Therapy provides an opportunity for each of us to explore and understand the complexities that make our lives challenging. Life itself can be unpredictable, change is inevitable, and each change—small, medium, or large—requires us to adapt. The by-products of change can manifest themselves in ways that feel unpleasant. We may find ourselves worrying excessively, perhaps to the point of missing an important deadline at work, for example. This is where therapy can be most helpful. A skilled professional, such as a marriage and family therapist, can facilitate positive change. Having a safe place to explore difficult feelings that may keep us from meeting our potential and reconnecting with joy can only be of benefit to ourselves, as well as to our relationships. Here are some insights from marriage and family therapists on how therapy can benefit you.
Our thoughts are a product of our experiences, of years of lessons that become our truth. It can be hard to see outside of those experiences and gain insight into the things that we don't know about ourselves or our situation. Therapy can be greatly beneficial by offering a new perspective or the "Aha!" moment we need to propel us toward a solution that we could have never come up with on our own. Heather Holmgren, MFT, Salt Lake City, UT
Through therapy, we can begin to alleviate the problems in our lives and return to a preferred way of being. During the therapeutic process, we get to know ourselves better and can also gain insight into how we engage in our relationships. This self-understanding helps to build resiliency so that we can cope more effectively with difficulties in our lives, stay connected in the relationships we value, and know when to seek help in the future. Therapy can provide healing, insight, and simply a space to ask questions and seek out answers from a trained professional. Eugene Hall, LAMFT, Minneapolis, MN
One benefit of therapy is prevention. Often our society sees therapy as a last-ditch effort before divorce. Rather than waiting until your relationship is on its last legs, you can come into therapy around different life transitions. Before getting married, before having a new baby, and before your children leave your household and you plan to retire are all great times to come into therapy. These life transitions often come with a lot of stress. Coming into therapy to get ahead of the game is a great way to develop some tools for the upcoming transition. Angela Skurtu, M.Ed. LMFT, St. Louis, MO
If you know that it is time to seek therapy, we can help. Marriage and family therapists (MFTs) are trained in psychotherapy and family systems, and licensed to diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders within the context of marriage, couples and family systems. The unique feature you will find during treatment with an MFT is the therapist will focus on understanding your symptoms and diagnoses within interactions and relationships. The existing environment and context is given careful examination paying particular attention to the family system – as defined by you. MFTs treat predominantly individuals but always from the perspective that “relationships matter.” Find a therapist here.
The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy represents over 50,000 marriage and family therapists worldwide.