How do you know if you should go to therapy?

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Urban Balance therapist Mikki Guerra, LCSW, CADC weighs in on when and why it’s important to seek therapy.

Therapy can be beneficial for everyone, at all stages of life. However, if you are unsure of whether you need to see a therapist, here are 5 signs to help you decide:  

  1. When your body starts to give you messages that are not medically explainable. You are often feeling run down and tired, just can’t shake that cold, chronic headaches or random body pain, and lets not forget about the sex-drive that went out the window.
  2. When all of the activities you used to love doing, you aren’t doing them anymore.You haven’t seen close friends or family for an extended amount of time, you haven’t seen the inside of a gym or walked through the forest preserve in weeks or months, or that book on your nightstand is collecting dust.
  3. Your using substances or behaviors to cope.You have just binge-watched a season of this and a season of that, your drinking has increased, or you have just maxed out a few credit cards.
  4. Your relationships have become strained. Your partner and you are fighting all of the time and your friends are telling you they are worried about you.
  5. You have suffered through a traumatic event and you can’t stop thinking about it. You were physically assaulted, your parent or pet has died, or you got fired.

All of these can mean something different for each person experiencing them, such as depression, adjusting to new life situations, or chronic self-sacrifice. Regardless of the name we give all of your symptoms, it’s about you feeling better and moving forward. A therapist can help by sifting through all of your baggage to find what is most important to you. We can than help you make a plan as to how you are going to get relief from the external and/or internal pressures you face.

A lot of people feel embarrassed to admit they might need therapy. One reason this may be because we are all engrained with the “pick yourself up by the boot straps” mentality and believe that if we need help we are weak or unworthy. Some of us are taught at an early age that what goes on in our household stays in our household, and we carry that message through our adulthood. Other times, its just downright hard to ask someone else to bear witness to our pain and our truth. Recognizing your barriers to seeking therapy is the positive step in getting the help you may need.

In fact, therapy is much more common than most people imagine. Here in Chicago we are saturated with the best and brightest in the mental health field. There are hundreds and thousands of private practices and group practices that are successful all over the nation. Everyone should work with a clinician at least once in their life (and many people already have!) just to get it all out there, to let your emotional baggage go, and sit while being embraced by a nonjudgemental environment. Working with a clinician is not just for the severely mentally-ill. It is for the stay-at-home mom that is being pushed and pulled in a million directions, the CEO that is crazy successful but feels like a failure as a husband, or for any human that just feels trapped in their own mind or body.

If you are interested in scheduling an appointment with one of our therapists, please contact our intake department.