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6 Situations Where Therapy Can Be Helpful

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Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD - Blogs
By Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhDPsychologistJune 19, 2019
From the WebMD Archives

Have you ever wondered whether psychotherapy might help you? Though most people are aware of what therapy is in a general sense, many people aren’t sure what kind of problems therapy addresses and how it might be able to help them.

Some of the most common reasons that people seek therapy include:

Being generally unhappy, anxious, or overwhelmed. These are a few of the most common reasons that people seek out therapy.

Having a specific problem impeding your life, such as a phobia or insomnia. In this situation, it is important to find at therapist with training and experience with treating the identified issue.

Undermining yourself with unhealthy coping. Some examples of this are being angry at work, emotionally overeating, and abusing substances. While these would fit in the above “specific problems” group, they are behaviors that are also the result of ineffective and unhealthy ways to cope with distress.

Needing support through difficult circumstance. Some situations are simply overwhelming. For instance, you might be diagnosed with cancer or be grieving the loss of a child. It can be helpful to have the support of a therapist, who can also encourage you to cope in other healthy ways.

Struggling with relationship issues. Therapy can address these problems in many ways. You might seek couples therapy to help you and your partner work out your differences. Or, you might go the route of individual therapy. For instance, I have worked individually with many people who bring trust issues into their relationships. Individual therapy can also help you gain clarity on – and change – unhealthy patterns.

Working on self-improvement or self-exploration. Therapy can be a great way to get professional support and another perspective as you make personal changes, such as with dating, advancing yourself at work, or parenting. It can also offer education in these various areas.

Different therapists have different skill sets and use different interventions – even when addressing the same problems. But they might also choose a particular approach based on your problem. Importantly, therapy is more than just giving advice to manage a particular problem. It is about helping people heal, gain skills in coping better, develop a stronger sense of self, and nurture a strong sense of well-being. Many people need ongoing support, especially when they wrestle with powerful struggles, such as serious mental illness or a history of traumatizing relationships. Whatever problem brings you to therapy, you can make the most of your sessions by being clear about your goals – or working with your therapist to better understand what you want to get from treatment. From there, you and your therapist can work together to better yourself and your life.

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About the Author
Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD

Dr. Becker-Phelps is a licensed psychologist in NJ and NY, and is on staff at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Somerset. She is dedicated to helping people understand themselves and what they need to do to become emotionally and psychologically healthy. She accomplishes this through her work as a psychotherapist, speaker and writer. She is the author of Bouncing Back from Rejection and Insecure in Love.

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