People sometimes mistakenly think that therapy is only for the mentally unwell. In reality, therapy can be beneficial for anyone, regardless of any mental health conditions or past traumas. But why is this the case? What are the practical, measurable benefits that even a healthy person can get from therapy?
Why You Should Go to Therapy Even If You’re Healthy
These are just a few of the reasons why healthy, normal people can benefit from going to therapy:
1. It’s affordable. For starters, therapy is affordable – and probably more affordable than you realize. If you have health insurance, you almost certainly have at least some mental health coverage. In many cases, you’ll only be responsible for a small copay for each therapy session as long as you’re working with a therapist in network (for example, if you have Cigna, you’ll need to search for Cigna therapists). Even if you don’t have health insurance, there may be options available for you to find affordable therapy. For example, you can work with a therapist who has a sliding scale fee, meaning you’ll pay an amount per session based on your current income level. You may also be able to find free or inexpensive therapists volunteering their time to help people like you.
2. Therapists are fantastic listeners. Next, understand that therapists are fantastic listeners; most of their job is just letting you talk, while they occasionally prompt you with thoughtful questions. All of us, on some level, crave having a good listener to patiently pay attention to us when we express ourselves. If you’re surrounded by friends or family members who have difficulty listening, or if you feel like you can’t express your true feelings to them, this is especially valuable. Think of it like having a conversation with a good friend for an hour every week – it’s massively beneficial for your mental health. The only difference is that this isn’t really your friend; your therapist must remain neutral throughout your interactions.
3. You may discover issues you didn’t even know existed. You’re perfectly healthy, right? Don’t be so sure. Almost all of us have at least some mental health issues to deal with, even if we don’t realize it. After a few therapy sessions, you may discover that you have control issues, or that you have destructive behavioral patterns that have ruined some of your relationships in the past. You may uncover that you’re dealing with stress in a very unhealthy way, or learn that there’s a word for people who think and feel like you do. For some people, the idea of discovering a hidden issue is terrifying, but discovering it is the first step in getting better.
4. You’ll hear an unbiased, third-party take. Your therapist isn’t necessarily going to be on your side. They’re not going to be on anyone else’s side. Their job is to be a completely unbiased third party. If you’ve gotten in a fight with a spouse and you’re wondering if you’re the one to blame, or you just can’t make sense of why your friend moved away without telling you, your therapist might be able to help you sort some of those ideas out. If you’re undergoing a massive life change, like moving to a new city or starting a new job, your therapist can gently guide you to a healthy perspective.
5. You’ll have reduced stress. Some people go to therapy specifically to deal with stress, but even if stress isn’t a massive problem for you, going to therapy can reduce your stress. Once you establish a solid relationship with your therapist, going to a therapy session can seem like a break from ordinary life. You’ll get a chance to vent some of your frustrations, explore issues that have been bothering you, and spend some time away from the other things in your life that stress you out. Everyone deserves this occasional opportunity to step away and destress. Even better, your therapy sessions can teach you ways to reduce stress throughout your life.
6. You’ll get a chance to improve your behavioral patterns. All of us have at least some behavioral tendencies that are either problematic or inconvenient. Do you have a tendency to crave junk food whenever you feel rejected? Do you tend to snap at people when you’re in a bad mood? Do you yell at video games when you’re losing? Whatever negative traits or tendencies you’re dealing with, therapy will give you a chance to address them. Therapy rarely makes people perfect, but it almost always comes with at least some behavioral improvements.
7. You can learn healthy coping strategies. All of us experience stressful or challenging moments in our lives, and we need coping strategies to deal with them. Unfortunately, many of us turn to unhealthy coping strategies like binging junk food or drinking alcohol, which can make matters worse. In your therapy sessions, you’ll learn much healthier coping strategies that can help you through these difficult times.
Therapy Is for Everyone
If you’re feeling mentally unwell, or if you’re struggling with a chronic mental health disorder, therapy is a no brainer. But the truth is, therapy is for everyone. If you’re a human being, complete with apprehensions and flaws, a weekly therapy session can do wonders for you.