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9 Positive Reasons Counseling Can Be Great For You

Some think counseling is when you are in trauma.

Ryan Howes PhD, ABPP, with a hat tip to Dr. Shaun Wehle offers a refreshingly different view.

1. You want to love and accept yourself 

Many people have difficulty with this, and they’re not necessarily depressed or afflicted with another mental disorder. Therapy can help you explore roadblocks to self-esteem and teach you practical ways to make your happiness a priority.

2. You want to make a good marriage great

Many relationships are functional, but are no longer fun. Couples counseling can help improve communication and strategize ways to return passion and excitement to a marriage.

3. You want to be a fantastic parent

Many of us, despite our own objections, revert to parenting patterns we observed in our own childhood. Therapy can help you get out of this rut and become the parent you want to be (and your children need).

4. You want to thrive in your career

You say you’re unhappy where you are, why aren’t you striving for something different? Is fear, hard work, or interpersonal conflict holding you back? Therapy can be the catalyst for healthy change in your career.

5. You want to understand your purpose in life

Many therapists love to dive in and help you find out who you are on a deep level, helping you uncover the passions buried under the busyness of life. A desire for this time to self-reflect may mean that…

6. You want one hour each week to focus completely on yourself 

Therapy is a course where you are the subject matter. You can explore yourself, go deeper into your current thoughts and feelings, or just sit and “be” for a while. This vital practice has become a forgotten art in our world today.

7. You want to reach a fitness goal

Therapists aren’t often personal trainers, but it’s commonly understood that physical fitness is as mental as it is physical. Therapy can help you overcome the roadblocks that prevent you from reaching your goals.

8. You want to let go and forgive

Holding a grudge isn’t a diagnosable condition, but it does have serious physical, emotional, and relational consequences. Through therapy you can learn to resolve these issues for yourself and move on.

9. You want a place to practice assertiveness, expressing emotion, or anything else – Therapy is a laboratory for you to explore, experiment, and practice behaviors that are scary in the rest of life. Shy people can practice confrontation. Detached people can experiment with expressing emotion. When you’ve tried this out a few times in session, you may be ready to take it out into the world. (more tips for clients in therapy here)

I’m probably forgetting a few dozen other helpful reasons, but I hope you get the point: therapy is helpful for treating serious problems, but it offers much more. If we can move past the medical model myopia that contributes to therapy stigma, perhaps many more people will come to understand therapy’s benefits first hand.


***Hat tip to Dr. Shaun Wehle, Indiana’s finest psychologist/personal trainer for the inspiration for this piece.


Ryan Howes, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, writer, musician and professor at Fuller Graduate School of Psychology in Pasadena, California. Original article here.


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