Mental health, physical health, and spiritual health are all beautifully intertwined.
As a believer in Jesus, I am called to steward my mental, physical, and spiritual health with wisdom and discernment. One way that I take care of my mental health is by going to therapy regularly.
Therapy has been a vital part of my health journey and I am so grateful for the benefits I have found in it. I want to share some of my thoughts about my personal experience with therapy and how it has helped my mental health. Here are just five of the reasons why I think therapy can be a positive and powerful resource for anyone who wants to take better care of their mental health.
1. Therapy creates a space for your emotions.
Life is loud. It can be difficult to slow down and quiet our souls enough to really be comfortable sitting with and processing our emotions. Therapy creates a literal space for your emotions, providing both a time and a unique physical setting devoted to your mental health.
2. Therapy encourages clear goals.
This is what differentiates therapy from just talking to a friend or family member about life. A professional psychotherapist has been trained to help you with specific goals like managing stress and anxiety, coping with depression, or processing trauma. Do some research to find a therapist that specializes in the goals you hope to reach.
3. Therapy provides a neutral and unbiased environment.
Talking with friends or family members can be incredibly helpful and positive for mental health. However, having a completely neutral space for emotional processing is invaluable. In therapy, you can put to rest any fears you may have of bothering people, losing the support of loved ones, or being judged by friends. You are not a bother to your therapist (it’s literally their job to help people) and they won’t judge you for what you say or don’t say in therapy.
4. Therapy equips you with tools to thrive.
Therapy is so much more than a conversation. A good therapist will give you the tools you need to grow. Many therapists provide ideas about positive coping mechanisms and walk you through healthy ways to manage stress. They may also use tools such as mental health screenings and tests to provide you with the best help possible for your specific mental health needs.
5. Therapy offers insight and clarity.
We are emotional beings created in the image of an emotional God. However, many of us lack even basic knowledge of emotional health. Therapy provides you with the language of emotions, a verbiage that can help you better understand yourself and the world around you. Understanding the basics of psychology is a vital part of a mental-health-minded lifestyle.
Some final thoughts…
It is important to remember that mental health issues exist on a spectrum.
For some, mental health problems may stem from spiritual issues. For others, outside circumstances or real medical issues may be the primary cause. While it is possible for mental health problems to point towards underlying spiritual issues, it is horrendously misguided for someone to assume that this is true about everyone. We are complex beings created in the image of our Creator and we each have unique emotional experiences in life.
Seeking help from a doctor for a physical problem does not mean you are failing to trust God with your physical health. Seeking help from a therapist for a mental health problem does not mean you are failing to trust God with your mental health.
When we view talk therapy as a means of help in the hands of a sovereign God, we know where our healing truly comes from. It is possible for our hope to be in God alone and to simultaneously take advantage of the resources He has given us.
I believe therapy is one of those resources.
• Have you ever been to therapy?
• If you have, how would you describe its impact?
• If you haven’t, would you ever consider going?