put life on pause for a second, step back and assess what’s going on. It helps individuals assess what’s working and what’s not and to restructure their lives with the support of an unbiased, non-judgmental person so they can learn ways to function more optimally.

Picture this, the news forecasts a massive storm that is headed towards your town. For our analogy, the storm is life’s many trials/struggles. Storms are a normal part of life-they come and go regularly. How you fair during and even after the storm has a lot to do with the skills and knowledge you have to do so. Do you know what to do to your home to make sure it’s secure? Do you know what supplies to have on hand? Do you know where to go to get help if needed? And so on and so on. Therapy is the place you can go to learn how to better prepare for the storm, gain skills to weather the storm, learn how to assess how you did through the storm, and gain understanding to prepare for the next. How prepared do you feel to face it and thrive?

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