6 Reasons Why Therapy is a Healthy Habit From Therapists in Fort Lauderdale
Some folks hold fast to the myth
that therapy is only for people in crisis, a sign of weakness or
neediness. This misunderstanding couldn’t be further
from the truth. People from all walks of life reach out to professionals
for help, including the well adjusted and successful.
Think about all the habits we create in order to keep ourselves
healthy. We go to the dentist prevent problems with our teeth,
we go to the doctor for checkups, we exercise and eat balanced
meals to keep our bodies healthy. Just like those habits we need
to take action to protect our most precious asset, our mental
health. I’m Doctor Jamie Long and I’m here with The Psychology Group
team. In this video, we’re going to walk you through a few of
the benefits of therapy and why you should be talking to us one of your
new self-care habits. Doctor Tali, get us started.
Sounds good. One benefit of starting therapy is that it teaches
you the sometimes not-so- obvious differences between healthy
and unhealthy habits. So many of us feel pressure to make and stick to goals.
In the world of social media, there seems to be
a false perception that everyone has it all together.
Seeking therapy can be very helpful in order to have guidance
in evaluating what changes to make and to set realistic expectations
of the process. Meeting with a therapist can also
be important to ensure that an innocent goal does not become
an unhealthy or destructive habit. For example, consider the
popular goal of losing weight by going on a diet. Research shows
that dieting can be a gateway to disordered eating habits and eating
disorder and even weight gain. In fact, researchers now know
that dieting is actually the single most predictive factor
for developing an eating disorder. Check in with a therapist
before you decide to make any big changes in order to ensure
your goals provide you with a happy and balanced life.
The second benefit of starting therapy is that it helps you get
to the core of issues by understanding yourself at a deeper
level. In my approach, I utilize hypnotherapy to help my
clients understand their subconscious mind and get in touch
with emotions that might have been ignored or pushed down.
Through the hypnotherapy process, clients often experience
a sense of freedom from releasing those suppressed feelings
from the body. Clients also gain a greater understanding of
who they are and what has led to present-day unhealthy behaviors.
Hypnotherapy creates space for self-forgiveness, self-compassion
and, most importantly, self-love. So many people suffer from
self-defeating behaviors such as procrastination, substance abuse
or toxic relationships, and they may feel unable to release
themselves from those patterns. Although in their minds, they might
rationally “know” what they need to do to change. They haven’t
been able to align with that knowing and make long-lasting changes
in their lives. Feeling plagued with the question of, “why
do I keep doing the same thing over and over?” and the only answer
might seem like, “there must be something wrong with me.” This can
begin to create a negative shame cycle in which you try to
change, fail and then engage in negative thoughts for being unable
to change. Utilizing hypnotherapy, you get the chance
to take a deep look within yourself in order to identify the
subconscious barriers that might be getting in the way of your
goals. With that kind of clarity, you’re more equipped to
make powerful changes.
A third reason why therapy should be a part
of your healthy habits is because stuffing our feelings doesn’t work!
There are several psychological studies that give
us similar results. Hiding feelings lead to more stress on
the body and/or increase difficulty avoiding distressing
thoughts and feelings. In one study for example, research participants
were divided into two groups and shown disturbing medical
procedure films while their stress responses were measured. For
example, heart rates, pupil dilation and sweat production.
One group was asked to watch the videos while letting their emotions
show whereas the second group of subjects were asked to watch the
films and act as if nothing were bothering them. And guess what?
The participants who suppress their emotions, meaning
they acted as if nothing bothered them, had significantly
more physiological arousal. Those who kept their physical display
of emotions at bay may have appeared cool and calm, but on the inside
stress was erupting. These types of studies show us that expressing
emotions, having words to describe how we feel, and facial
expressions to emote, help us regulate the stress response. So,
in addition to talking to your best friends, what better way to
express yourself than to talk regularly to a licensed therapist?
A fourth reason to get into therapy is because finding and being
your authentic self is amazing. It can be so difficult
feeling like you’re an outsider in your family, your group of friends
or, the culture at large. If you’re a member of a marginalized
group like a member of the LGBTQ+ community, a woman in
a patriarchal culture, a member of an ethnic minority group or someone
who just feels “other” –the road to feeling safe being your
authentic self can be a really steep one to climb. Therapy is often
an essential part of healing the feelings that “otherness”
can bring and transforming your life into the one that was
meant for you. Research shows that people who work hard to live
authentically report feelings of happiness and a sense of psychological
well-being. With regular therapy, you can make today
the start of embracing your authentic self.
I’ll tell you a fifth reason to get into therapy. Because it helps us improve
our relationships. Even individual therapy. If I were to
ask you to list your top three priorities, what would you choose?
Finances? Health? Work-life balance? My guess is that despite
relationships being pretty high up there, most of us will not
take the actions to tending to them even though we need to.
I say this because even though relationships are among the most
valued aspect of one ‘s life, they are often the least tended to.
In a not-so-surprising study, eating and exercise habits were
ranked as two of the most popular areas people wanted to
improve. It’s understandable that we spend a lot of time maintaining
our appearance. We do so often to attract a partner. The
funny thing is, when the partner appears we tend to forget that our
new relationship also needs to be maintained. We have significant
amount of research that shows there are actually ways to
maintain a relationship to keep it strong and long-lasting.
A common misconception is that therapy is needed for couples only
when the relationship is in peril. On the contrary, I recommend
Couples Therapy as a preventative measure to begin before
troubles arise. Through learning effective communication
skills, ways to better understand your partner’s feelings
and tips to better manage challenges, couples can protect
the relationship from harm. So why not make your relationship a
The last reason we’ll give you today on why therapy
is a great healthy habit is because it teaches you the skills
that you need to cope with difficult emotions. Emotional intelligence
is a concept that has recently gained a lot of attention.
Unlike our IQ, which remains relatively stable throughout
our life, our emotional intelligence, or EQ can be developed
and strengthened overtime, and that’s with the right guidance,
education, and practice. Through the use of skill-based therapies
such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical
Behavior Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and the practice
of mindfulness, therapy can teach you the skills that you
need to manage painful emotions in a helpful way. Skill
building and therapy can help you improve your relationships with
others, make better life choices, conquer fears and build
your emotional intelligence. In therapy, we will find the thinking traps
that are keeping you stuck and work to break the unhealthy
or unhelpful patterns that are preventing you from living the life
that you want to be living. Our emotional health is just as important
as our physical health, and yet so often taking the time
to care for our emotional well- being is the last thing on our to-do
list. Through working with a skilled therapist, you can learn
the tips and techniques that you need to turn painful emotions
or experiences into motivators for success.
And there you have it! Six powerful reasons to consider therapy a healthy
habit. We hope you enjoyed watching this video and
that you’ll check out the written form on our blog page at
ThePsychologyGroup.com. On behalf of all of us at The Psychology
Group, we wish you happiness and health. We’d love
the chance to work with you. So I invite you to give us a call or
shoot us an email to discuss how therapy can benefit you.