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Unfortunately, pursuing professional counsel for mental health concerns has been stigmatized and labeled as something that “only those with mental disorders need.” However, People go to therapy for various reasons, such as major life transitions or unhelpful thoughts. But it varies from person to person.

Many have been amused by the antics of the neurotic, self-described, obsessive-compulsive Bob Wiley in the blockbuster “What About Bob.” Some may have also found humor in his complete reliance on therapy and his therapist’s prescribed “baby steps” to get through the day.

The same can be said for Adrian Monk, the obsessive-compulsive, former detective portrayed in the television series “Monk.” You may remember seeing Mr. Monk carefully sitting in his therapist’s office engaging in thoughtful talk therapy to effectively function in his germ-filled world.

Whether these and many other fictional characters portrayed their mental health conditions accurately is the subject of another article. The point is seeking therapy has too often been used in pop culture and our society as a punchline.

But effective therapy can be extremely worthwhile for many—and critically necessary for some. The brain, after all, is an organ and, like other organs, requires some qualified medical attention. Therapy can help you manage life’s varied challenges and live a more fulfilled life. It can help you understand what you’re feeling, why and how to cope. Just like visiting your doctor for regular wellness exams, or your dentist for checkups, meeting with a therapist can help keep your mental health in order. Indeed, therapy can be beneficial “just because.”

Therapy can also provide you with the needed tools to manage your emotions. Learning the art of mindfulness-based meditation can even help you take care of your own mental health and wellbeing. And couples counseling can help people work through relationship troubles and live a happier life together.

In other words, therapy can be an important aspect in improving your overall wellness. There is, however, one caveat: therapy may not be the best option for those in crisis. For anyone having suicidal thoughts, it’s best to forego therapy in lieu of immediate crisis support to help curb any suicide ideation. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for those in a crisis. And for those who may not feel comfortable talking, messaging the Crisis Text Line can immediately connect them to trained Crisis Counselors.

The same can be said for couples counseling: therapy can help, but it may not the best choice for those living in abusive relationships. Those in abusive relationships should strongly consider contacting the National Domestic Violence Hotline immediately. Therapy can then help those involved fully recover and live a happy post-crisis life, free of unhealthy relationships.

10 Reasons to Consider Meeting with a Therapist

  1. You’re Feeling Overwhelmingly Sad or Helpless. These feelings can actually be a sign of major depression.
  2. You’ve Run Out of Advice from Friends and Family. However well intentioned, advice from friends and family on coping with life’s challenges may not be enough.
  3. You’re Using Alcohol, Drugs, Porn or Other Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms. Managing painful or difficult emotions with alcohol, drugs, porn or other addictive means commonly leads to larger problems.
  4. You or a Loved One are Living with a Chronic Health Condition. The uncertainty of serious illnesses can bring on stress, anxiety and depression. Therapists can help you see through the troubled waters to a bright horizon.
  5. You’re Undergoing a Big Change. From a major career shift to a change in marital status or relocating to a new state, big changes can lead to emotional distress.
  6. You’ve Recently Lost a Loved One or Close Friend. Grieving is normal and healthy. But if time passes and you’re still feeling a heavy burden from the loss of a family member, trusted friend or pet, therapy can help.
  7. You Suspect You Have a Serious Mental Health Condition. Some of the most common mental health disorders are effectively treated with a com