Is Therapy Even Necessary?
I would venture to say, “no, therapy is not necessary”. This might sound shocking coming from a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist. You might be asking yourself, “why would a Therapist who has dedicated their life to the practice of Individual, Marriage, and Family Therapy assert that their practice is not necessary?” That’s a great question, and I’ll tell you why:
I see therapy as a means to achieve or attain what is necessary, but is not necessary in and of itself. This goes back to a theme which comes up often in my posts, and that theme is the theme of bringing awareness to one’s end goals. No one attends therapy simply for the sake of attending therapy, but rather, they attend for that which they achieve or gain through therapy.
Whether that achievement is “fixing” a “broken” marriage, finding freedom from anxiety, healing from trauma, overcoming porn or sex addiction, or reuniting a family, what is necessary for these achievements is not therapy. What is necessary for these achievements is compassion, genuine concern and regard for others, and the daring displayed through raw vulnerability - none of which are confined to the Therapy session and none of which are solely possessed by certain individuals such as Therapists. Rather, these are capacities, relational attributes, and disciplines free to be exercised by any and all who venture to access them.
On the other side of that coin, I want to validate that some have had more tangible, experiential examples of what it looks like to embody these capacities which may lend them an advantage in accessing them when needed. However, even those with the best of examples in life, whether it be through loving parents, or a faithful partner, will be confronted with feelings of longing for these capacities to give and receive care, respect, and vulnerability.
Therapy, although not necessary in and of itself, can help to illuminate and console on what might otherwise be a very dark and lonely road toward accessing these capacities. Therapists can stand in those gaps with you, and help nurture your inherent abilities to not only practice compassion, regard for others, and vulnerability, but to receive these experiences as well.
In summary, while therapy may not be “necessary” in and of itself, it is certainly worth it for those who feel they would benefit from a trained, professional companion on their journey toward achieving their goals. You already have what is necessary - capacities to give and receive genuine compassion, regard for others and self, and raw vulnerability. Therapy helps you to access and practice those inherent attributes and helps you identify the right people to practice them with.
If you feel like it is time to invite someone else on your journey toward discovering and achieving what is necessary for your own personal wellness, stop waiting. Find a professional who can stand in those gaps with you and illuminate your individual path toward wellness. As always, you are welcome to reach out if you feel you could benefit from further consultation with a professional.