You may have learned that therapy is a place where people with more serious mental health
concerns go to get help. This might include anything from depression, anxiety, thoughts of suicide, all the way to more serious concerns like severe bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. This understanding of therapy is not wrong, as mental health professionals are indeed trained to help folx experiencing these types of concerns.
What is not as commonly known is that mental health concerns lie on a spectrum rather than a “you’re healthy” or “you’re not healthy” dichotomy. On the other end of that spectrum, there are folx who are struggling with problems that get in the way of them thriving in different areas of life, but that one might not necessarily label as a problem for therapy (or seek it). An example would be having to endure a toxic work environment that leads to fatigue, anger, and difficulties sleeping. These issues might also carry into other areas of life, such as blowing up at family members for seemingly minor things or not having the energy to engage in enjoyable and healthy activities.
This person may not have a diagnosable condition; however, their concerns and struggles are just as valid and also deserve attention. If they’re ignored, these concerns only get worse, making it more likely that they lead to a blow up and/or a breakdown. Additionally, the things that suck the life out of us literally take life away from us. They contribute to poor physical health; they impact the relationships with our loved ones; they occupy so much time and space that it is difficult to focus on anything positive, joyful, or that leads to personal growth.
In reality, therapy is for both ends of the spectrum and everything in between. In my experience, no matter the size of the problem, that problem almost always gets in the way of a person feeling satisfied or being able to reach their full potential. That problem might also make day-to-day living harder than it needs to be—it literally keeps people from living their best life. What’s more, issues that are seemingly small are often rooted in larger, more painful concerns.
In essence, there is no issue too small for therapy.
That’s because therapy is for making positive changes and striving toward growth as much as it is for treating mental illness. Therapy can help improve different aspects of mental health, including decreasing suffering, learning healthy coping strategies, feeling more satisfied, experiencing joy, building fulfilling connections, and finding meaning and purpose. So even if you feel like your problem is “too small,” it matters more that you want to make positive changes toward your goals and the life you envision for yourself.
This blog post from Restorative Counseling & Wellness, LLC is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute medical or psychological advice, and it is not a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, mental health professional, or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have.