As you may know, therapy has numerous benefits. It can help you work out significant stressors, and it supports your overall mental health. However, therapy is an active process, and it's important that you take the initiative to get the most out of your sessions.
Have your appointments felt stagnant or ineffective lately? Or, are you considering entering therapy, but you aren't sure if you have enough things to talk about with a professional?
Regardless of your circumstances, here are five common issues worth exploring in therapy.
Low self-esteem can affect every area of your functioning. It can make simple tasks feel overwhelming, and it often impacts your confidence and boundaries when it comes to interpersonal relationships.
Low self-esteem can be a lifelong problem. Children who aren't validated or emotionally attuned to their parents may grow up with a compromised sense of worth. Likewise, traumatic events or bad relationships can also contribute to poor self-esteem.
Unfortunately, low self-esteem tends to exacerbate other problems. For example, it often coincides with other mental health issues like depression or anxiety. It can also contribute to people self-medicating their problems. You may use drugs or alcohol to feel better about yourself- even though these short-term solutions only prolong your pain (while adding more problems).
Therapy can help with self-esteem because your therapist can process the triggers that affect how you perceive yourself. Together, you can also explore practical coping skills to help you cope with these triggers more effectively.
Stressful Family Dynamics
No family is perfect, but our family dynamics undoubtedly shape who we are and how we behave. Codependency, rigid boundaries, histories of abuse, and substance problems can all cause ruptures within these systems.
Stressful family dynamics are often intergenerational. That means that your parents likely inherited certain traits and mindsets from their parents. They probably passed down some of these issues unknowingly, and you may be internalizing them, too.
While family therapy can help with some of these issues, individual support is also important. You don't have to worry about offending your parents or siblings when meeting with an individual therapist. You can also focus entirely on your needs and boundaries.
Intrusive thoughts refer to unwanted, disturbing, or scary thoughts that seemingly appear out of nowhere. These thoughts may be violent, sexual, or otherwise inappropriate.
Although these thoughts may be stressful, they are relatively common. Likewise, they don't necessarily indicate that something is wrong.
That said, intrusive thoughts can become extremely distracting and uncomfortable. If you notice that they are occurring more frequently, it could indicate an underlying problem. It could also suggest issues related to PTSD, OCD, anxiety, or major depression.
Your therapist can help you cope with these intrusive thoughts. They can teach you various strategies, such as mindfulness and relaxation training, which can help reduce some of the symptom severity. Likewise, they may instruct you to practice cognitive restructuring, a skill rooted in changing negative thoughts into more realistic ones.
Significant Life Decisions
Do you need to make an important choice in your life? Are you weighing the pros and cons of a relationship, job, or other life-changing circumstance? Have you already made a choice- and now you're having second doubts?
Navigating these challenges alone can certainly feel daunting. In addition, your friends and family may not be able to offer objective feedback. They might be biased in what they think you should do.
While therapists cannot make the decision for you, they can provide support, guidance, and critical questions to help you feel more confident during this time. They will also act as your key support- even if others show resistance towards your actions.
Have you received a concerning medical diagnosis? Are you trying to make healthier changes in your lifestyle? Are you struggling to cope with life after a significant injury or related issue?
Therapy isn't limited to your mental health. Your physical health is inherently connected to your emotional well-being, and that's why it's important to discuss relevant concerns with your therapist.
While a therapist is not a replacement for a medical doctor, they can be an essential component of your treatment team. Therapists help clients cope with current stressors (including health issues) effectively and safely. As a result, you may experience less pain or stress if you work with a therapist.
Final Thoughts on The Best Issues Worth Exploring in Therapy
The most important topics worth exploring in therapy are those that cause you significant distress. If a certain thought, feeling, or situation affects your quality of life, bring it up! Keep in mind that no issue is too large (or small) to discuss with your therapist.
At The Resurface Group, we help individuals cope with their issues and feel more empowered in their lives. We are here for you and your loved ones. Contact us today to learn more.