Five reasons to see a psychologist

 

Reason 1: Support from friends and family is not always enough

Friends and family can be great sources of support and they often play an important role in helping someone recover from a mental health issue. Oftentimes, the support required to treat a mental health condition exceeds the capacity of friends and family members alone, See a psychologist and instead, necessitates professional intervention.

Well-intentioned friends and family members can often be quick to give advice and enter into ‘fix-it mode’, which may or may not be helpful or complementary to one’s needs. People close to us can often lack objectivity, knowledge, and understanding, which can lead to invalidating responses and biased perspectives. In other cases, the presenting problem for which you need help may actually involve a friend or family member, making them an inappropriate source of support.

Psychologists are objective, non-judgemental and specially trained in mental health, which allows them to overcome the above downfalls whilst working with the person to address their difficulties.

 

Reason 2: Improving your mental health is worth the investment

Just as we need to take care of our physical health, it’s equally important to take care of our mental health. Prioritising mental health is part of practising healthy self-care and should be on everyone’s ‘to-do list’. Mental health affects all aspects of wellbeing, including one’s physical health, risk of illness and disease, ability to cope with stress and ability to participate and function effectively in life.

Just as a toothache or muscle strain might lead you to visit a dentist or a physiotherapist, mental and emotional distress and/or problems functioning in relationships, at work, or at school should prompt you to consider seeking help from a psychologist. Making your mental health a priority is likely to enhance your overall wellbeing and ability to live a rich and meaningful life.

 

Reason 3: Exposure to alternative perspectives is often empowering

When difficult situations, emotions or problems arise in life, it can be hard to maintain a balanced outlook and consider alternative solutions. Working with a psychologist can help to widen your perspective, increase knowledge and understanding, and provide distance between you and your problem. In turn, you will be better able to approach, and eventually overcome, the source of your difficulties.

Exposure to other perspectives allows people to reflect on their own attitudes and behaviours and whether they are helpful or harmful. Discussing your problems with a psychologist will likely give you access to new information, and therefore, greater choice in terms of how you understand and relate to yourself and your situation. With greater choice, a sense of empowerment often follows.

 

Reason 4: Reflection and finding meaning can bring inner peace

We all need a safe place where we can reflect on what is happening for us, without criticism, judgement or concerns about our privacy. Life today doesn’t always afford us this opportunity and it can be hard to find time to think amidst the tasks required of our day-to-day. Further, not all people we talk to will be supportive or validating of our experience.

Working with a psychologist gives you the opportunity to direct your attention inwards in a safe environment with the support of a caring and knowledgeable professional. Through the process of therapy, many people achieve a greater sense of self-awareness, greater insight into their strengths and difficulties and a sense of clarity in knowing their values and goals.

Reflecting with and receiving validation from a psychologist can help people to resolve inner conflict, attribute meaning to painful life experiences and feel a sense of inner peace.

 

Reason 5: Learning new coping skills is important for growth

Working with a psychologist can help you learn and master new coping strategies to better manage current and future problems. Coping strategies are the intentional efforts you make to solve personal and interpersonal problems, in an attempt to manage and minimise stress, emotional discomfort, and conflict.

Some coping strategies are more effective than others, and not all are helpful or healthy. As an example, turning to food or alcohol for comfort is a form of coping that may reduce distress in the short term, but create greater problems in the long term. Ways of coping can become habitual, which is problematic if they are negatively impacting you.

A psychologist can support you in learning and implementing new coping strategies in your life. See a psychologist and you will likely be better able to manage stress, resolve conflicts, and control difficult and impulsive behaviours that currently detract from your quality of life.