If the thought of starting therapy scares you, you’re not alone. According to Mental Health America, over half of US adults experiencing mental illness go untreated. It’s natural to focus on the parts of therapy you might fear, like facing yourself, your story + your relationships. The truth is, therapy can be painful.
The other truth? The benefits that come from seeking change and facing your problems in therapy (whether in-person or through telehealth) might surprise you. Take it from the locals who have started their journey at RVA Counseling and have noticed positive changes physically, emotionally, and socially.
Here are a few unexpected benefits of going to therapy:
🧘 Physical benefits
- Therapy can help reduce and in some cases even eliminate chronic pain. Trauma + stress can increase cortisol, a hormone that affects the perception of pain. In therapy, you can discover solutions that help reduce stress and positively impact your physical wellbeing alongside your mental wellbeing.
- Therapy can plant a seed for greater self-love + self-care. You might feel more motivated to do activities that make you feel good and are good for you. (Think: healthy routines, exercise, and socializing.)
- A calmer nervous system supports gut health, improves immune function, can lower blood pressure, and promotes better circulation, among many other improved areas of bodily function.
🧠 Psychological and emotional benefits
- It’s easy to shut down uncomfortable thoughts and feelings when you’re alone. The longer these go unaddressed, the more they can negatively impact your mental health. Therapy provides a dedicated time + place to address those thoughts with someone you trust.
- When you lift the weight caused by your stressors, you make space for self-awareness, creativity, and curiosity.
It’s no surprise that social benefits might come along with the physical + emotional benefits you find in therapy. Here are a few social benefits local therapists have observed:
🤝 Social and relational benefits
- The therapist-client relationship is a healthy one. There are loving boundaries in place, and you can experience a safe + secure attachment. By knowing what a healthy relationship feels like, you can become more aware of relationships in your life that lack healthy characteristics and make changes that have a positive impact on you.
- Talking to a therapist can give you a transparent outlook on the way others experience you. You can gain helpful insights and compassionate feedback from your therapist to better understand your relationships with others.
Ready to heal and grow?
RVA Counseling offers services for individuals, couples, families, and more in focus areas ranging from general stress and anxiety to PTSD, ADHD, and other mood disorders. When you’re ready, meet the team + schedule an appointment.*
What is preventing you from starting therapy? Share with us.*