Habit #5: Therapy

Habit #5: Therapy (Part 6 of 7)

“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” -Carl Rogers, Ph. D.

Over the years, there are various occasions when problems in our lives can cause enough emotional distress to make us feel completely and utterly overwhelmed. Everyone goes through life altering events on their personal timelines. Some are positive while others are negative: new employment, losing a loved one, having a child and empty-nests syndrome for parents. These stepping stones in life can alter a person’s mood so drastically that their mental wellness is submerged in anxiety. At this point, it may be time for a form of therapy.


Whether it’s talking with friends about problems or seeing a professional, some type of therapy is always helpful when dealing with mental issues. It doesn’t have to be a gushy journey of self-discovery. Start by writing down a list of things that frustrate you in your current situation and then ask yourself why each one negatively affects you. It’s important to understand behaviors and emotions in order to modify these feelings. Through these actions, it is possible to regain control and head in the direction to a more pleasurable life.

Types of Therapy

There are four basic types of therapy to improve mental wellness. Individual therapy involves the relationship of the patient and the therapist. Perhaps the most known form, individual therapy is a great way to improve individual mental wellness. Group therapy is when two or more patients attend the same session and this form allows for patients to share experiences and connect with others who have also had similar experiences. Marital, or couples therapy, is ideal for when one person may have a mental disorder or when there are simply communication barriers in the relationship. Attending couples therapy helps couples improve their relationship and move forward. The final form is family therapy. Through this form of therapy, members of a family will help an individual with a mental disorder improve their way of life. It also helps the other family members cope with the disease and clarifies the illness so everyone understands current and future situations.

Approaches to Therapy

Once a type of therapy has been chosen or provided, it’s important to understand a few different approaches to therapy. Psychodynamic therapy is designed off the conclusion that an individual is having emotional problems from an unresolved issue from the past. This form is usually spread out of three to four months but could last for years if necessary. Interpersonal therapy pivots around the interactions between family and friends. The main resolution of this form is to improve communication. Cognitive-behavior therapy helps those with mental illnesses identify and alter incorrect assumptions about their traits. The therapist encourages the patient to perceive himself in a different, more positive viewpoint.


Despite which issues or emotions bring a person to consider therapy, there are several ways to make sure therapy is given the best chance of being successful. It’s important to attend all scheduled meetings and complete any written work assigned. Once with a therapist, it’s vital to participate openly and actively. It’s a good idea to set goals and important to follow those goals directly. Doing these steps will help improve mental wellness and reduce anxiety and stress.

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