Why Therapy is Important

Ryan Houston-Dial, Assistant Opinion Editor

In December 2018, I lost my dearest friend — my grandfather. He was the first individual to pass away that I was very close to, and the thought of not having him around scared me. I started to feel my mood shift and my mental health decline, but my daily appearance did not show my internal battles. I’ve always been told that to be a man is to hold in struggles and make sure others are okay before yourself. Therapy had been an afterthought and was often disregarded when I considered going to counseling services. My declining mental health caused physical fatigue and seeking help was absolutely the best thing I could have done. I am eternally grateful for the assistance UTSA’s counseling services offered. It is imperative for everyone to seek therapy and support in times of mental distress.

Therapy is a great opportunity to express oneself. Therapy aids not only in the mental well-being of an individual, but physical as well. A lot of stigmas surround therapy, largely with people asking themselves, “how can this person help me if they don’t know me personally?” Sometimes our peers and family members can carry judgment in their statements that can cause us to feel invalidated. Therapy allows you to vent to someone who does not have any preconceived biases about your problems and circumstances. In therapy, you are able to express yourself in a manner that is comfortable and suits you. Rather than asking questions that can be discouraging, therapists ask questions about your reasoning and use that to help you make more sense of a situation. Individuals are guided and validated with the freedom to make their own decisions while not having advice forced upon them.

Therapy is not only important for people diagnosed with a mental illness but also those who are having a tough time with the circumstances they were given throughout life. It allows us to identify and create solutions for life’s daily problems as well as discuss things that make us uncomfortable. Each session has the potential to increase self-esteem because we feel in tune with our emotions.

Therapy benefits everyone because we are able to better understand people when we explore ourselves. We become more open-minded and less judgemental, we understand how tough it is for us to adjust. Improved communication skills also assist in our ability to connect with others and we have a greater appreciation of those around us.

The cultures we come from each have judgments about seeking assistance for mental health, good or bad. It is imperative for us to take our mental well-being into our own hands for the improvement of ourselves and those around us. Building mental strength is a process, different for each person. However, every individual is capable. Through therapy, we are gifted insight on ourselves to share the benefits with others.