Everyone goes through times in life when problems seem to be insurmountable. A common question is, “when is a good time to see a therapist?”. There is never a bad time to see a therapist. Even if a person is not in a crisis, therapy may prevent a crisis. Prevention is much easier than repair. But if a person is in the state of repairing their lives, relationships, or daily happiness, they may not need a therapist. Just about everyone can repair without any help from professionals. However, professional help can speed up the process of repair, as well as helping a person learn new ways to deal with old problems. So returning to the question of when to see a therapist there are a few guidelines I’d like to share.
Guideline #1 – Obsessions
If you find yourself constantly thinking about a specific problem, and these thoughts cannot be stopped, then this is called “obsessing or ruminating”. Obsessional thoughts can be fatiguing, frustrating and negative with the usual outcome of poor decision-making. If you find yourself obsessing about a problem then it’s a good time to see a therapist.
Guideline #2- Sleep problems
If your problems are causing you to lose sleep, then it is a good time to see a therapist. Sleep is vital to your emotional and physical health. When sleep is compromised then you as an emotional being will be compromised.
Guideline #3- Talking to yourself
If you find that you are talking to yourself, and practicing what you would like to say to someone who hurt you, then it’s a good time to see a therapist. Most everyone has what is called an “inner dialogue” when we mull things over in our head. When that inner dialogue becomes practicing your speech for the person that hurt you, or what you would like to tell anyone about your specific problem, then that means you have an emotional need to be heard. Talking to yourself does not make you mentally ill but it is a good indicator that your needs are not being met as far as being heard. Therapists are good listeners.
Guideline #4- Temptation to start bad habits
Finally and most importantly if your current crisis is tempting you to do things that you have never done, or you know is bad for you, then it is a good time to see a therapist. If any destructive habits – such as smoking, excessive alcohol use, or recreational drugs are being considered, to help a person cope with their emotions, then quickly seek professional help.