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Five Reasons Why You Should See a Therapist, Even When Nothing’s Wrong
By Jeff Ainsa, LCSW, Clinical Manager
No one should feel ashamed to ask for help. Yet as a minority male in America, I know all too well the stigma associated with therapy.
I’ve seen firsthand how teasing and banter dissuade other men from seeking help. Even while working in criminal justice and law enforcement where mental health services were available, my fellow men and I never talked openly about using these services in fear of negative perceptions, of what our strong and mighty peers might think of us.
As a Hispanic male, speaking to a therapist is traditionally frowned upon — in the culture that raised me, you don’t talk about your business outside of the family, and showing your feelings is a perceived sign of weakness. In 2018, Hispanics were 50% less likely to have received mental health treatment as compared to non-Hispanic whites due to stigma and other factors. Knowing how much I’ve benefited from therapy, I entered the behavioral health field to normalize prioritizing mental health and change the narrative to one of self-discovery, development, and empowerment.
Normalizing Mental Health for Everyone
evolvedMD's Clinical Management team.
Working at a company like evolvedMD that values everyone, I’ve made it my mission to normalize therapy and empower others — especially males and minorities like me — to seek help. However, you don’t have to experience a traumatic event or struggle with a mental illness to speak with a therapist. Just like going in for your annual wellness checkup, touching base with a licensed professional — even when nothing is wrong — is healthy and a great source of guidance for navigating life’s challenges. Here are five reasons why seeing a therapist for regular check-ins will benefit your overall wellbeing.
1. You’ll Create Harmony Between Your Physical and Mental Health
Now more than ever, it’s important to take good care of your physical and mental health. If one is out of balance, it may negatively impact the other.
While a therapist is not a physical health expert, they may collaborate with a physician in an integrated setting at the primary care practice you trust. If this is the case, you can effectively manage your whole health under the guidance of both. If not, a therapist can help you take charge of your mental wellbeing so you can have the energy and clarity to address your physical health, too.
2. You’ll Receive Compassionate Listening from an Unbiased Third Party
Many of us are blessed to have loving and caring support systems, but friends and family may unknowingly give us biased advice. In these cases, confidentiality is also not guaranteed, and those closest to us are likely not qualified to address mental health concerns. Simply put: they are not equipped to truly help you in the most powerful way.
Whether you’re hurting or just want to talk through life’s challenges, licensed therapists are trained to recognize your feelings and go beyond surface-level understanding. From there, they can dig deep into the root of the problem and help you create viable solutions.
Best of all, opening up to someone in a safe and confidential environment (whether onsite or virtually) will give you peace of mind without fear, stigma, or discrimination.
3. You’ll Learn Useful, Everyday Life Skills
Therapy isn’t just for dealing with problems or crises. In therapy you can learn some seriously life-changing skills.
For example, I often check in with a therapist to help me balance my personal and professional lives and to help me navigate difficult decisions.
Let’s say you want to learn how to build meaningful, authentic relationships with others. A therapist can teach you how to communicate better, resolve conflict, and give and receive emotional support. Maybe you’d like to build resilience in the face of change. A therapist can give you the tools to be more proactive and change how you respond to situations. You can also learn to become more self-aware to know if and when something is wrong.
4. You’ll Set Realistic Goals with a Safe Accountability Partner
One of my favorite parts about working at evolvedMD is our commitment to nurturing personal and professional development. However, it’s not always easy creating realistic and sustainable goals. A therapist can help you set achievable goals that bring joy and a sense of accomplishment.
Whether you want to develop healthier life habits, improve job performance, or make an impact in your community, a therapist can help you tackle almost any goal you want, and create a realistic roadmap for success. If you’re motivated to make meaningful changes, a therapist can be an amazing accountability partner.
5. You’ll Learn Why You Do What You Do
Nobody’s perfect. But that doesn’t bar anyone from taking action if they want to change. After all, we’ve developed numerous habits over time in response to adversity, and it’s on us to course correct. A therapist can help us see the forest for the trees and act accordingly.
Many of us are guilty of black-and-white thinking, catastrophizing, and many other cognitive distortions. Learning to identify them, understand why we do it, and change these thinking patterns will help you look at things through an unbiased, more positive lens.
If you’ve never tried talking to a therapist but have considered doing so, I encourage you to take that first step today — reach out to a licensed professional and get on their schedule. You’ll be amazed at the good that can come from it, even if you think nothing is wrong. A therapist can be one of your greatest champions. And you won’t regret taking action to lead a happier life.
Schedule an appointment to see a therapist today. If you wish to see a therapist at the primary care practice you trust, talk to your provider and request they integrate behavioral health services today.