I want to answer the question “who does not need therapy?” as I believe it to be the more important question. There is a stereotype that only those that suffer from diagnosed mental illnesses need therapy – that statistic suggests that one in every four individuals need to seek the help of a mental health practitioner. Let’s look at a few more statistics - half of all mental health difficulties start by fourteen years of age but most cases remain undetected and untreated, one person dies to suicide every forty seconds globally and there are indications that for every one person that died, twenty more individuals that attempted and failed and at some point in every single individual’s life they will experience a mental health crisis (Statistics from World Health Organization 2019)
What about the rest of the population? Are we not effected by the stress and anxieties of our everyday lives? Do we get up and go to bed every day relatively unscathed? The truth is our mental health is poorer than ever we are bombarded with information globally that we barely have time to process, we have become more socially isolated with the rise in social media applications that have been proven to only make us feel lonelier and in a world of being “socially woke” young adults can feel helpless as to the political and social injustices going on around them.
Ask the average person what is bothering them? In fact, just tap the shoulder of the person next to you. Too shy? Don’t worry the response I will assure you is health worries, relationship worries, employment worries and feeling that they are crushed under the weight of trying to balance everything. These are the same issues that affect all of us and none of us are immune.
Life is not perfect – it comes with great moments and challenges but what makes us think we need to sail through them with no professional support? Aside from that – why should we have to?
So, why a therapist? A therapist is a trained, qualified, caring, non-judgmental licensed professional who is there to make you feel better. Your well-being is the most important component of the session. They listen, they discover if any issues from the past are affecting you currently, they make helpful suggestions and they help you restructure negative cognitive beliefs that you may have been holding onto.
Everything you say is completely confidential. Is work bothering you? Do you have a similar pattern in all your relationships? Do you have low self-confidence? Is there a family feud that is causing you anxiety? Are you struggling to meet friends and don’t know where to start? These are all issues a therapist can help you with.
So, who does not need therapy? The truth is everybody can benefit from therapy whether it is ongoing therapy or attending just for a mental health check-up. Our mental health affects every part of our daily lives and if we can get help – why wouldn’t we avail of it? You deserve it.
By Dr. Mariam Alammadi