Do I need to see a psychologist?

Yellow Couch

A number of people who have come to see me have been unsure about psychology and psychotherapy. Often they say that they are not sure whether their issues are the kind of thing a psychologist deals with, or if their problem is big enough for a psychologist.

Seeing a psychologist can be very helpful during times of emotional difficulty. I advise people to see a psychologist when they feel that they are not coping emotionally. It is not a good idea to think about the gravity of the problem to evaluate your need to see a psychologist. I say this because sometimes it is a seemingly insignificant thing can upset us, while we find that we can cope with issues that are considered very difficult in our society. I recommend that you watch your emotional state to help you decide. If you find yourself feeling emotionally distressed and you are struggling to get out of it, I would say some psychotherapy may be a good idea.

Psychotherapy is also helpful during times of interpersonal difficulty- when we find ourselves struggling to get along with others such as co-workers, or even someone more significant. Many people feel unsatisfied with the relationships that they have with others, or find that they tend to ‘cross social lines’ unintentionally. Most psychologists have intensive training in interpersonal dynamics, enabling us to work with these kinds of difficulties.

Psychotherapy is also a useful resource if you are wanting to learn more about yourself. There are times when we notice that we do things – often things we wish we did not do – yet we seem to constantly find ourselves doing them. People often ask things like “why do I always let people walk all over me”, “why am I always attracted to people who I know will hurt me”, “why did I cry so much for something so stupid (like seeing a dead bird)”, “why am I the only one who seems to get so annoyed with Sally”. Our mind has a funny way of hiding the most difficult things about ourselves from us. In psychotherapy one can explore these patterns or behaviours in order to help us improve them.