Close your eyes and think of the word "therapy". What comes to your mind? For me the first image is a person laid back on a couch talking about all his or her problems to a person with a clipboard and no facial expressions. Maybe you have a similar image. Well, it's now time to cast that stereotype out of your mind and create a new one.
Therapy is beneficial to every single person who has ever lived. People with depression, anxiety, traumatic experiences and many other reasons may need therapy to help them heal, but there are benefits of going to therapy that every person needs:
1. Undivided attention
Rarely do you have someone's full and complete attention for any decent span of time. Having the opportunity to talk and be listened to can be very healing. Research shows that verbalizing your struggles or things that are bothering you is therapeutic and can help you come to terms with your own feelings. This is accomplished by talking with a therapist.
On the flip side, you become a better listener because you understand how it feels when someone listens to you. You won't have the need to talk when other people are sharing their problems. When you listen more, your relationships with others deepen.
Through therapy, you start understanding yourself, among other things. You are able to begin to understand why you react one way instead of another. You are able to see your bad habits and your good habits. This greater understanding of yourself will allow you to more clearly see your role in your friendships and relationships. You might discover ways you can improve your life and become a better person.
When you begin to understand yourself, you then make it possible to understand others. You realize that your decisions and emotions stem from a deeper place and it makes you more empathetic to others.
3. Reduced physical problems
When emotions or thoughts are ignored or suppressed, your body will react. Back pain, headaches, sleeping problems and stomach pain can all be warning signs that you need to work through your emotions. When you spend time releasing those emotions to a person who is not connected to your social life (and who legally has to keep silent about your difficulties) will help these physical symptoms disappear.
4. Work through future problems
Therapy will help you reason through problems and difficulties with other people and life in general. You start to think differently when you have the chance to talk about yourself. Sometimes you will begin to understand why one person made a decision you previously didn't understand. This way of thinking will continue on long past the time you spent talking to a therapist.
5. Help others
You not only can help your friends by listening to them more, but they will recognize the changes in you. In fact, your choice to see a therapist might inspire them to make changes in their own life. However, the most important people you might affect are your children. You will be able to better help your children understand how to work through their emotions and develop healthy mental habits. This sets your children up to be successful adults.
Overall, therapy is bound to make you a happier person in general. You will begin to recognize that you are not alone in your problems and that you are a good person. You will be able to change your bad habits because you will now understand why you developed them in the first place. Your relationships with friends and family will be better.
Don't let the stigma that therapy is only for people who are mentally ill hold you back - it is completely false. There is nothing wrong with going to therapy, in fact it is completely OK.