When to go to Therapy
It is difficult to know when to go to therapy. You may think that the past is the past and it’s best left there. Or maybe your past is too painful to revisit and you would find this difficult. You also feel bad about talking about your parents, that you are being disloyal.
Despite the reason why you are resistant, the signs you need therapy could be listed in this article. I have listed 14 situations in your life right now that would be worth exploring why they are affecting you in therapy.
Getting to the root, with a Trauma-Informed Therapist such as myself, would help understand your whole life conditions that led to where you are now, the role you also played and the choices you made, and support to change and move forward in your life.
All without blame, judgment, or criticism. Just honest reflection, support, and encouragement.
1. You have a hidden addiction
Whether it’s an addiction to pornography, food, work, gaming etc very often, we blame ourselves with so much disdain and self-loathing because of some of our habits or behaviours or because we are not where we want to be in our lives.
If we understand fully where we have come from, we will understand how we have got here.
We will then be able to let go of some of that blame and replace it with more compassion and higher self-esteem.
2. You hate yourself deep down even though you are successful in many ways
You may have the job, the car, the beautiful home, the beautiful life, etc that you have worked hard for but you never feel that you have done enough. You never feel that you are enough.
You may put a smile on your face to others but you just don’t like yourself and it shows because your life is about everyone else.
3. You believe you are Surviving not thriving
You may not know what you enjoy, what you like even what you don’t like. Life for you is about work where you work harder than you should. It is also about taking care of those people around where you come last.
You give the bare minimum to yourself because you don’t know any better. Self-care is a phrase that is not in your dictionary.
4. You struggle to voice your opinions and share your values even to safe people
Sometimes, due to one thing or another, we were not listened to as a child. This may have caused a lot of things to build up inside of us like an overinflated balloon, ready to pop.
This can often show itself in the form off having a quick temper, being very impatient, having dark mood swings for no clear reason, having a low tolerance to stress, etc.
Or just feeling that no one gives a damn so there’s no point in talking. So, you share nothing with anyone you keep everything to yourself and you are totally overwhelmed.
You can share this with me.
5. On the surface you had a great childhood and can't understand why you have issues
If you did not experience overt sexual abuse or physical abuse. If on the surface your parents seemed kind and loving it may be difficult to understand how your past could have affected you.
By exploring this with me you will find answers. Given time to explore, we will work this out giving you a clear understanding of why you have your issues.
This is not looking for trauma but is helping you to understand so you are not repeating the same mistakes of the past.
6. You care for your parents but don’t like them
You look after your parents like a dutiful daughter or son as for you this is the right thing to do. However, you are suppressing secrets of how they treated you as a child, young person even now.
They are not good people and you keep most of those feelings to yourself.
7. You may have problems with relationships or finding someone that is right for you
The Attachment Theory was developed by someone called John Bowlby. He believed that babies and young children need to have their needs responded to consistently, sensitively, and appropriately. if we don’t have our needs met by our parents, this will affect how we relate to other people.
It will be worth looking at your very early years. You can’t change your past this will help you to have a new understanding of yourself and to eventually find the person that is right for you or be happy in the relationship you are in right now
8. You don't love yourself and you don't understand why
By learning about the good things about yourself, understanding how you have survived a lot of a lot and that you as a child at a lot to cope with, you will then learn to love yourself more. you have a newfound appreciation of yourself that you are a survivor
9. You have had help before but it has not worked
You have attended all the anger management courses, relapse prevention for your addiction, AA, and anxiety management but they have not helped or it may have helped that problem but now you are getting another problem.
This could be several reasons. For example, I find that when people come for help with addiction, it is not about the addiction, but it could be anxiety that is causing the addiction. If you don’t address your anxiety, your addiction would never be under control.
It is a bit like trying to sort out dampness in your house. You could fix the symptoms of dampness but before long the symptoms will come back. If you got to where the root of where the problem starts, that will resolve it and prevent it from happening again.
10. You want to forgive your past but can't
In most circumstances, you can’t forgive because there is a lot of stuff that’s not recognise and understood so it can’t be healed.
Maybe you have a lot of hidden pain there that needs venting first, to truly accept and understand how things have affected you.
The natural outcome there could be forgiveness. This is a process not an event that needs to be done at your pace.
11. Time has not healed your wounds
You try to carry on, but it is becoming harder and harder. you know you still carry wounds from your childhood trauma. You carry on as best as you can, but life experiences are just adding to that.
When you heal some of your childhood trauma, this will help you to cope better with your current problems and life challenges.
12. You 100% Don’t want your children to have the childhood you had
You’ve just had such difficult experiences as a child and you are now adamant that you would 100% not want your childhood to have the experiences you had.
- If you felt unloved, you would completely ensure that they are loved
- If you felt unsupported you would be your child’s main hero
- If you felt really restricted as a child, you would give your child as much freedom as they want.
But is this really what you and your child needs?
13. You are deep down afraid of getting close to someone
I mentioned attachment theory above but you may not have a problem meeting someone but you have a list of requirements that no one can ever meet. You have no tolerance for mistakes or problems. Maybe you find yourself sabotaging good relationships.
14. You don’t want children because of your childhood experiences
This one is really heartbreaking as you can truly become the mother or father you wish to be. You may need help, but this is where therapy comes in.
What to do next
Feel free to share with someone else that you believe needs therapy. You never know that this may help them to make their minds up!
I also have some useful handouts taken from the Reach Approach who I work closely with. These sheets hopefully would provide more clarity why therapy would benefit you in many ways: