By Dr. Courtney Klein
Take Time Just For You
In such a fast paced world, most of us rarely take the time to deeply reflect on our life decisions, personal goals, and emotional well-being. Even if we do spend at least some time in such reflection, we may not always feel inclined to share our thoughts and feelings with others around us. We might fear we will be a burden to others, that we may laughed at or invalidated, or that we simply don’t know how to express what we are dealing with. Coming to therapy may provide a solution to such dilemmas, and it turns out that most of us could benefit from such an experience.
Studies show that about 85% of the American population would benefit from talk therapy of some sort.
This leads us to question whether therapy is truly only reserved for “severe” problems like major mental illness (e.g. Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar, etc.) or life crises (e.g. divorce, death, etc.). I think it is safe to say that 85% of Americans are not necessarily dealing with these types of problems, but the evidence suggests they would likely still benefit from the therapy experience.
Engage Your Personal Growth Through Relationship
You can give yourself an incredible gift by having an hour each week to talk about what’s going on in your world. Therapy provides this venue, and is essentially an hour where you can openly share your genuine thoughts and emotions with a neutral, objective person. This objective person likely won’t be someone you see in any part of your daily life, and not only will they listen with authentic and undivided attention, they will strive to offer any support and guidance you may need. Most of us could use this kind of time to sit with and reflect on decisions we need to make, tackle challenges with relationships, finances, or other stressors, and even ways to optimize our lifestyle to allow us to live life to the fullest. Engaging this process with a dedicated confidant makes the entire experience more impactful.
Consider Therapy As A Form Of Personal Training
I like to think of therapy as being similar to personal training, with your therapist acting in the role of “trainer.” You could train independently for many hours and fail to achieve the results you desire, perhaps because you are not training efficiently or effectively. However, adding a “trainer” can not only make the experience richer, you can also receive new feedback and ideas to integrate into your training program. Therapy can resemble regular physical workouts in that investing the time and energy on a consistent basis can help you strengthen the areas of your life needing work, overcome barriers preventing your progress, gain momentum or inspiration, and solidify the gains you do earn.
Just as a personal trainer can maximize opportunities for physical health, meeting with a therapist for one dedicated hour per week can help you become a better employee, partner, parent, friend, athlete, or simply a more balanced and confident person.
You don’t have to be in crisis to consider therapy. Nor do you need to be suffering to gain benefits. You can deeply enhance the quality of your life by simply deciding to set time aside just for you to focus on you.