Asking for Help vs. The Culture of Self

Is Therapy Necessary?

49Individualism has often defined American culture. We hear “Be a self-starter and be self-motivated” as keys to our successes. Have you been raised to believe that your problems are private? To be strong, you must deal and fix your issues alone and in silence?

But what happens when we get stuck? When we find it difficult to get motivated or we find ourselves in seemingly endless loops of self-destructive behavior? People sometimes find themselves laying on the bed hours into their day, almost paralyzed with immobility. Grief can also trigger many issues, such as loss of identity, loss zest for life and even depression.

Sometimes we need to break with tradition and seek outside assistance.

Well-being isn’t about our circumstances or the things we have or the people we know, but about how we are viewing these things. Therapists are trained to understand and interpret what may be holding us back, helping us correct our life views in order to aid in our recovery, so that we can once again “stand on our own two feet.”

Self-help books often tell us how to change ourselves, therapists encourage us to change the way we view ourselves. Cognitive therapy believes that our thought process determines our moods and behaviors. This modality addresses the way an individual structures and interprets his or her experiences: “Change your thoughts, change your life.”

Life involves death. This acknowlegement can lead one to a deep seeded anger and feelings of disappointment and anxiety. Speaking to a Jungian-based therapist, for example, may help you process this anger and help you realize that in order to appreciate life’s positives, an acceptance of one’s darker (“Shadow”) feelings may be necessary.

Part of our emotional recovery often involves getting into better shape physically, through cardiovascular exercise and nutrition. It is a known fact that poor mental health can negatively affect the physical body. Remember the old adage “Stress kills?” In like kind, the physical body both negatively and/or positively affects one’s mental health.

So consider a workout at The Mental Gym. Approaching your mental health with the same discipline and scheduling with which you approach your physical health can make you psychologically fit for life and able to live the American Dream.


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