Maintaining good mental health can require constant vigilance and ongoing effort. It also often involves asking for help, which can include consulting with a therapist or counselor. When you understand the many benefits of therapy for mental health, you will hopefully be less resistant to getting professional assistance when you need it.
What Is Therapy for Mental Health?
Before we explore some of the potential benefits of therapy for mental health, let’s take a moment to make sure that we all understand what we mean when we use the word therapy.
When people talk about therapy in a mental health context, they are usually referring to psychotherapy, or “talk therapy.” Three common formats for therapy are individual, group, and family sessions:
- Individual: During individual sessions, one client or patient works with one professional.
- Group: Group sessions typically involve a small number of clients or patients, along with one or more professionals.
- Family: Family sessions are special types of group therapy. In a family session, a professional works with participants with are either related to each other closely involved in each other’s lives.
During group therapy and family therapy, participants may take part in various types of sessions, including the following:
- Process: During process groups, participants may address how they have been directly impacted by mental health challenges or affected by a loved one’s struggles.
- Psychoeducational: Psychoeducational sessions can help participants gain important information about specific types of mental illnesses, symptom management, treatment options, and other topics.
- Skills development: During these sessions, participants can learn new capabilities, then practice their newly acquired skills in a safe and supportive environment.
What Are the Benefits of Therapy for Mental Health?
The benefits of therapy for mental health can vary considerably from one person to the next.
Factors such as what types of challenges a person has been experiencing, what type of therapy they are receiving, and what their goals for treatment are can influence how they benefit from the experience.
In general, though, people who work with a therapist, counselor, or other mental health professional may receive the following benefits of therapy for mental health:
- Being assessed by a qualified professional: In addition to confirming a diagnosis, a thorough assessment can also identify co-occurring concerns that you may not have been aware of when you initially sought treatment.
- Discovering that you are not alone: Untreated mental illnesses can be isolating. When you begin therapy, you will discover that other people understand what you’re going through, and they are prepared to help.
- Putting your worries & fears into words: Simply talking about what has been bothering you can make a significant positive difference in how you view the challenges you are facing. In therapy, you have the added benefit of receiving focused feedback from a trained professional.
- Developing more productive communication skills: Misunderstandings and miscommunication can turn relatively minor concerns into major problems. Being able to communicate in a more productive manner can have a beneficial impact on your ability to maintain your mental health.
- Learning how to cope with stress and pressure: External factors such as stress can exacerbate symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other mental health concerns. Developing better coping skills can yield a wealth of benefits.
- Adopting healthier thought & behavior patterns: Sometimes, we sabotage our healthy progress by viewing the world in an overly negative manner or acting in a self-defeating way. Therapy can help you learn how to manage maladaptive thoughts and incorporate healthier behaviors into your life.
- Practicing conflict-resolution and problem-solving strategies: This benefit goes hand-in-hand with learning how to cope with stress. Resolving conflicts and solving problems before they become significant obstacles can minimize their ability to negatively impact your mental health.
- Exploring your treatment options: In addition to providing you with direct therapeutic services, a professional counselor or therapist can also help you understand your treatment options. If necessary, they can also refer you to other providers who may be better prepared to meet the full scope of your needs.
- Connecting with others who have had similar struggles: Group therapy can be an ideal environment for making meaningful connections with other people who have been struggling with similar challenges or who are working toward common goals.
- Becoming a more informed & effective advocate for yourself: The skills you develop during therapy and the information you acquire can have an empowering effect on your life in many ways, including preparing you to express your needs in a productive manner and ask for help when necessary.
Who Can Benefit From Therapy for Mental Health?
Therapy can be a beneficial experience for people whose lives have been impacted by a wide range of challenges and concerns. For example, people who have developed the following disorders can benefit from therapy for mental health:
- Bipolar disorder
- Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Borderline personality disorder
- Avoidant personality disorder
Therapy can also be a valuable service for people who have dual diagnosis, which is the clinical term for the simultaneous presence of a mental health disorder and a co-occurring addiction.
However, a person does not have to have a diagnosis of a mental health disorder in order to benefit from therapy. Therapy can be helpful for people in circumstances such as the following:
- Dealing with the effects of untreated trauma
- Grieving the death of a loved one
- Struggling with thoughts of suicide
- Engaging in self-harming behaviors
Begin Mental Health Treatment in Nashville, TN
Arbor Wellness offers a variety of therapies and related support services for adults who have been struggling with a wide range of mental and behavioral health concerns. Our mental health treatment center in Nashville, Tennessee, is a trusted source of quality care at the residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient levels. To learn more about therapy at Arbor Wellness, or to schedule a free assessment, please visit our admissions page or call us today.