3 Reasons to Start Therapy in 2023

by Allison Cho, MA

Have you been thinking about going to therapy recently, but aren’t sure if it is right for you or if you “meet the criteria”? Starting therapy can be a daunting process, but here’s the good news: therapy is for everyone and can benefit all of us! As 2023 hits its stride, here are 3 reasons to start therapy this year!

  • Create a safe space to process your accomplishments and your struggles

Think back on the last couple years of your life. Think of how you felt, what you’ve accomplished, patterns of emotional rollercoasters, changes in old relationships, new relationships you’ve formed, new jobs, your education, and more. Did you celebrate your accomplishments and have support when you were struggling? Have you regularly addressed your struggles, hardships, stressors, and anxieties?

Sometimes I think that after a particularly long day or stressful event, all I need is a refreshing drink and a good Netflix binge. Although this is distracting and may make me forget life for a while, this is not a form of processing. Actually talking about things and saying your thoughts out loud can be very therapeutic and can give your thoughts and outside voices less power and authority in our lives.

Thinking back on the past few years probably makes it feel like they just flew by. We often go through life without processing events that happen due to our many obligations, such as our families, friends, and our careers. We have to just get up and keep moving and over time, this becomes our routine.

What is processing? As a quick overview, processing looks like taking time to think through events or interactions after they happen. It is when we try to understand our emotions and feelings to gain a better understanding and insight into ourselves. If you often have emotional outbursts or use avoidance as a coping mechanism, having a clearer understanding of yourself and your emotions can reduce these unhealthy patterns.

By going to therapy, you are carving out time each week or month to sit down and talk about things that you may otherwise let blow past you. You deserve to take the time to process things going on around you. Life happens all around us, on a daily basis, and it is up to us to make the most of it and create opportunities to work on being a better version of ourselves.

  • Set goals and intentions for the year and stick to them

We often talk about New Year’s resolutions that we think about all through January and maybe February and then…what were my resolutions again? Is it even realistic to set goals to achieve in one year? We often set a high bar for ourselves and say we are going to put an abrupt stop to bad habits that we’ve been engaging in since we can remember. But how can it be this simple to uncover years of mechanistic routines and stubbornness in just 12 months?

You’re not alone in this struggle. Habits are extremely hard to break and we are only human. We have a plethora of other things that are coming at us daily that we have to juggle. It should be more realistic to set 3, 5, or 10 year goals. Understandably, sometimes we have things that we feel are urgent but find it difficult to stay focused on our own. Either way, therapy can help get you on track to set and achieve long-term goals with actual, established steps, and short-term milestones. With your therapist, you are not alone in your endeavor and you have someone there to check in on you and help you make adjustments along the way. If you want to start making goals and seeing actual change, then therapy may be that missing piece to help you.

  • Start honoring yourself and living authentically

Do you feel like you have so much going on that you just can’t set aside time for yourself? Are you a people-pleaser or often find yourself the mediator of other chaos going on around you? Sometimes we can get stuck in our roles in relationships and this leads to us denying ourselves our inner desires or our inner child. As children, we were not afraid to voice our desires, even scream them at the top of our lungs. And when we didn’t get what we wanted, we would plonk ourselves onto the tile and holler our discontent.

When did we stop that? Granted, there comes a time in adulthood where flailing on the ground won’t lead to anything but public embarrassment, but for each of us, there came a time when we started to swallow our discontent, bear the loss, and soldier on.

If this were to become extreme and excessive, you may find you are suppressing yourself to the point where you lose touch of what you want or lose your will to fight for anything. If you feel like there is a voice in you that has gotten quieter and quieter, you may not be living authentically.

Living authentically can mean many different things to different people. If any of this resonates with you, talking to a therapist about what your inner child looks like or what authenticity means to you can help clear the air. Therapy can help you clarify your values: the aspects of relationships and of daily living that are uniquely important to you. Are you living according to your values? Are you honoring your values in your relationships, in your personal life, and in your career? Are you honoring your truth? Maybe this is a time to reorganize, to let your inner child out, and to start living more authentically.

It is never too late to start therapy. We at Encircle can help you start to lower your own expectations and take things day by day. You may be surprised with your own results!

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