Do I Need Therapy?

Most people will ask themselves this question numerous times before picking up the phone to call me.  I personally feel that almost everyone could benefit from an experience in therapy, however, it is a large investment of time, money and energy and those are realities that need to be considered.  Here are a few observations I have made over the course of working with people that might be helpful in making this determination.  Things to consider:

You have tried to solve the problem on your own and have noticed that the issue (symptoms, behaviors, problems) keeps returning despite your efforts:

Usually people enter therapy only after they have tried to make improvements on their own.  I can’t think of a client who has not tried extremely hard prior to calling me.

Others close to you have suggested to you to seek help:,

Research has shown quite convincingly that others can, in many situations, be better judges of our behavior than we are.  This can be a difficult thing to accept:  it is human nature to want to believe that we are aware of all of our struggles, however, the reality is that even the most self aware people have their blind spots.  If your friends and family are concerned enough to share their observations such as depression, anxiety, worry, relationship problems, etc, take them seriously, they may be noticing something important.

You have questions and concerns that your friends and family can’t answer to your satisfaction:

Most people turn to friends and family first for help.  In many cases this is very helpful, but in others cases, people experience their friends’ and families’ advice and perspectives as  well intentioned but not overly helpful.  Sometimes friends and family are just “too close” to you to offer the unbiased perspective that you need.   I often joke with my own friends and family that I am much more helpful to my clients than I am with them.

You have a gut feeling something is “off” but aren’t sure what it is:

Listen to this!  Although others can be better than we are at noticing and predicting our behaviors, we are the experts on what we are feeling.  Gut feelings are huge indicators and in my opinion should be taken seriously.  Therapy is a place where you can explore where this feeling is coming from and then make a determination whether or not it warrants further attention.

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