As therapy has gained greater societal acceptance and normalization over the years, it’s become a common part of many people’s daily lives. It warms my heart to see people speak so openly about their therapeutic journey! It’s especially exciting to see more people seeking couples’ therapy and working out more issues alongside their significant others. With all this growth around us, the question arises: does everyone need therapy?
Profession bias aside, I believe therapy benefits us all — but if I’m being honest, not everyone needs therapy. Not all of us are the walking wounded. One common misconception is that only people with “problems” or “issues,” or who are “crazy,” need therapy. The knee-jerk response to this is usually “There’s nothing wrong with me. I’m not crazy." Both of those things might be true, yet you still might want to address areas in which you feel mentally stuck or uninspired. One does not necessarily need to have a problem or be in crisis to seek a therapist, even though that’s often the catalyst to begin treatment.
Therapy can be a place to discuss patterns causing friction in your daily life, which could include romantic, professional, or familial stress. In other cases, it can be a place to discuss patterns observed with your own behavior. For example, if one notices that they are often reactive, or that they lack emotion, it might be beneficial to explore that with a therapist.
Are you ready?
The next thing to consider is your own readiness. How deeply and how much are you willing to engage? Therapy is both a relationship and a transformation in which one can share as much as one desires. It is a place to explore the past, address the present, and plan for what comes next. Even if the concerns that you have seem isolated and temporary, healing takes time and dedication. Be honest with yourself and ask, “Do I have time to dedicate to this process?”
What do you want to know?
Therapists are not psychics, nor are we magicians. When a new client comes in for an intake, therapists do not automatically know what they want and may not immediately have the answers they seek. We are highly trained, but not oracles. For clients who are willing to open up and get real, the process can be highly rewarding (and quick)! Others may need more time to adjust to the journey. But both types are participating as bravely and authentically as they can. As therapists, it is not our job to set your pace; rather, our task is to join a client’s journey and aid them when and where we are able.
With all this said, we can go back to the original question: does everyone need therapy? In short, it depends. If you’re reading this because you’re interested in beginning your own journey, we’ll be here whenever you’re ready.