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  • Mary Katherine L

FAQ: Do I Need Therapy?

Several years ago, I tripped and my ankle quickly began swelling. Even when it grew to the size of a softball, I still wasn't sure if I should go get it checked out. The x-rays revealed that I had fractured my ankle and torn a ligament. About a year and a half later, my throat had been hurting for over two weeks before it occurred to me that I might need to go see a doctor. After some testing, I learned I had infectious mononucleosis ("mono"). A year after that, I was thinking I might have strep throat, but it wasn't until I began developing a rash on my face -- the beginnings of scarlet fever -- that I finally caved and went to urgent care. I did, in fact, have strep throat.

Each time, I struggled to discern when to 'tough it out' and when to seek help from a doctor.

Similarly, it can be difficult to know when to reach out to a therapist. Here are some questions you might have about this decision:

Who is therapy for?

Therapy is for everyone.

(I'm imagining that Oprah meme right now: "You get therapy! You get therapy! And you get therapy! Everyone gets therapy!")

But, seriously -- therapy is for everyone.

Do I need therapy?

No one can answer this question for you. Only you know if therapy is right for you right now.

That said, it is my opinion that if you're asking this question, the answer is probably yes! With a caveat: You don't have to need therapy to go to therapy.

Therapy is a space for whatever you need it to be. In other words, the question isn't "Do I need therapy?" so much as it is "What do I need from therapy?"

You might need to process some trauma, learn some coping skills, or get help with a relationship. You also might just need to have a space where you can talk and know you'll be heard.

Do I have the time and energy for therapy?

Therapy does require a time commitment, but your therapist will probably be willing to help you determine what frequency of sessions will be best for you: weekly, every other week, monthly, every 6 months...

Therapy does also require energy. Therapy requires work. In some way or another, therapy aims to create change, and change only happens when there's effort.

How do I choose the right therapist?

I have written a post about this before. Check it out here:


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