How to Start Talking to a Therapist (and Why You Should)

Millions of people in the country would benefit from talking to a therapist on a regular basis, but many people are reluctant to take the first step necessary to begin that process. That may be because they don’t know how to find a therapist, or because they fundamentally misunderstand what therapists do, or because they’re convinced they don’t really need one.

However, as we’re about to demonstrate, all of these potential objections are somewhat inaccurate. It’s relatively easy to find a therapist and the benefits are potentially enormous – for everyone, including you.

How to Find a Therapist

Let’s start by explaining how to find a talk therapist. Chances are, if you have health insurance, some degree of mental health coverage is already available to you. Even if you don’t have coverage for talk therapy sessions, it’s a good idea to talk to potential providers to see if there are discounts or special rates available to you.

It’s important to find a therapist that fits your needs and personality, but with so many options available, it shouldn’t be hard. For example, if you live here in Orlando, there are hundreds of local Orlando and online therapists to choose from. You may also be able to conduct a search for a therapist through your insurance provider directly.

Also, if you don’t get along with your first therapist, or if you feel like they aren’t adequately suited to help you, you can always switch to a different therapist.

The Benefits of Talking to a Therapist

These are some of the most important benefits of talking to a therapist on a regular basis:

·       Diagnostics and clarity. First, your therapist can provide you with potential diagnostics and clarity. They may be able to help you understand that you’re suffering from a specific type of mental health issue, or help you understand that the issues you’re facing are totally normal, and things that many people deal with. Either way, you’ll gain a better understanding of what you’re experiencing.

·       Help with your specific issues. If you do have specific mental health issues, like depression or anxiety, your talk therapist will be able to help you with those. Talk therapy is highly effective at treating a wide variety of mental health conditions.

·       Unbiased, neutral support. Even if you don’t have any specific issues you want or need to address, talking to a therapist can still be beneficial. Therapists serve a role as unbiased, neutral support. Sometimes, all we really need is someone to talk to about our problems.

·       Outside perspective. It’s easy to get trapped inside your own head, so therapists serve a valuable position as sources of outside perspective. They can help you identify areas where you’re not seeing the world clearly or your thinking has been corrupted.

·       Deeper knowledge of emotions and thought processes. With the help of a therapist, you’ll gain a deeper knowledge of your emotions and thought processes, which you can use to better handle your emotional fluctuations and think clearer.

·       Time for introspection. Talk therapy is a time for introspection. You can review how you’ve felt and how you’ve acted over the course of the past week or longer and arrive at new conclusions.

·       Opportunities to learn coping strategies. Therapists are also great sources of coping strategies, which you can use to deal with stress and intense emotions as they arise.

·       Venting and processing. You can even use your talk therapy sessions as an opportunity to vent and process the things you’re going through. If you don’t have many people in your life whom you can openly talk to, this is a godsend.

As an end result, you’ll see:

·       Less stress. Most people who attend regular therapy sessions report lower levels of stress than people who don’t. It’s easy to understand why.

·       Fewer mental health symptoms. Whether you’re suffering from depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or something even more complicated, you’ll likely see fewer mental health symptoms due to going to therapy.

·       Better relationships. Most people who go to therapy see improvements in all their relationships. This includes relationships with family members, friends, and even colleagues.

·       Higher wellbeing. Talk therapy also gives you a greater sense of overall wellbeing, partially as a byproduct of these other positive effects. Wouldn’t it be nice to feel better?

Maybe you’re dealing with a lot of past trauma and current stress. Maybe you feel like your life is pretty good. Maybe you’re somewhere in between. Regardless of where you are on this spectrum, talk therapy has the potential to transform your life for the better. And because it’s easier than ever to find a therapist, there are no more valid excuses to keep putting it off.

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