Although we have made progress in lessening the stigma surrounding therapy for mental health, we still have a long way to go. For those grappling with mental health challenges, the journey toward healing can seem fraught with obstacles. This blog describes how to begin therapy for mental health in Jacksonville, FL by describing what therapy is, who needs therapy, and how to get started as soon as possible.
What is Therapy for Mental Health?
Therapy for mental health is a professional service designed to help individuals manage and overcome various mental health issues. Therapy is typically conducted by a licensed therapist or psychologist. The process of therapy can vary depending on what you are struggling with and which therapist you see, however, therapy can be simply described as the process of personal growth and self-empowerment. You and your therapist will begin by uncovering what your mental health concerns are (for example, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, etc.) and developing a list of goals that you hope to achieve while in therapy. From there, you and your therapist will collaboratively work towards accomplishing these goals.
Who Needs Therapy?
Often, there's a misconception that therapy is meant only for people dealing with severe mental health issues or those who are in the midst of major life crises. However, the reality is quite different. Therapy is for anyone who would like to improve their mental health and is ready to make necessary changes to reach their mental health goals. It is important to remember that seeking help isn't an admission of weakness, but rather a testament to one's courage and determination to improve their mental well-being.
How Long Does Therapy Last?
The length of therapy varies considerably for each individual, as it depends on their unique needs, goals, and progress. Therapy sessions for mental health are typically no more frequent than once a week. Therapy concludes when a client achieves the goals outlined in the treatment plan, a roadmap for therapy created collaboratively between the client and the therapist. However, therapy isn't a one-size-fits-all service, and its duration can be influenced by other factors as well. For instance, a client may decide to stop therapy at any point, or the therapist may determine that the client's needs and goals would be better met by a different professional. Your therapist should be checking in with you periodically to ensure you are making the progress you hope to achieve.
Does Therapy Actually Help People?
There's ample evidence to support the effectiveness of therapy. It provides individuals with the tools and strategies they need to manage their feelings of anxiety, boost their self-esteem, improve their relationships, and navigate through life's challenges more effectively. With the guidance of a skilled therapist, clients can potentially gain a better understanding of themselves, develop healthier coping mechanisms, and work towards their personal goals. However, the key to reaping these benefits lies in the individual's active participation in the therapeutic process and their commitment to implementing the insights and strategies gleaned from therapy.
How to Choose the Best Therapist
Finding the right therapist is a pivotal part of your mental health journey. Consider their qualifications and experience, therapeutic approach, and your comfort level with them. Also, take into account practical aspects like location, session fees, and availability. Choosing a therapist who resonates with you can greatly contribute to a successful therapy experience.
Myths and Misconceptions
Despite the progress made in mental health awareness, there still exist many myths and misconceptions about therapy. Here are a few:
"Therapy is just venting your problems": The role of a therapist goes beyond just listening to your problems. A therapist is a licensed professional trained to help you understand and navigate your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. They provide a safe, non-judgmental space for you to express yourself, and guide you in developing strategies for self-empowerment. A therapist is like a compass, pointing you in the direction of self-understanding and emotional well-being.
"Therapists give advice": Therapists don't tell clients what to do. Instead, they help clients explore their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors, guiding them toward finding solutions that align with their goals and personal values.
"Therapists diagnose all clients": Diagnosis is a part of the process for some clients, but not all. The primary focus of therapy is to help clients understand themselves better and manage their issues effectively. If you want to ensure there is no documentation of a mental health diagnosis, you can communicate this with your therapist.
"Therapy impacts your ability to get a job": Receiving therapy rarely has any impact on your ability to get a job. You can learn more about the impact of mental health concerns and employment here.
"Therapists prescribe medication": Therapists cannot and do not prescribe medication. Only psychiatrists and other medical doctors can prescribe medications for mental health concerns. Therapists focus on providing therapeutic interventions and strategies, however, they can refer you to a psychiatrist who can assist you in assessing the need for and possibly prescribing medication.
How to Get the Most out of Therapy for Mental Health
Starting therapy for mental health is commonly described as the most challenging element of the entire process. However, to reap the most benefits from therapy, being well-prepared can make a significant difference.
Setting clear and realistic goals for therapy is essential. This does not mean you need to have a well-defined list of objectives before your first session, but having a general understanding of what you hope to achieve can be helpful. For example, knowing that you would like to communicate better in relationships or decrease anxiety symptoms is helpful to know, prior to beginning the process of therapy.
Being open and honest during your sessions is crucial. Remember, a therapist is there to support you, not judge. Sharing your true feelings, thoughts, and experiences, even if they are uncomfortable or painful, can help the therapist understand you better and tailor their approach accordingly. Active participation is another key element. Therapy is a collaborative process. Engage in conversations, ask questions, and take an active role in your journey of self-discovery. The benefits you will receive from therapy are largely dependent upon the level of emotional energy and honesty you contribute to the sessions.
Start Therapy for Mental Health Today!
Located in Jacksonville, FL. Philosophie Therapy is here to help you begin therapy for mental health as soon as possible. You can use the link below to schedule a free, 15-minute consultation with a licensed therapist who will be happy to answer any and all questions you may have about our mental health services. We look forward to speaking with you soon!
Published by Hannah Mayderry, Licensed Mental Health Counselor