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Realizing that you would benefit from going back to therapy is a great first step in self-awareness. It doesn’t mean you failed, it means that you recognize where you could use some extra support.
We can’t do it all on our own. And for many people, the decision to go back to therapy is a very necessary part of their self care and journey to personal growth.
Especially with the nature of life’s ebbs and flows, it makes perfect sense that the need for therapy may be stronger at certain points in your life than others.
But if you’re on the fence asking yourself “should I go back to therapy?,” these signs will help point you in the right direction.
Signs you would benefit from going back to therapy
- Feeling excessively negative or pessimistic
- Feeling overwhelmed or like there is too much on your plate
- Your problems are remaining unresolved
- Feeling demotivated or apathetic, as if you hardly ever experience bursts of joy
- Fear of the future or planning out your future life plans
- That feeling that something is “missing” in your life but you can’t figure out what it is
If any of those signs ring true for you, it’s worth considering.
But overall, anyone can benefit from going to therapy. Everyone faces stress, difficulties, and challenges. Talking to someone about it and getting professional insight will almost always be beneficial.
This post is all about going back to therapy.
1. Mental health needs to be checked in on regularly
Possibly even more so than your physical health! But just like you probably wouldn’t neglect your physical health, you shouldn’t be neglecting your mental health either.
Think about it. Physical health problems arise here and there, and even when they aren’t present to you, there could be something underlying that you just can’t recognize yourself. That’s why you’re encouraged to go in for routine check ups.
But stress, feeling down, feeling conflicted, etc… these problems can present themselves even more frequently than physical health problems might.
But how can you tell when stress becomes a problem? What is the threshold between a healthy amount of stress and a problematic amount of stress? Without the help of a mental health professional, you might not know. 🤷
All these reasons and more are why checking in on mental health regularly by seeking therapy is SO important.
Did you know that I offer a printable mental health journal that will help you navigate stress and reframe negative thoughts and emotions?
As someone who’s always looking for ways to improve my mental health, I knew just how important it was to create a resource that will actually help you understand your inner-dialogue and coping habits.
Go check it out and see the printable mental health journal for yourself!
2. Going back to therapy helps manage life’s daily stressors
Even if you DON’T suspect you have a mental illness.
Research shows that about 75% of people who go through psychotherapy show some benefit from it.
How? Because therapy works to improve negative emotions and behaviors. It is also linked with positive changes in the brain and body.
And guess what? We all experience negative emotions and behaviors! Even if these emotions and behaviors are fairly mild for you, it always helps to get a little assistance with tackling life’s daily stressors.
Whether you’re struggling with your mental health or just want to get better at tackling life’s daily stressors, talking to an online therapist can really help you out. I always recommend Online Therapy because it’s a comprehensive, effective online therapy toolkit based on CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy–the leading standard in psychotherapy) at an affordable monthly cost.
3. I had issues that were left unresolved
My last therapy clinic helped me in some ways, but I didn’t feel like we touched upon everything we should have. Even worse, I felt like I stumped my therapist on certain problems I was facing. I started to believe that maybe I was just “beyond help,” if not even my therapist could help me.
But that’s so not true! While every therapist has an advanced degree, that doesn’t mean that every therapist specializes in every area of care. They might have some proficiency across multiple areas, but that doesn’t mean they are an expert on every problem imaginable. More on this later in the article.
One therapist may struggle to help you with your specific set of problems, while another therapist might understand exactly how to help you.
Kind of like medical doctors too, right? One doctor may completely miss a diagnosis that another doctor finds in one visit.
Sometimes it takes seeing more than one therapist to finally make progress on resolving your issues.
4. New issues had arisen between then and now
Entering a new chapter of your life can mean a different set of problems. Adjusting to adulthood, going to a new school, and getting a new job can all bring on different mental health struggles.
Even if you perceive that things are better than the last time you went to therapy, sometimes there’s cracks in your mental wellbeing that don’t come up until you return to therapy again.
I’ll give you a great example. My overall quality of life had drastically improved from the last time I was in therapy vs. now.
I graduated college (one less thing on my plate! Woo!), left a toxic job, got started on my own business endeavor, and I moved out of my parents’ house.
While I still had my struggles, my mental health felt better than ever. But yet, I kept thinking back to therapy. I kept wondering if maybe I should go, just for the sake of that upkeep and maintenance on my mental health.
Well, turns out, I really needed it!
