The modern world is awash with opportunities for self-improvement, increased happiness or bettering ourselves in important and meaningful ways. So how are we supposed to figure out if our current predicament is worthy of investing the time, money and emotional resources inevitably involved in consulting a professional? Thinking about this comes before even considering how to go about seeking out an appropriately qualified and skilled therapist.
It seems to me that some of the most important questions to ask yourself might include:
is this a problem that is getting in the way of me leading life according to my values (the things that are important to me)?
is it negatively impacting on my work, relationships or home life?
is it negatively impacting on my view of myself e.g. as a good and acceptable person?
is it drawing me away from being my “best self” or the person I believe I have the potential to be or become?
do other trusted people (friends, family, loved ones) think I would benefit from help?
are the things I am doing to try to solve the problem proving ineffective or even making it worse?
Making the decision to seek help in the form of psychological therapy can feel daunting and perhaps even give rise to thoughts of failure, weakness or not being strong enough to cope on your own. It is completely normal to have worries about whether you will like your therapist, or be sceptical about whether it will be helpful. My advice is to be brave and give it a try. All therapists will offer an initial consultation and if you don’t feel it’s for you after this you can simply walk away.