Therapy 101: Who Goes to Therapy?

Therapy 101: Who Goes to Therapy?

We don’t have to do all of it alone. We were never meant to.

Brené Brown

Imagine a world in which we talked about emotional wellness as freely as we do physical fitness…

What would that look like?

We’d be open with each other about how it’s going. Sharing our wins and our challenges as we grow and change.

We’d equip ourselves with the all the tools and resources we need. Then we’d recommend them to our family and friends.

We’d set aside the time and money it takes to support our emotional wellness. We’d put in the work it takes each day, enlisting the help of a professional if we need it.   

That kind of world, we hope, will be a reality someday.

But, in the meantime, there are myths to dispel, stigma to combat…

And education to share.

(By the way, you’re educating yourself by reading this. And that helps a lot– Thanks! Want to help even more? Share this post with your friends!)

Back to education:

We’ve talked about the most common signs that therapy might be right for you.

But you may be wondering who therapy is actually for?

Today we’re continuing our Therapy 101 series by answering the question: “Who goes to therapy?”

Who goes to therapy?
Adults go to therapy.

Being an adult is not for the faint of heart.

From chronic stressors to issues that crop up suddenly, there are a wide range of challenges adults face every day.

If you’re an adult…

  • Therapy can provide a safe and supportive place for you to become the happiest, most fulfilled, and most thriving version of yourself.
  • It can help you identify those thoughts and behaviors that are keeping you feeling “stuck”, and develop new tools and strategies for creating positive change in your life.
  • It can help you examine patterns in your life that aren’t serving you (or others), and develop new styles of coping that will support you in living your best story.
  • It can help you navigate challenging situations and periods, create a self-care plan, and connect you with additional supports and resources.
  • It can help you develop strategies to navigate transitions (both “good” and “bad”) with ease.
  • And when things are going well, therapy can help you reflect on why they’re going well, get to know your strengths, and build resilience for the future.

Who goes to therapy?
Kids and adolescents go to therapy.

Maybe you’re noticing changes in your child or teen that worry or confuse you.

Or maybe things have been challenging for awhile.

With so many demands on your time and energy, and so much conflicting information and advice out there, it can feel impossible to sort out what’s “normal” and what may be cause for concern.

If you’re a parent…

  • Therapy can help your child or adolescent identify and communicate what they’re experiencing, build vocabulary and strategies for communicating their needs and challenges effectively, develop an ongoing self-care practice, navigate difficult situations and stressors, and get to know their own strengths.
  • Using conversation, play, art, music, and/or pretending, therapists can help your child share their feelings and resolve problems as they arise.
  • Depending on the developmental stage and needs of your child, therapy will involve you and other primary caregivers as needed. In addition, you may find it helpful to connect with your own therapist for additional support.

Who goes to therapy?
Couples go to therapy.

We’re wired to live in relationship within one another.

But that certainly doesn’t mean it’s always easy.

Relationships are complex, and it’s perfectly normal to experience challenging periods with our partners. But if you notice that you’re engaging in frequent conflict, limiting contact (or avoiding it altogether), or otherwise changing your behavior within the relationship, you might benefit from the support of a professional.

If you’re a couple…

  • Therapy can help you get to the bottom of what’s causing stress in your relationship.
  • It can help you implement key changes (big and small) that will improve the ways you show up in your relationship.
  • It can help you work together at improving your awareness, communication, and interactions.
  • And it can help you navigate particularly challenging periods, decisions, and roles together.
  • In couples counseling, the relationship is the “client”. To make the most of your joint therapy, however, you each will be focusing on your own self-improvement and self-awareness, perhaps with the help of a separate, individual therapist.

Who goes to therapy?
Families go to therapy.

Family life doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

What happens in a family can influence the ways we grow and develop as individuals.

Likewise, what’s going on in our individual lives often shapes the ways we interact with our family members.

Think of a family as a miniature model of life itself: How we show up within our family reflects how we show up in other areas of life.

If you’re a family…

  • Therapy can help each member of your family work together to address patterns and problems that may be causing confusion, conflict, and/or chaos in the family.
  • It provides a safe and neutral space for your family to identify and celebrate your individual and collective strengths, and make good use of them.
  • And it helps you examine the various ways the members of your family interact with one another, and understand and improve these family relationships in order to promote emotional wellness for everyone.

Enjoy this post? You might also like:

Therapy 101: 7 Signs You Might Benefit from Therapy
Therapy 101: How to Prepare for Therapy
3 Myths About Emotional Wellness


Ready to join everyone who already goes to therapy?