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When’s The Right Time To Seek Psychotherapy?

When’s The Right Time To Seek Psychotherapy?

Have you ever considered seeking psychotherapy? When dealing with personal, emotional, and behavioral issues psychotherapy can be very helpful. Indeed, speaking with a therapist can also be helpful when you don’t necessarily have a mental disorder. But when is the right time? This article will detail the experiences indicating that seeking psychotherapy could be fruitful.

Consider Psychotherapy if You’re Struggling to Function

If you’re struggling to carry out your normal day-to-day activities, this could suggest a serious mental health issue. Therapeutic interventions like psychiatric medication, seeking psychedelic therapy, and/or lifestyle changes may help you regain your ability to function. However, often these benefits are enhanced when combined with some form of talking therapy.

Various mental disorders can impact your capacity to carry out various activities, from work to getting out of bed. Conditions that can result in these problems include major depression, generalized anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There are several different forms of psychotherapy, with some designed to target specific conditions like those listed here.

Ultimately, however, psychotherapy aims to address the underlying patterns that are causing issues with functioning. It then provides the tools for you to adopt new perspectives, healthier attitudes, and coping mechanisms. And, all of these improvements will aid normal life functioning.

Consider Psychotherapy if You’re Willing to Explore Personal Issues Openly

Some people may benefit from seeking psychotherapy if they possess a willingness to be honest about their issues. If you feel ready to speak from a place of vulnerability, then this is the ideal time to seek psychotherapy. By learning to trust a therapist, you can express yourself fully, authentically, and with the aim of wanting a better life.

It’s true that speaking openly about mental health issues with friends and family provides relief, too. However, if you need to delve into complex emotional issues on a regular basis, then psychotherapy is ideal. Moreover, psychotherapists are trained to navigate these issues with empathic listening, acceptance, and a high level of care. They also bring insights and tools from various therapeutic approaches. And indeed, these qualities may be missing when discussing difficult problems with loved ones. A good friend may sincerely empathize with your situation but they might not understand it in the way that a psychotherapist can.

Consider Psychotherapy if Your Relationships Are Suffering

Your relationships can suffer whether you have a diagnosable condition or not. Having said that, a reliable sign of serious mental distress is when your relationships with your partner, friends, family, and colleagues are negatively impacted. For example, you might find yourself becoming short-tempered and irritable with others. You might also push others away and wish to isolate yourself. Combined, this can create a negative feedback loop, where emotional issues affect relationships, in turn worsening your emotional state.

It’s important to address the patterns that are leading to fractured and unhealthy relationships. It’s helpful to discuss these patterns with those who are affected by them, of course. However, you might feel more comfortable talking about these patterns – in an in-depth way – with a psychotherapist.

A reputable and well-trained therapist will listen to you talk about your relationships without rejection and judgment. Other people in your life, on the other hand, might not always respond in the same way.

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Consider Psychotherapy if You’re Struggling With Addiction

There are different ways to deal with addiction to illicit drugs, prescription drugs, alcohol, gambling, or food. Some people try to achieve sobriety on their own. Others seek rehab, 12-step programs, addiction support groups, or psychedelic therapy (such as sessions with ayahuasca or iboga).

An important part of recovering and gaining long-term sobriety is examining the underlying issues leading to it. For some, mental health issues are the cause. In these cases, an individual can struggle with the emotional distress of isolation, low self-worth, depression, anxiety, or trauma. They then seek relief through substances. Substances can provide feelings of elation, joy, and peace of mind that may be missing in a person’s life. Indeed, addictions are often the result of an attempt to meet an unmet need.

A psychotherapist will work with you to see what kind of emotional pain or unmet need the addiction stems from. Then, both patient and therapist work together to heal that pain and try to meet your needs without this substance. For example, you can prioritize the search for meaning and purpose, the development of self-esteem, and the cultivation of positive emotions. This is one way of ensuring that you don’t relapse.

Consider Psychotherapy if You’re Experiencing a Personal or Existential Crisis

A personal or existential crisis can follow from a number of life events:

  • The death of a loved one
  • Being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness
  • A failed career
  • A divorce or the end of a relationship
  • A crisis of identity or a feeling of inauthenticity
  • A feeling of meaninglessness, pointlessness, or hopelessness
  • The fear of death

Many people can deal with a personal or existential crisis on their own. This victory can happen through a change in one’s beliefs about the self, life trajectory, and the world at large. Nonetheless, an existential crisis can sometimes feel overwhelming. Seek therapy to resolve these struggles in a psychotherapeutic context if this is indeed the case. Therapists who are trained in existential or humanistic therapy are well-equipped to deal with these problems.

Consider Psychotherapy if You’re Interested in Personal Growth

To reiterate, psychotherapy is not just for those with a mental illness. You might be more or less psychologically healthy yet still feel that areas of your life need work and growth. Everyone has untapped potential and struggles with navigating careers, relationships, and personal meaning and purpose. Indeed, psychotherapy can help you move towards a higher state of authenticity, self-actualization, fulfillment, and overall satisfaction.

Sam Woolfe

View all posts by Sam Woolfe

Sam Woolfe is a freelance writer based in London. His main areas of interest include mental health, mystical experiences, the history of psychedelics, and the philosophy of psychedelics. He first became fascinated by psychedelics after reading Aldous Huxley's description of the mescaline experience in The Doors of Perception. Since then, he has researched and written about psychedelics for various publications, covering the legality of psychedelics, drug policy reform, and psychedelic science.

Matthew Campeau, LPC

This post was medically approved by Matthew Campeau, LPC

Matthew trained as a psychotherapist at Naropa University in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology. He has been an Independent Rater with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) since 2012, currently supporting Phase 3 MDMA Assisted Psychotherapy studies. Matthew has trained in Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy with the Ketamine Training Center. He has worked with thousands of suicidal and high acuity clients and is passionate about harm reduction and prevention. Matthew has 12 years clinical experience with individuals with mild to chronic and severe mental illnesses.

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