Counseling. Therapy. A Shrink. Psychotherapy. Wellness. Mental Health. Professional Help.
These words conjure up different emotions for people. Depending on when you were born, you’re like to have a very different perspective on “counseling” and who should go.
For instance, if you were born in/around the 60’s and 70’s, you’re more likely to believe that counseling is for acute mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. Those who were born in the last 20-30 years, again, as an over generalization, are more prone to see counseling from a wellness model–to make a good life great, as Ryan Howes stated.
So, why should you go to therapy?
Ryan Howes penned an article on psychology today discussing a Huffington Post article that had claimed 8 reasons why someone should go to therapy. I, like Ryan, believe that you should not go to therapy.
Therapy should be a “want to.” What’s that old saying? You can’t make a horse drink the water, you can only lead him to it. Yeah…something like that.
The original Huffington Post article listed 8 great reasons why therapy could be beneficial for you. However, it seems to perpetuate the stigma that therapy is for “those” people with “those” issues. It is founded in the disease model; you go to the doctor when you have a problem and need it fixed.
I appreciate how Dr. Howes states it simply,
“Look at two ways you manage your physical health: a visit to your MD versus working out at the gym. You go to a physician to treat a medical problem: You feel symptoms and seek treatment to return to your “normal” state. By contrast, you go to the gym to get healthy, achieve a higher physical potential, and generally make a good life better. Two different approaches to health, one focused on illness and the other wellness. Therapy is unique in that it acts as the psychological equivalent of both the MD and the gym. We go to therapy to treat problems as well as improve an already decent life.
Would we say that people who work out must be sick or they wouldn’t need it? Hell no. But we still hold on to this antiquated idea that you must be crazy if you go to therapy. Attitudes like the one shown in the Huff Po article are only perpetuating the medical model of therapy – that you go to therapy to treat an illness. In fact, therapy is just as useful in the wellness model of getting healthy, achieving potential, and making a good life better.”
Most people who come in to my office are bleeding in one way or another. They have come to me in order that I can stop the bleeding. I always tell my clients that while I will stop the bleeding and provide some quick relief, it won’t get to the root of the issue. They most likely will need surgery to reset the bone they broke or to fix a deeper issue. Then they’ll most likely need physical therapy in order to gain their full range of movement back. That’s how I describe therapy to my clients.
Therapy can be a bandaid that provides quick relief or it can get to the root of the issue and make an already decent life, really and truly spectacular.
Here are 8 reasons–from a wellness model perspective–why therapy could be super helpful for you:
You want to have healthy relationships/connections with others.
You want to love and accept yourself.
You want to make a good marriage great.
You want to be an amazing parent.
You want to discover your full purpose and meaning in life.
You want to reach a fitness goal.
You want to let go and forgive.
You want to excel in your career.
Full article: here