Therapy. It has always seemed to be something no one wants to discuss. But, why are we so afraid to talk about therapy? By definition, therapy is a form of treatment, often regarded as a remedy or cure for stress and anxiety. From just hearing this definition, therapy seems to be nerve-racking. While you may have that “laying on a couch” scenario in your head, that usually isn’t the case. Seventy-five percent of adults claim to experience moderate to high levels of stress, according to Mental Health America. In my eyes, therapy is a treatment that’s different for everyone.
As someone who has been attending therapy for the past two years, the benefits have become clear. I will admit that I was timid about it at first; I had never met anyone who was going to therapy before, so I had absolutely no idea what I was walking into. Would the therapist judge me? Would he or she tell me I’ve made bad decisions? Would they tell me that the emotions and stress I’d been feeling were ridiculous? And, to my relief, the answer to all of those questions was no; my therapist immediately told me that I was in a judgment-free zone. She was there to listen to my problems, and would only give me advice if I asked for it, so I wouldn’t feel like she was impeding or making me feel bad about what I was discussing. I had someone who I could confide in without the fear of being judged.
Therapy is helping me release my anxiety in a healthy manner, and everyone should be able to do this as well without fear. You don’t need to have a diagnosed problem to go to therapy. In a study done by the UK Counselling Directory, 84% of people claimed they are attending therapy to cope with stress and anxiety.
Psychodynamic therapy, which is one of the most well-known forms of therapy, focuses on learning about yourself through discussions about your problems. Psychodynamic therapy has been scientifically proven to be extremely effective and is known to have long-lasting positive effects on those who attend.
“I believe everyone could benefit from therapy. Having someone whose job is to listen to you and to help you solve your problems makes you feel less like a burden when sharing your problem,” Summer Kennedy, a freshman biochemistry major, said. “Therapists can help you with cognitive behavioral therapy or dialectical behavioral therapy in a professional manner while also being a huge emotional support.”
While these treatments may sound complicated, this really goes to show that there is a treatment for everyone. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is a great on-campus service to try out; it is located on the second floor of the Student Health Center and provides various free therapy services for students. These services include individual one-on-one sessions, group therapy, couples therapy, medication management and meditation. CAPS is also the group that hosts the PALS (Pet Away Life Stress) Program, which is a pet-based therapy initiative that is often held on campus.
Going to therapy doesn’t mean you’re “crazy” — if anything, it makes you a stronger person. Being able to look at your problems and accept help is a huge step that is extremely difficult to take, and it will have lasting positive effects that you won’t regret.