Do I Need Therapy?
Also see this article: When to seek therapy
Since it is true that we all have reactions to traumatic events, how do you know if you need the help of a therapist? The easy answer to this question is to seek out a therapist if you are feeling like the impact of trauma is interfering in your life. There are some ways to know if you need therapy. Ask yourself the following questions:
Have I ever had sexual contact with a child or teen? If yes, click here.
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should get a therapist. Some of the questions assess trauma responses that are mild but disruptive to your life, and other of the questions ask about more serious problems. If you answered "yes" to the disruptive questions, it is still a good idea to seek out help. The list contains a variety of trauma reactions from varying levels of traumatic responses. So, for example, you may have problems with anxiety and depression, relationship problems, and feel generally out of control, but seem to be somehow holding it together. You would find therapy very helpful and enjoyable because you would see results fast.
If you are being abused by someone else or are abusing someone else, then you definitely need the help of a therapist. The more items that you answered "yes" to, the more likely you should consult a therapist, but if you answered "yes" to any of the "I have hurt or fantasized about hurting someone else" you definitely should contact me or another therapist. Don't wait. If you are thinking about killing yourself, call me or anther therapist NOW! Don't wait. Therapy is best for helping prevent crisis or more problems.
It is tough to initially seek help from a therapist, even if you have gone to see a therapist in the past. Don't worry, this is normal. No one likes to ask for help, but if you don't ask, you will continue to suffer. It is worse to suffer than to admit you need help. Also, know that it is very common for people to see a therapist even if it isn't necessary. Most therapists have more people who see them for support than because they "NEED" a therapist. It is helpful to have someone who isn't asking for something in return from you. That is a big advantage of therapy - having a person who is focused on your well-being, who doesn't know everyone else in your life. That person is just there for you!
***If you fantasize about sex with children, teens (if you are an adult), or violent sex with another person, get help. If you have had sexual contact with children or teens, it is in your best interest to ask for help from a therapist. This is also true if you hit, slap, punch or push other people, children or animals. The sooner you ask for help, the better off you will be. If you are scared to ask for help, know that everyone is afraid to ask for help. This is normal. I am a therapist who is experienced in working with these types of problems, and if we are not a good match, I can refer you to someone who will be. But no matter what, call me or another therapist for help, even if you think you don't need it. Pick up the phone and reach out.