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Do I Need Therapy? 10 Ways it Could Help


A woman wonders, "Do I need therapy?"

Anyone feeling overwhelmed, struggling with negative thoughts, or looking to expand their self-reflection or understanding can benefit from therapy. Various life challenges can impact a person’s mental health and sense of emotional well-being, from problems at work or with a partner and family members to financial worries, grief and general day to day boredom and dissatisfaction.


There are many reasons people seek therapy. Often, the first step is realizing there is some part of your life that could be better, after beginning therapy. With many types of therapy available, such as talk therapy, somatic therapies, cognitive behavioral therapy and holistic therapy, along with varied ways of accessing services, including face-to-face sessions and online therapy, you do not have to struggle alone. Prioritizing mental health is often a vital part of a person’s self-care.


So how do you know if therapy could help? If you’re experiencing any of these ten things, it could be a good time to find a therapist:


Emotional Instability


Finding it difficult to regulate emotions or constantly feeling in a state of emotional flux can be a sign of a mood disorder, underlying trauma.


Emotions may come out in different ways, for example through uncontrollable rage, anxiety and worry, irritability or sorrow.


Feeling up and down all the time can be draining. It can affect relationships with others and lead to problems in a person’s private and public life. It can impact a person’s sense of well-being and cause associated feelings of guilt, fear and shame.


Difficulty responding to or regulating emotions may indicate mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety. It could be a result of extreme stress or a subconscious response to various life situations or events.


Speaking with a mental health professional may help people identify the root cause of any issues and learn how to regulate emotions in a healthier way, so you can feel more in control of your own reactions and life.




Apathy refers to when someone has no interest, care or concern in matters. For some, this extends to life in general. A lack of motivation often manifests in a lack of energy, with people commonly stopping daily activities.


People may stop going to school or work, they may stop taking care of basic hygiene and getting dressed, they might feel less compelled to care about nutrition. Some can remain in bed most of the time or follow basic routines that require little energy, effort or thought, such as repetitively playing video games or swiping through social media.


Not caring about anything and having little energy is a common sign of a mental health condition, such as depression.


Disordered Sleep


Sleeping too much or too little, or having interrupted sleep, can be a result of various issues, including mental health issues, emotional distress and the stress of life challenges.


Insomnia, or inability to sleep, can also compound problems and lead to further issues with mental and physical health.


Anyone experiencing abnormal sleep patterns, especially if accompanied by other signs, would likely benefit from therapy.


Social Avoidance


While most people need some alone time, total avoidance of social activities can be problematic.


Withdrawing from social situations can create problems at work and with friends and family members. It can impact a person’s confidence and self-esteem. It can lead to loneliness, which can in itself be harmful to health.


Whether someone has a fear of social situations and being around other people, whether they are experiencing social inertia and apathy or whether there has been a traumatic event that has resulted in an avoidance of social situations, a therapist can help. Therapy can help people understand why they feel the way they do, uncover any underlying reasons and help people develop coping strategies for social settings that can help people feel less overwhelmed.


Unhealthy Eating Habits


Unhealthy eating habits, such as eating too much or eating too little, is often a sign that therapy could be beneficial.


Therapists can help with issues related to emotional eating, which is often triggered by other matters. Body-related disorders may also impact with people’s relationship with food.


A mental health professional can be vital in helping people overcome eating disorders, such as binge eating, bulimia and anorexia.


Addictive Behaviors


Many addictive behaviors often stem from a mental health disorder.


Substance use, such as drugs and alcohol, may be an escape route for people and a means to cope with other issues.


The same is true for other addiction patterns, ranging from compulsive spending and gambling to excessive pornography consumption, obsessive video gaming, self-harm and compulsive sexual behaviors or porn use.


Therapists can help people overcome obsessive and compulsive patterns and addictions.


Sexual Dysfunction


There can be many reasons for sexual dysfunction, ranging from physical health problems to mental illness and emotional health.


Difficulties becoming aroused may be connected to past sexual trauma. There can exist sexual repression or shame. Body confidence, trust issues, infidelity, lack of sex education, fear of commitment, poor communication, pain and overuse of porn are a few other possible reasons.


If physical medical problems have been ruled out, therapy can be beneficial for understanding why and how problems are arising and help people enjoy the sex life they want. Individual sessions and couples therapy are both available.


Traumatic Experience


Whether recent or in the past, traumatic experiences can significantly impact a person’s day to day well-being. From negative thought patterns and feelings of shame to confusion, invasive thoughts and mental health conditions like depression, trauma can negatively affect people in many ways. It can also be difficult to overcome alone.


Traumatic events are diverse. Big T or little t traumas can include childhood issues with a parent, significant illness, loss of work, death of a loved one or pet, abandonment, infidelity, physical or sexual assaults, racial aggressions, bullying and serious accidents, to name a few.


Trauma therapy can help people process events, understand their reactions and triggers and learn ways to cope, modify thought patterns and move forward.


Relationship Problems


While all couples experience problems from time to time, when a relationship is plagued with issues on an almost daily basis, some form of change is typically needed. This can be the push people need to start therapy.


Couples therapy can help partners identify problems and consider possible ways to solve problems. Therapy provides an impartial input and mediation and may provide outcomes that couples may not have considered alone.


Therapists can assist couples in various ways, from enhanced communication skills and anger management to coping skills and emotional vulnerability, sessions are tailored to individual couples and their unique issues.


Life Transitions


Major life events can leave many people feeling overwhelmed, nervous, anxious or generally out of sorts. From starting a new job or school or moving to a new place to ending a relationship and experiencing children leaving home, dealing with diverse life challenges can be eased with therapy.


Therapists can assist people before and during transitions, as well as helping people after events.


Life coaches can also help those who want to meet goals or feel generally stuck in a rut in life, demotivated or lacking in purpose.


Knowing if and when to start therapy isn’t always clear. If you resonated with anything on this list, starting with a free 30-minute consultation can help you decide if now is good time to start therapy and what kinds of therapy may be best. Life can be hard, getting help does not have to be.

Modern Intimacy is a group therapy practice, founded by renowned Psychologist and Sex Therapist, Dr. Kate Balestrieri. This inclusive blog is designed to provide a wealth of information and resources for mental health, relationships, and sexuality. Subscribe today to get the latest information from our expert contributors from all around the world.


Author Bio

Dr. Kate Balestrieri is a Licensed Psychologist (CA, FL, IL + NY), Certified Sex Therapist, Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, and PACT III trained Couples Therapist. She is the Founder of Modern Intimacy. Follow her on TikTok and IG @drkatebalestrieri and the Modern Intimacy team on IG @themodernintimacy.



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