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Stress, Depression & Anxiety

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Added April 23, 2014

Talk to a Therapist

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You find you're more down, more anxious, more moody than everyone around you. And you're not exactly sure why. Or all you can think about is one problem that's driving you crazy...your parents divorce, hating your big brother, worrying that something really bad is going to happen to you. Or you can't stand how shy or scared or lonely or uncomfortable you seem to feel too much of the time. Those who love you mean well, but they don't know how to make you feel better. You think you'd like to talk to a therapist. But how does that work?


Statistics show you're in good company. At one time or another, between 10% and 15% of teens have some symptom that they should talk to a therapist about. After the age of 15, depression is twice as common in girls than in boys. What goes on behind closed doors is private, leaving most teens without the facts to make an informed decision about whether they should talk to a therapist.


Because there's a lot of murky information out there, BeingGirl is going to try to clear the air. Here are the most common myths about psychotherapy: 


  • Mental health professionals solve your problems by telling you what to do. When you talk to a therapist, they offer help in managing whatever uncomfortable symptoms brought you there. As a continuous work in progress, treatment will supply emotional support, give tips for resolving conflicts and suggest new solutions to old problems. Although therapists can't change the circumstances that brought you there, they can suggest coping techniques and assist you in recognizing your strengths.


  • Psychotherapists all study the same techniques. There is a lot of confusion about the qualifications of the three most prominent therapy providers. When you talk to a therapist, they are good listeners, their training is very different. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (M.D.) who, in addition to talk therapy, is licensed to prescribe medication. In most states, a psychologist (Ph.D., Ed.D., Psy.D.) has a Doctoral degree and in addition to evaluating emotional problems, does psychological testing. Social workers, (M.S.W. or C.S.W.) have a Master's degree and often work in hospitals, government agencies, and schools. Unfortunately, you don't need any professional degrees to hang out a shingle calling yourself a psychotherapist, therapist or counselor, so check carefully into the training background of anyone you're considering if you want to talk to a therapist.


  • Talking about what's on your mind is actually not that hard. Therapy is work and change is hard. Know that sometimes when you talk to a therapist, your 4550 minutes will fly by pleasurably, but other times saying things out loud for the very first time might leave you angry, confused and frustrated. It's all part of the growing process.


  • You have to lie down on a couch when you talk to a therapist. Psychoanalysts who see patients four to five times a week use the couch in their treatment, but chances are you'll be sitting on a chair facing your therapist.


  • It takes so long to see results when you talk to a therapist. No one can tell you for sure how long your treatment will last. It depends on your complaint, how long you've had it, how serious it is and how hard you work. Therapy is one of those things you can't rush. You'll know when you're done.


  • The most important attribute of a therapist is his or her training. You and the therapist you choose to guide you to a happier state of mind will share an intimate relationship. His/her strength lies not in any special curriculum he/she mastered, but in how well he/she listens and understands and how safe and comfortable you feel in his/her presence.


  • Therapy only works for select few. The numbers are encouraging. In a recent survey, nine out of 10 Americans reveal that talk therapy helped them. Half of the patients saw changes in their behavior after only eight sessions, and 75% recorded positive changes within six months.


  • Therapy will make you a different person. Although the goal of therapy is change, talking to someone who will never judge or criticize you, who will try to instill confidence, teach tolerance and hold up a more accurate mirror of who you are than the one you've been carrying around, will never turn you into a different person. Your temperament and personality need no overhauling. This is about finding solutions to problems. Isn't that enough?

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comments so far
Posted August 16, 2012
i sometime think i need one. im always depressed i never know what to do i cry all the time i always feel like evryone hates me i always lock myself in my room and dont come out till myh family is asleep i dont knw what to do anymore
Posted August 02, 2012
I think I need a therapist a physicatrist and a doctor. I have so many problems, wen somebody asks me whats wrong, I say nothing but the truth is everything is wrong.
Posted May 30, 2012
I want to talk to a therapist about my anxiety and hypochondrianism, but I'm afraid I'll just feel more insane than I already do. :(
Posted February 04, 2012
I wrote a note to my dad saying I as depressed and it totally worked! He ws understanding and said he would get me a tharapist. I have not gone for my first appointment yet, but I'll let you know how it works out!
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