Unless you are living under a rock, chances are you have endured a situation that has been painful, stressful, or both. Perhaps you talked with your friends about it, or even sought advice online. However, if you haven't been able to find a satisfactory resolution, what are your next options?
One alternative is to seek advice from a professional therapist. Yet, many are reluctant to do this because they feel that it is a sign of some sort of character defect. It is important to keep in mind that seeking help is not a sign of weakness.
As a licensed master’s level social worker, I once conducted individual therapy with adults, and also facilitated group therapy. People sought therapy for a number of reasons — everything from substance abuse, to interpersonal conflicts with a family member, to depression, to work-related stressors.
Nearly every person who walked into my office wanted to be reassured that seeking out therapy was a good choice. I would gently reassure them that obtaining professional help for personal stressors, whatever they might be, is a smart decision. And it would be their decision to return for another appointment or even choose another therapist.
Seeking therapy can be beneficial in that it provides an outside professional prospective into a situation that we may be too close to. We just can't see all the angles.
After all, everyone has blind spots, and when something or someone is near and dear to us, and is part of our stress, it can be somewhat challenging to clearly see the entire situation.
Licensed therapists can provide you a safe non-judgmental space to share your thoughts and feelings, and offer valuable insights. Sometimes, people enter into therapy with very dark secrets that they are afraid to tell others because they are so painful and the shame is great.
All experiences sculpt us to some extent, and keeping something buried can manifest into other problems with interpersonal relationships, and can impact physical health as well.
Your decision to seek out professional help is a sign that you want things to change. This is the one of the first steps to getting control over your stress.