The idea of taking care of your mental health has been on the forefront of the public eye for a while now - self-care, self-love, checking your emotions and validating them as necessary are beginning to become common (which we at Send HEPi are super excited about). A key step in the right direction of a good and balanced mental health is Therapy.
Therapy, otherwise referred to as psychotherapy, counseling, or talk-therapy, is meant to help you process and digest your emotions, behaviors, thoughts, and life situations. When attended routinely, therapy involves 'sitting' (sometimes virtually in this day and age) one-on-one with a mental health professional to address your needs. Since the decision to start therapy is so personal, your choice of in-person or virtual sessions is equally as important to you.
People seek therapy for a variety of different reasons, for different lengths of time - some folks go for years, others just utilize a few sessions and feel complete. It all depends on you, and there is no right answer.
Some common reasons that people might seek therapy are:
discussing personal issues that you don't have a safe space to discuss otherwise
processing traumatic events
managing severe/long-term feelings of stress
symptoms of depression or anxiety, or concerns of other mental health conditions
having already been diagnosed with a mental health condition, and seeking guidance
major life events, for example: death of a loved one, relationship issues, a new move
So how do I start therapy?
Have a chat with your primary. Primary care doctors can often times be a fantastic resource for referrals to mental health practitioners that can fit your needs. Since mental health is just as important as physical health, it is important to be open and honest. Don't be afraid to ask questions! Usually, family doctors will suggest that you visit a psychiatrist - specifically a mentally health professional that can prescribe mood-altering medication. If you are only looking for a therapist or a counselor, state this early on! Your primary will still be able to help!
Bring in your mom, your bestie, your sibling