The when, why, and how of therapy 

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We have all heard of therapy from the media, but how do you know if you need it? 

The idea of therapy can be intimidating. Telling a complete stranger about your issues can make you feel more like running away than sitting on a confessional couch.  

If the media is anything to go by, nobody really wants to answer “And how do you feel about that?” over and over. Fortunately, this isn’t what therapy is actually like. But, to begin with, how do you know when you need a therapist? 

According to Forbes, one of the signs that you need a therapist is feeling depressed for several weeks on end. This also goes for anxiety that feels like it has no end. There are many different reasons to see a therapist, but these are two reasons why people, particularly students, do so.  

If you find yourself unable to function due to emotions that feel out of control, it’s also a sign that you should talk to someone. If nothing else, it can help to talk to a therapist since they’ll have an idea of how to help you with what you’re going through. 

The first session will be a consultation to see where you’re at and what you need help working through. As Mental Health America says, the therapist may start  by explaining their style of therapy, then ask if it’s a good fit for you. Once you find the right therapist, you set your own goals. “Your therapist is there to help you identify your own goals and find healthy ways to work towards them,” MHA states. They also point out that you don’t have to share anything before you’re ready.  

As mentioned, therapy is also more than just talking about feelings. When it comes to the sessions themselves, therapists help you learn how to think in ways that are less harmful to your mental health. You learn to question your negative thoughts and change your behaviors, as MHA says. “Your therapist will encourage you to confront things you’ve been bottling up. This is challenging. … [However,] [t]hings do get easier over time,” they conclude. 

If you think therapy might be right for you, UVU provides different types of therapy to students through the Student Health Center. They’ve partnered with Timely Care to provide free, 24/7 access to remote mental health services. They offer health coaching, scheduled counseling, chatline support, and other services.  

Additionally, UVU offers one-on-one therapy for students for only $10 per session for students who are enrolled in at least nine credit hours. If the cost is a concern or if you’re taking less than nine credit hours, the university also offers free group therapy. 

Mental health matters, and taking care of yourself while in school is vital to your overall health. If you need help, don’t be afraid to reach out. There’s always help if you’re willing to look for it.