Are My Problems Big Enough for Therapy?
By: Rochelle Perper, Ph.D. | August 13, 2021
Some clients say they’re ‘just being silly’ when they talk about their problems during therapy. This tells me my clients regard their concerns as unimportant, not valid, or that they do not deserve care and attention. If this is something you’ve heard yourself say, or something others have said to you, you do not stand alone here. In fact, it is very common for clients at the start of therapy to minimize their distress by saying that “it’s not that bad,” “other people have it much worse,” or that other people need me more than they do.
We typically associate reasons for seeking therapy with stressful events or life crises. Although these are very good reasons to come to therapy, there are lots of reasons to start therapy, and all of them are equally valid. Many of my clients come to therapy to understand themselves better, to work through difficulties, and to improve their ability to cope — even thrive — amidst adversity.
Everyone struggles with something, even if they are good at hiding their struggles.
Sometimes people come to therapy when, by all accounts, their lives are going well. Contrary to common misconceptions about therapy, most of my clients function as high-performing individuals with secure jobs, intimate relationships, and an overall sense of safety and security. On the surface, things may seem fine but yet feel “off.”
Maybe a lack of fulfillment in your life exists as the reason for coming to therapy. Maybe difficulty with emotional intimacy, imposter syndrome, lack of passion, or low energy, motivation, or drive feed your need for therapy. Maybe you feel like a “failure” or “not good enough,” or “just going through the motions.” You might actually suffer from depression or anxiety but not recognize it. Symptoms of depression and anxiety include persistent worry, feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, preoccupation with certain thoughts, or not looking forward to the future. If this sounds like you, know that you shouldn’t have to live life this way. And, you don’t have to suffer in silence.
Whatever the reason, needing help is reason enough for therapy.
We live through times of uncertainty within which it’s natural to feel overwhelmed, confused, scared, worried, or numb as we adjust to changes that happen around us. At the same time, you might not understand the impact that certain situations have on you, whether they be current events or the effects of trauma.
Hiding what you feel or thinking that you are ‘just being silly’ can make your struggles feel bigger. Your confidence and self-esteem may drop. You may even isolate yourself from others.
Whatever your struggles, asking for help is not ‘just being silly.’
It takes tremendous courage and strength to seek the support you need. It constitutes the first and most important step in creating change in your life. No problem is too small to get the help you need.
Think of therapy as a routine and preventative form of healthcare. If you are having trouble in your life, no matter how small the reason may seem, Get Help Now. Mental health is something you can manage before you find yourself in crisis. Finding the Therapist That’s Right for You will better equip you to handle whatever challenges may lie ahead.
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Meeting with a therapist is nothing to be ashamed of. Getting help exists as the smarter, more courageous thing to do rather than suffering in silence. This is true whether you experience a major life event or just need a little additional support. A caring, compassionate, and helpful San Diego Psychologist can assist your navigation through life’s challenges and start you feeling more like you again.