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How to know when you need Therapy

Therapy is a process that helps facilitate change in distressing emotions, which are often related to unhealthy or unhelpful thoughts and behaviours. The need for such change could be based on a clinical diagnosis*, but that’s not all it could be helpful with. You could also benefit from taking therapy if: 

  • You feel irritable, or ‘on edge’ more than is usual for you, and this is impacting different aspects of your life (like your relationships at work or home). What you’re going through may also lead to more ‘reactive’ behavior – that is, emotions and thoughts may seem to ‘spill out’ without much conscious thought. Therapy could in this case relate to exploring the emotions that seem most distressing, along with the thoughts and behaviours that may be related to these emotions. It might also help to identify any repeating patterns in terms of existing coping/life skills which may need to be adjusted according to prevalent life situations
  • You need support through a pandemic. You may be coming to terms with your mental health in a way you haven’t before, or you may find yourself preoccupied with past memories or the uncertainty of the future; you may have suffered loss during the pandemic (of a person, relationship, a certain kind of life or of hope in general) and be dealing with grief, frustration, helplessness, etc. Therapy in this case help by providing emotional and other kinds of support that fits with your specific needs.
  • You’re struggling to deal with expectations (your own, or from others’) related to themselves, others or life itself. This may lead to anxiety, anger, guilt or a host of different emotions, and behaviours such as procrastination, that may be difficult to deal without some form of social support. Therapy could, in this case, help by providing a space where you can talk freely about your expectations, explore if they are indeed helping you work towards your goals in life, and facilitating change if needed
  • You often feel stuck, blank, overwhelmed or unable to make/maintain changes that will enable you to fulfill your needs/goals. You may also find it difficult to pin-point what, if anything, is ‘wrong’ with you, or may find it hard to put names to your own emotions and hence may not be able to deal with them. Therapy in this instance, could help with the process of helping you understand what’s holding you back, you may gain insight about different emotion(s) at play – from their names, to their functions, and finally to decide how you might like to process them
  • You think you would benefit from a non-judgemental space and are curious to explore how the therapeutic process might work for you.  Professional mental health support often works by bringing into awareness one’s emotions, thoughts behaviours and related patterns. Exploration of these patterns across different situations could help you in aligning them more succinctly with how you wish to spend your energy and time
  • You need help in dealing with difficult relationships at home, work or any other spaces. You may also find it hard to draw boundaries, to say ‘no’, to differentiate between your own and others’ needs, or to be assertive in situations relating to certain people. Therapy in this case could assist in helping you understand the underlying dynamics of interactions you feel are troublesome, and then providing support to unlearning/relearning of life skills (more effective communication being a possibly major one) and hence, your ability to cope in a healthier manner
  • You anticipate or are currently working your way through a transition. Changes may come through at work, within current or potential relationships, with respect to your identity/orientation, a life stage, etc. that may bring up intense (even conflicting) feelings and thoughts. Sessions with a therapist or counsellor could involve holding space for you, helping you set realistic expectations of undergoing said changes, and supporting you through your personal process of acclimatization (emotional or otherwise)
  • You’re dealing with a loss/experiencing grief – be it the ending of a relationship, or a period of your life; loss of a life you thought you would have, or the passing on of a loved one or a public figure you looked up to – grief can come up in unexpected ways and situations. Sessions in therapy could be around staying with the emotion of grief and learning how to live your life through the changes this loss brings
  • You’re dealing with what feels like, and/or what you know to be, trauma. Such feelings may not just be related to a specific, obvious event, but have been found to be closely related to the experience an event(s) as it is remembered. Therapy might involve  exploring how your experience affects your life at present, you may choose to delineate from existing (and possibly unhealthy) patterns, connect with yourself and others in a more grounded manner and develop a better sense of agency across situation(s).


Therapy is essentially, meant for anyone or everyone. It is not a space wherein you will receive unsolicited advice, rather one that is over time, meant to help you adjust your personal insight and understanding into your concern such that you can make decisions and efforts you may currently be struggling with. Along the way, such a space may also help one foster values such as resilience and assertiveness, by helping you play around with what these values mean to you within the session and in the world outside.

 * a diagnosis is most accurate when provided by a mental health professional, such as a psychologist, clinical psychologist or psychiatrist

Please note that therapy for the individual can be highly subjective, and as such depends on the current needs of a person. The above possibilities are thus only indicators of what could be worked upon within therapeutic sessions. For a more customised assessment of your concerns, you may choose to schedule a session here.


This article includes opinions expressed by a mental health expert. But we were humans long before we trained as professionals, and so are always looking to learn better! If you found that any of the above is inaccurate, irrelevant or unhelpful, or would like to suggest ways to make this article more helpful in any way, please let us know in the comments below.

Read the article, and wondering what’s next ? 
  • I want to take action now: If reading the above information has led you to decide that what you need is professional help, here’s a little bit about how our professionals work in case you would like to schedule a free consultation with us: our professionals’ work is based on a ‘recovery-oriented’ model, which believes in providing a space where each individual feels in charge of their own meaning of recovery from mental health concerns/illness. The aim of support isn’t just to reduce symptoms or to go back to the level of functioning that was, but rather to learn to emphasize one’s resilience and to hold space for those in distress as one is attempting to achieve short- and long-term recovery/life goals
  • I need to learn more: If you wish to know more about Therapy, please go through these FAQs; you could also look up articles on our blog 
  • I want more help about how to broach the topic of my mental health with friend/loved one as/before I book a session

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