It is a common misconception that only those with severe mental health challenges need therapy. In actuality, it is quite the opposite; anyone can find value in one-on-one sessions with a therapist. Here are four reasons why individual therapy can benefit everyone, regardless of mental health history:
1. Learn to maneuver through difficult life transitions and cope with stress more effectively
On any given day, we can go through drastic changes to daily routines as well as potential life transitions, which can provoke uncertainty, fear, grief, and a sense of disconnect. Therapy provides us with an opportunity to pause our racing minds, a much-needed safe place to process our emotions, and a better sense of direction moving forward; it offers guidance for healthy coping mechanisms, self-regulation, and emotional awareness as change puts us on edge.
2. Formulate goals that influence healthier actions and interactions
Individual therapy brings a greater sense of accountability to the healing process since the sessions are focused around individual objectives and progress. Individual therapy creates space for reflection and insight to help us live a more intentional life, in which our behavior and choices are in line with our values and beliefs. Individual therapy is an opportunity to tailor your therapeutic goals to your own individual experience and needs.
3. Learn self-acceptance and improve confidence
Every person has their own insecurities, and these may be amplified for people with mental health and addictions issues such as anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or substance abuse issues. Such individuals are more susceptible to experiencing stigma and negative self-talk—each of which can be addressed with a mental health professional who can help a person embrace their strengths and work on areas that leave room for improvement. Therapy can help us to become better versions of ourselves, benefiting our self-esteem and interpersonal relationships.
4. Explore dysfunctional family dynamics and learn positive communication skills and the importance of setting healthy boundaries
For so many people, healthy interpersonal relationships with secure attachments are not modeled for us during childhood or adolescence. Attachments to substances and other unhealthy coping mechanisms can become reinforced through these maladaptive relationship templates. Individual therapy allows us to explore more deeply the wounds we carry from childhood, which often greatly impact our identity formation. Throughout life, our roles and relationships change—both our relationship with ourselves and our loved ones. Even strong healthy relationships require a lot of work, and continuous growth and self-evaluation are crucial. The self-awareness cultivated through individual therapy can support the maintenance of healthy interpersonal relationships. Building a healthy relationship with a therapist can be incredibly healing, creating the emotional safety to explore one’s vulnerabilities and serving as a template for secure attachment and emotional support.
To some people, the thought of going to therapy can seem intimidating because it requires us to share things that are personal, that make us feel vulnerable, and that we might never have shared with anyone before. A therapist can provide a safe, non-judgmental space to process uncomfortable feelings and emotions, which can lead to rewarding personal growth. Individual therapy can be beneficial and life-changing to anyone who is willing to be vulnerable, open, and committed to the process.