At the beginning of any new year, many people are making resolutions for self-improvement. Working with a therapist can be an extremely effective way to help prioritize and meet your goals for the new year. Most people consider the immediate gain and success they hope to achieve but often don’t consider the unintended benefits that can reveal themselves personally, physically and interpersonally as a result of counseling. Below is non-exhaustive list of how a therapist can help you start 2017 on the right foot, whether you are looking for a San Diego therapist or one in another area.
- Long lasting effects. One of the biggest benefits of therapy is that it can continue to help you long after your initial sessions. Working with a therapist can help you discover underlying issues that hinder you from moving forward with your life is a more positive and healthy direction. Once you’ve identified issues that trip you up or hold you back and have tools and methods to address them, you have a much better chance to deal with challenges that arise in the future.
- Your physical health can improve. Working with a therapist you trust can have the added benefit of helping ease physical manifestations of stress, worry, anxiety, depression, grief and other issues. Insomnia, fatigue, stomach issues, headaches and more can all be brought on by psychological stressors. Somatic symptoms often decrease or disappear after successful therapy sessions if they are psychologically driven.
- Create deeper connections with friends and family. Therapy of any sort is usually focused on relationships whether they be with a family member, co-worker, friend, significant other or someone else. Part of counseling is learning to understand what you are responding to in a relationship dynamic and how to more effectively communicate your concerns and needs. Thus, people are usually more skilled in relationships beyond the ones they are addressing in sessions and have greater relationship satisfaction.
- Develop better listening skills. Therapists should know how to listen and listen well. By working with a therapist, you’ll be more likely to replicate that relationship skill. A therapist should challenge and encourage you in session to explore your ability to listen well as it has a major impact on relationships.
- Cultivate your ability for empathy. By working with a therapist to understand your own difficulties, worries and losses, a welcome side effect is often becoming more empathetic to the problems of those around you. This is a needed trait for healthy relationships and relationship satisfaction.
- Leading by example. Many people are intimidated by the concept of therapy. Some have a fear that it may make them appear weak. On the contrary—knowing that people can benefit by professional support and seeking it out is a sign of wisdom and strength. And it may have the effect of inspiring others in your social circle to seek therapy for themselves.
These are just some of the many ways working with a therapist can help you make 2017 a year of self-growth.
Sylvia Flanagan, MA, MFT, is a local San Diego therapist. Contact her today to schedule an appointment or consultation. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call at (619) 318-1901.