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Lynn J. Piper, Ph.D. PLLC - Licensed Clinical Psychologist
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Why Seek Therapy?

It is often difficult for some individuals to seek psychotherapy. They likely worry about the stigma attached to mental illness and mental health treatment. Often they may be concerned about being labeled "crazy." Nevertheless, studies estimate that 30-50% of adults will have a diagnosable mental illness, with many having more than one diagnosable mental illness at the same time (Kessler, McGonagle, Zhao, Nelson, Hughes, Eshleman, Wittchen & Kendler, 1994), which means that 30 to 50% of individuals will need psychotherapy. Of course, this does not include those who may seek help concerning every day problems, such as finances, marital problems, family discord, academic difficulties, or a crisis such as grieving the death of a loved one or healing after a personal trauma. Nor does this include those who seek psychotherapy for personal development and growth. If we include all of the many reasons why someone may seek psychotherapy, it is likely that most of us will encounter problems, situations, and stages of life that we could more effectively manage if we sought psychotherapy. So why do people avoid seeking the psychotherapy that they need? Some individuals choose to talk about their problems with a friend or relative. More importantly, some individuals don't recognize that they have a problem or are not ready to make necessary changes.

When a person/couple consider seeking help they likely find that while they may want to gain professional help, other fears or thoughts keep them from reaching out for that professional help. While people may experience distress, life crises or disruptions that would lead them to seek psychotherapy, they also are faced with fears concerning the stigma associated with therapy. When will an individual seek psychotherapy? Typically, when the factors related to gaining help are stronger than the fears or thoughts that stop them from getting the help they need.

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