Do I Need Therapy?

Therapy chairs - Portland Mindfulness Therapy

I’m guessing most people in this country at one time or another have at least considered getting some professional help, some therapy or counseling.

When deciding whether one “needs” therapy or counseling (I will use those two words “therapy” and “counseling” interchangeably here), it can be useful to consider some questions.

5 Questions to Ask Yourself if You Need Therapy

1. “Is this problem I am having causing me suffering?”

and

2. “Is this problem getting in my way, limiting my life in some way?” 

These first two questions are critical; they determine whether a problem is considered serious enough to warrant clinical attention.

3. “Have I tried to solve this problem on my own already?”

Usually, once we’re talking about a “problem,” it’s the case that we have already tried a few different ways to solve it on our own.  More often, we have tried many, many ways to solve it “on our own,” and are wracking our brains to think of still more ways, because we don’t like the idea of seeking help.  If you can easily identify 5 or more ways you’ve tried to solve the problem, and the problem is still with you, then it’s probably time to seek some professional help.

4. “Am I ready to work on this problem?” 

This question can save you a lot of time and money.  If you don’t feel like you are ready to work on a problem, then you probably aren’t.  If you’ve had enough of the problem, take a deep breath and consider whether you want to put in some hard work.  If so, then you’re ready.

5. “Am I ready to try things that don’t make perfect sense to me?”

Someone wise once said that “a problem cannot be solved with the same mental approach that it was created with,” or something to that effect (I’ve seen the quote attributed to Einstein, but who knows).  The chances are good that what will help you progress in therapy will be in some way counter-intuitive.  This is almost always the case in my experience, especially with the kind of therapy that I do (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy).  We almost always have to examine our basic assumptions about the nature of the problem, in order to begin moving forward.  Usually the problem is “held in place” in part by our VIEW of the problem.

If you do need therapy or have any questions, please contact us today!

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Joseph Rhinewine, PhD. People collaborate with me to live life fully: with principle, passion and vigor. My expertise is providing and teaching Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), an evidence-based, experiential and relational behavior therapy. I also apply Acceptance and Commitment processes to coaching those who wish to take their lives to a new level.

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