Because while my current life seemed great on the surface, I learned that there was a lot of unresolved trauma from my past that still affects me without always realizing it.
That, and I have general concerns for the future that always feel like a relief to talk about with a therapist.
So moral of the story: you might really really really need therapy and not even know it til ya get there!
5. A new therapist may have better expertise in an area that a previous therapist didn’t
Piggybacking off what I said in #3, therapists aren’t experts in everything! Therapists tend to specialize in specific areas, such as trauma, sex, mood disorders, psychotic disorders like schizophrenia…the list goes on!
So, say you’re struggling with depression and trauma. One therapist alone might not be an expert in both of those areas. So if you’re only seeing a therapist that specializes in depression, you might not be getting the help you need for your trauma.
So once again, it can take several tries at therapy to finally get the help you need.
6. Trouble getting the right diagnosis
Misdiagnoses, or not being evaluated for a broad enough spectrum of mental illnesses, can inhibit you getting the right treatment.
Bipolar disorder is notoriously known for being frequently misdiagnosed (that is, bipolar disorder patients are very likely to be incorrectly diagnosed with depression instead, at a rate as high as 70.6%).
Bipolar disorder causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania) and emotional lows (depression). It’s possible that the mania aspect is often overlooked, resulting in a diagnosis of depression only.
So this is what I mean when I say that not everyone is evaluated for a broad enough spectrum of mental illnesses!
Because of the self-report nature of diagnosing mental health disorders, if you forget to self-report certain symptoms, those symptoms won’t be looked into.
With our bipolar disorder example, it’s very possible that a patient might not think to report symptoms of mania, because these symptoms might feel very positive (increased energy, upbeat mood, exaggerated sense of self-confidence).
My last therapy clinic didn’t evaluate me for everything I suspected I might have, but I am already getting some new diagnoses at my new therapy clinic.
Which is great news, because now my treatment plan will be even better suited to my needs.
Did you know that affordable online therapy exists?
Online Therapy is an affordable, effective solution for the comprehensive online therapy toolbox you need.
What is included in your online therapy toolbox:
- A qualified therapist that you can message at any time and have regular, weekly live sessions with
- Access to hands-on tools and information for identifying and overcoming problems
- Worksheets to further grow and practice the skills you learn
- An online journal
- An activity plan–(and even yoga!)
What I love about Online Therapy is that their whole operation is based on CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). This is a very effective and highly regarded therapy approach.
AND it’s pretty hard to resist access to therapy without leaving the comfort of your home! (No more anxiety in the waiting room, am I right?)
This makes therapy SO much more manageable for busy schedules.
7. Trouble finding the right treatment
With the proper diagnosis comes the proper treatment. This could be in terms of the trajectory of your therapy sessions themselves, or medication for a chemical imbalance.
And y’all, don’t even get me started on medication. I have been on SIX different anxiety medications with absolutely no luck.
Once again, I was afraid of stumping my psychiatrist! (Because what do you do when you’re resistant to what seems like everything?!)
But then, my latest psychiatrist ordered a genetic test for me that will show which anxiety medications are compatible with my DNA. (How come not a single health care professional in the last eight years told me something this innovative existed?! Ahhh!)
Anyway…if you felt stuck before in your attempts of getting the right treatment, just know that there is probably something out there for you. It’s just a matter of continuing to fight the fight of advocating for your healthcare AND finding the right specialists to help you.
8. Finding the right therapist that jives with how you want to be treated
Feeling like you “click” with a therapist is so necessary. You want to feel heard, respected, and understood.
This doesn’t mean that your therapist will agree with everything you say, as the goal is to overcome negative core beliefs and thought processes.
BUT it does mean that your therapist is ultimately supporting you with your best interest in mind, without passing judgment to you.
I have had therapists judge certain struggles or even goals I had for my life, and that really hurt. One even judged me for trying to seek medication. If this ever happens to you, run the other way! You don’t deserve that.
I took an Intro to Therapy course in college and we were taught that therapists must withhold their personal biases from their clients. And that if they are unable to, they must refer them out to someone else.
So never accept anything less than professional, respectful treatment!
If you’re unsure of going back to therapy, I hope this post provided you with some good things to consider!
Remember that going to therapy is not an “admittance” of “doing bad.” Therapy is just necessary maintenance for your mental health, which can be useful at any stage.
If your mental health is something you care about, want to preserve, or want to improve upon, therapy is absolutely a tool you should utilize on your self care journey.
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