It’s easy for most of us to recognise when we might need to see our GP or book an eye test with the optometrist. Yet we might struggle to justify or consider our emotional needs in the same way we do our physical needs.
According to Clinical Psychologist Dr Rupali Kulshreshtha, the list of reasons that keep people from seeking therapy is substantial.
“All too often I hear clients describe how they have struggled for years before finally starting psychotherapy. They may have felt shame or fear of judgment, had reservations about opening up and felt pressure from their family or cultural values. Equally, they may have received misinformation about therapy, not had access to care, or were minimising their emotional distress or its impact,” says Dr Kulshreshtha.
Talking Therapies at The London Clinic
As a clinical psychologist at The London Clinic, Dr Kulshreshtha is on standby for patients who would like to talk to a trained expert about their thoughts, feelings, behaviours and experiences.
“People who decide to go to therapy aren’t ‘crazy’ or dysfunctional. Therapy allows people to explore ways to help themselves feel better, become more self-aware, and build the life they want,” says Dr Kulshreshtha.
Dr Kulshreshtha’s tailored treatments for each patient she meets with at The London Clinic can help them to learn new coping skills, develop a better understanding of their current difficulties and past experiences, reduce anxiety and emotional distress, and improve their social and relational functioning.
“Working with a therapist to figure out what needs to change, or what isn’t working, is a collaborative part of the therapeutic process,” says Dr Kulshreshtha.
The need for therapy
For many people, therapy can prove helpful before, during, or after a major life event.
“Losing a loved one, receiving a medical diagnosis, experiencing menopause, or enduring trauma and abuse are all situations where therapy might be beneficial. But even big life experiences that are considered ‘positive’ can impact our mental well-being. These can include becoming a parent, starting a new job or moving to a new area,” says Dr Kulshreshtha.
However, the need for therapy may not always be obvious, and it is often those around an individual who may first notice their struggles.
“Someone might seem more anxious than usual, or less enthusiastic about the things that they used to enjoy. They might seem more overwhelmed or find that they become irritated or sad more often.
“Another sign is a change in behaviour. Examples are poor sleep or not being able to get out of bed, trouble concentrating, changes in appetite, using alcohol or drugs more than usual, or withdrawing from close friends and family members,” says Dr Kulshreshtha.
Ultimately, Dr Kulshreshtha’s advice is that therapy can be beneficial for anyone, even those who are not experiencing symptoms.
“We don’t have to be completely overwhelmed and breaking apart at the seams to find value in therapy. The question ‘do I really need therapy’ might be better answered by rephrasing it as ‘how could therapy be useful for me right now?’.
“Regularly setting aside time to better understand our inner worlds can make a massive contribution to our overall quality of life in the long term,” says Dr Kulshreshtha.
Find out more about tailored Talking Therapies for patients at The London Clinic.
Dr Kulshreshtha is a clinical psychologist at The London Clinic. Find out more about her work and request an appointment.
Any views expressed in this article are those of the featured specialist(s) and should not be considered to be the views or official policy of The London Clinic.