When is it time for counseling? One of the biggest things we hear from our clients at Waters Edge Counseling is, “I just wish I had started counseling sooner.” The truth is, many people wait until they are in a crisis, or close to “crisis mode” to seek out help, but this doesn’t have to be the case.
We realize that picking up the phone to make a first time therapy appointment can seem daunting and scary. For many people, they feel like a failure if they are at a point in life where they need additional support. For parents, realizing that a child or teen may need counseling, may bring up feelings that they have failed as a parent. These feelings are normal, but they are far from the truth.
Accepting that it is time for Counseling
Realizing that you are at a place where you need some additional help is far from a place of failure. Instead, you are at a place of caring for yourself and wanting to improve the circumstances in your life. If you are a parent, realizing that a child may need extra help is an opportunity to provide them with coping skills that will serve them well into the future. Seeking out therapy is not a sign of failure but a sign of growth.
How do you know it’s time to ask for help?
So, how do you know when it is time to seek out therapy? Individuals agonize over this decision. They often think their issue is too small or even too complicated for therapy. We’ve put together a list of questions to help you know when it may be time for you to seek out some additional support through counseling:
Are you having difficulty regulating your emotions?
Are emotions such as anger, rage, or anxiety getting the best of you? Do you find yourself bursting into tears easily or snapping at the smallest things? Maybe you’re noticing that you are experiencing really high highs and really low lows, and you are missing that happy medium where you used to be.
If this is you, there may be some underlying causes that are causing these emotional changes. Therapy will help you get to the root of what is causing this emotional dysregulation and will help you get back to a more stable emotional state.
Are you forming unhealthy coping skills?
Do you find yourself turning to alcohol, drugs, or sex to cope with your anxiety or circumstances? If so, it may be time to talk through your circumstances with a therapist. The therapist can then help you learn some healthy coping strategies so that you are not engaging in unhealthy behaviors that will cause more damage in the long run.
Are you going through a major life transition?
Have you recently moved, started a new job, gone through a divorce, or had a new baby? Major life transitions can cause a lot of stress, anxiety, and even depression. Processing your emotions and feelings with a therapist during these transitional times in life can bring you a sense of control and help you better navigate uncharted waters.
Have you had a traumatic event in your life that you never dealt with?
Past trauma can continue to resurface if it has never been dealt with. Counselors are trained in helping individuals work through past trauma so that clients can gain a sense of closure and move on with their lives in a healthy way. If you have past trauma that you have never worked through, this may be the perfect time for you to start counseling.
Have you lost interest in activities you used to enjoy?
Losing interest in activities can be a sign of depression. Depression can creep up and set in quickly and with little warning. If you are noticing that you have lost your zest for life and are choosing to not engage in social activities or other activities that you used to enjoy, it may be a sign of depression.
Working through what is causing these feelings with a therapist will be extremely helpful in bringing a sense of purpose back into your life.
Are your relationships suffering?
Have you noticed that your relationships with those closest to you are waning or suffering? Perhaps you are constantly in conflict with all of the people you care about. When we begin to live in an unhealthy emotional state, we often take those emotions out on those closest to us.
Have you noticed that your anxiety or stress is affecting your spouse and kids in a negative way? This is a sign that it may be time to get some help, if not only to help yourself, but to also help those relationships with the people you care about.
Are you thinking about or trying to cope with an issue for more than an hour a day?
If a particular issue or emotion is taking up your thoughts for more than an hour of your day, then it may be becoming too powerful in your life. At this point, your daily life is being affected by this issue, and it is time to seek help. It is always a good idea to stay ahead of the issues before they truly take over your life.
Do you have unhealthy thinking patterns?
Do you find yourself thinking negative thoughts about yourself and others? Have others told you that you are critical, difficult, or negative lately? Our behaviors follow our thoughts. If your thinking patterns are unhealthy, then most likely your behaviors are also.
Counseling can help you work on those negative thoughts to make them more positive, which will, in turn, produce more positive behaviors in your life. If this sounds like something you need to work on, then now is a great time to begin therapy.
If you can answer “yes” to any of the above questions, then now is a great time to get started with counseling. Most clients find that after 6 consecutive sessions, they are noticing significant improvement in their symptoms and overall emotional well-being.
The counselors at Waters Edge Counseling are here to help you with whatever you are facing in life. No issue is too small or too big for therapy. We are here for you and would love to help. You do not have to agonize over whether or not to begin therapy anymore. Now is the time. Just give us a call at 912-319-5552, email us at info@watersedgecounseling or use our easy online scheduling tool. We would love to work with you!