Do I need therapy?

I recently gave a talk to a group of people to help raise money for charity; I try to attend speaking engagements as often as possible. It’s a great way to give people an understanding of complicated psychology in easy to understand terms and to give them tools and techniques that they can take away and use immediately.

After the talk a few people stayed back to ask me some more personal questions. One person wanted to know whether I thought they needed “therapy”. I explained that in such a short chat I couldn’t possibly be sure but suggested they find a therapist and explore more. They explained that they didn’t really want to bother anyone in case their problems weren’t serious enough. It was an interesting viewpoint and I wondered if it was a “British” thing.

I’ve trained with people from both the UK and the USA and what seems to be a common theme, although I’m sure a huge generalisation, is that in America everyone has a “shrink” whilst in this country everyone has a Stiff Upper Lip.

Whereas at the first sign of physical pain we go straight to our GP or dentist, when we are struggling emotionally we tend to grit our teeth under what can feel like mental torture.

As we spoke more it developed that what they really meant was that they didn’t feel their issues were “dramatic” enough. They hadn’t experienced any major trauma; in fact they couldn’t make reason as to why they felt so empty, low and lacking in confidence. I wonder if this kind of feeling prevents many more people from seeking the help that they need.

The more I thought about it the more I’m lead to the following answer. If you can afford it, then why not try it? I’d recommend calling round a few people and seeing who you feel most comfortable talking to and book in. I’d suggest having four sessions. It might cost you a couple of hundred pounds and half a day out of your life if you decide not to continue. The upside is that it could be the beginning of a journey that changes your life.

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