Mental Disorders: People struggling with depression, anxiety, phobias, addiction, PTSD, ADHD, etc. may seek therapy to treat the problem and/or learn healthy ways to cope. In many cases, disorders are treated medically in conjunction with therapy.
Distress: One way therapists determine the severity of an issue is to look at how much distress it causes the individual. For example, one young woman may be distressed about leaving home for college, while another is delighted. If the level of distress is prohibiting her ability to sleep, eat, study, socialize or enjoy life, therapy may be a healthy option.
Support/Coping: Loss is a common reason for people to seek therapy. Therapy can provide a safe, supportive place for people to talk about grief, adjustment to physical illness, the end of a relationship or job, abuse issues, or any change in life circumstances that cause distress. Therapists help clients learn coping skills to get them through these times.
Communication: Many people come to therapy looking for help with their relationships. Individual, couples or family therapy can address a common source of distress: poor communication and difficulty resolving conflicts. Some therapists are highly skilled at helping people communicate their needs and feelings constructively.
Self-Exploration: Some people come to therapy to gain a deeper understanding of self. They want to know why they do what they do, why they feel what they feel and determine how much control they have over those areas. Sometimes this exploration is used to determine career, relationship and personal goals.
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From Psychology Today