Benefits of Therapy


When I think about the last several years, undoubtedly, I think about the significant stress our society has experienced. We are all very aware of the negative impacts stemming from the global pandemic. However, the increase in awareness of mental health needs and support available were instrumental in breaking barriers. Though our experiences were unique, we were collectively impacted by the pandemic. This shared experience, it seemed, allowed us to all acknowledge the increase in stress and begin talking more freely about the need for mental health support, and even the permission to explore it. We saw many first-time therapy clients emerge. The normalization of telehealth, improved access to those living in rural areas or facing other obstacles to seeking services.

As a therapist, I am aware of the benefits of mental health therapy. I see first-hand the improvements that can happen in someone’s life when he or she has an outside, neutral person to provide emotional support. Before college though, I did not have the awareness or first-hand experience to attest to the benefits. As a child, my understanding of therapy was largely attributed to the stereotypical depictions from the media. Having my own experience with therapy (yes, therapists see therapists, too) has also helped me experience the benefits of therapy from the other side of the couch.

A Therapist is Not Your Friend

This may seem like an odd concept if you’ve never been to therapy before. How can it be comfortable to talk so intimately with someone who is a stranger? Just because therapists are not your friends does not mean they aren’t friendly or you don’t have rapport with them. The important difference is a therapist’s primary role which is to provide emotional support to YOU.

The therapeutic relationship is a bit one sided. It is a different dynamic from a friendship – you do not have to feel guilty for focusing only on what you need from them during your session. It is the main focus of the hour! This dynamic would not work well in a friendship relationship, and that’s exactly what makes it work in a therapeutic relationship. Your therapist is a neutral and objective person, whereas a friend has emotional ties to you and likely has an opinion about how you should respond. A therapist can help clear away distractions and help you discover your own voice.

Intentional Time for Reflection  

The therapy hour allows for a focused time to reflect. We are all very busy with our lives, we move from task to task, distractions and to-do lists abound. It can be hard to find time to do less and observe more. Many times, I have had a client sit in front of me and say, “Wow, I didn’t realize I felt that way until I said it out loud.” When talking to a therapist, it is necessary to explain experiences and relationships in greater detail because they do not know you outside of their office. Talking to a neutral person forces us to take a step back and reflect on our interpretation of an event, person, life change, etc. It allows us to be more curious about ourselves, improving our understanding of our thoughts and emotions.

Assistance With Expanding Your Perspective

When we are experiencing a stressful situation, it can be very hard for us to take a different perspective than the one we have initially. Our intense emotions can act as blockers to our logical thinking. A therapist outside of your situation, can see the issue from a “bird’s eye view.” The therapist can take different vantage points and consider other factors in your life that might be affecting your current perspective. This can be very helpful in reducing the intensity of your emotions and assisting you with understanding your response to the situation. A therapist can help provide clarity to what can feel like mental chaos.

This is not an exhaustive list by any means as to the benefits of seeing a therapist. However, I hope this is helpful when considering if now is the time to begin your therapy journey. I’d encourage you to explore your options – the benefits outweigh the risks.




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