11 Mental Health Benefits of Individual Therapy

It’s time to get honest about individual therapy. For so many years, there has been a stigma surrounding going to treatment. Today, the stigma is fading, and more people recognize that taking care of yourself is a must if you want to be successful in all other areas of your life.

Another truth is that mental illness is a disease of the brain. It’s a disease, just like diabetes is a disease and cancer is a disease. Any disease deserves treatment. Finally, there is evidence to show there are many benefits of individual therapy, like the ones listed below.

Benefits of Individual Therapy

Researchers have found the brain has neuroplasticity. You can rewire it. When you feel depressed or anxious, thoughts that fill your mind are primarily negative. Your past traumas, physical ailments, and an imbalance of neurotransmitters have trained your brain to think and feel less optimistic and unhappy over the years. Working with an individual therapist, you can retrain your brain to think and feel positive and happy.

Won’t Have to Self-Medicate

Some people find ways to cope with mental health issues, like misusing drugs, alcohol, or both. They are self-medicating. Temporarily, the plan works. Over time, however, substance use only enhances the problem. Anxiety, depression, and other symptoms worsen, leaving you with a mental health and substance use disorder.

Individual therapy can help you learn positive coping skills to replace negative ones.

Repressed Emotions are Harmful

Another way to cope with negative experiences is to stuff thoughts and feelings in the back of your mind and avoid them altogether. This, too, may work for a while. Over time, those repressed emotions will start to come out in unexpected ways, like anger outbursts, self-harm, or increased mental health symptoms.

Individual therapy uses techniques that are trauma-focused to help you release the emotions and move forward.

You Get Expert Advice

When you have questions, you ask the experts for answers. When you want to lose weight, you follow an expert’s advice on diet plans. If your car needs a new transmission, you take it to an expert mechanic. If you have mental health issues, an individual therapist is an expert who can give you the proper guidance. Therapists have the education and multiple years of hands-on experience helping others. They have access to resources to help you succeed in all areas of your life.

Physical Health Improves

Mental health influences physical health and vice versa. For example, when you feel depressed, you may also have body aches and pains, headaches, and stomach aches. Individual therapy involves treatments designed to make positive changes in your life, like cognitive behavioral therapy.

Improved lifestyle choices, social connections, and physical activity improve physical and mental health.

Healthy Coping Strategies

So far, your coping strategies may not be working. In therapy, you can learn new coping strategies. Your therapist has hundreds of ideas for helping you cope with emotions. Together, you can find the ones that work for you. Examples of healthy coping strategies include stress management and relaxation techniques like journaling, meditation, yoga, art or music therapy, and equine therapy.

Find Yourself Again

It’s easy to lose yourself in a busy lifestyle filled with academic, career, family, and social obligations. You may feel like you’ve lost touch with the old you, the one who had goals and a plan to reach those goals. You may find yourself eating what everyone else wants to eat, watching your spouse’s favorite television shows, or holding back great ideas at work. You feel like you are just spinning your wheels, doing what it takes to get through each day.

This can lead to feeling depressed and anxious. Individual therapy introduces you to yourself, again. You can get back to living with excitement and determination. You have a lot to offer the world.

Improved Personal Relationships

Individual therapists provide education on how to improve your relationships. You learn skills like positive communication and conflict resolution. There are opportunities to bring your spouse, children, or other family members to therapy with you so they can be a part of your healing. Together, your therapist can help you improve relationship skills, anything from budgeting, boundaries, trust, and renewed intimacy.

Increased Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is your overall evaluation of yourself. Low self-esteem is connected to various psychiatric disorders, like depression, anxiety, substance misuse, and eating disorders, to name a few.

Both eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) and cognitive-behavioral therapy improve people’s self-esteem with mental health disorders.

Be a Good Role Model

For some, all it takes to reach out for help is to see someone else seeking help. You can be that role model that shows others struggling with mental health issues that it is okay to ask for help. If someone you love feels depressed, anxious, or struggles with any other form of mental illness, you likely encourage them to seek help. Sometimes showing them, it’s okay to seek therapy works better than telling them.

Learn Self-Care

Taking care of yourself is likely the last thing on your to-do list. By not making yourself a priority, you feel exhausted mentally and physically, even after many hours of sleep. You have a lot to be grateful for, but you feel something is missing. Lack of self-care starts a domino effect. Feeling depressed leads to poor eating habits, which lead to sleep problems, which lead to an inability to stay focused at work, which leads to poor coping skills, which leads to poor job performance, and so on.

Self-care involves being mindful of what your body needs to be healthy. It means providing your body with everything it needs to succeed personally and professionally. Examples of self-care may include an evaluation with a psychiatrist to discuss mental health treatment options, including new therapies like ketamine-assisted psychotherapy.

Self-care means receiving medical treatment for body aches and pains, getting massages, learning new things, and having fun.

You deserve a life balanced with happiness and good health. Individual therapy can help you achieve it.