What is therapy?
Therapy is your time to concentrate on you, who you want to be, and what you want for your life.
Mental health therapy, also referred to as counseling or psychotherapy, is a collaborative process between you and a mental health professional where you learn how to live your best life.
Therapists offer structured time to focus on you. They provide an objective, unbiased look into your life and goals, and provide new insights to help you grow. Mental health therapists are specifically trained to assess and address mental health problems and concerns, from stress to addictions to struggles with your body or self-image.
You don’t have to have a severe mental illness or have experienced a significant loss in your life to benefit from mental health therapy. You can use therapy as a way to learn more about yourself and grow as a person. For example, if you know you have anger issues and have been wanting to learn how to be calmer and less reactive, a mental health therapist can help you learn strategies and techniques on how to be less angry.
When therapy is shown on TV or in the movies, it often involves lying on a couch and talking while someone sits nearby taking notes. Sometimes it involves someone crying while having an emotional breakthrough or talking to a professional about their feelings or childhood. And sometimes that’s what therapy involves, but not always.
Therapy can also help you to do the following:
- Clarify your values and what is important to you.
- Practice communication skills.
- Learn tools to help you manage stress.
- Make plans and be accountable for them.
- Use art or music to find new ways to understand yourself and your feelings.
- Break bad habits.
- Retrain the way your body responds to stress or trauma.
You can also use therapy as a way to foster connection with people. Some people go to therapy with their spouse or family members to learn how to better communicate with and support each other. Others go to therapy sessions to gain the confidence they need to be themselves and meet new people.