World Mental Health Day 2020: How to Approach Therapy

World Mental Health Day is observed across the globe on October 10 to spread awareness about emerging mental health issues. The theme for 2020 is ‘Mental Health for All, Greater Investment, Greater Access’ as mental health issues have been on the rise during the COVID-19 pandemic. Anxiety due to the pandemic, not being able to meet your loved ones and staying locked up in the house have taken a heavy toll on the mental health of the people everywhere. While some people may be able to cope with these feelings on their own, others may need help.

Many people are able to discuss their sorrows and worries with their close friends and family members. But loved ones may not always be able to provide you with the support or guidance you may require. This is where therapy comes into the picture. Therapists and counsellors are mental health professionals who help you process your feelings, see the bigger picture and reach the root of the problem, thus making positive changes in your life.

Who should seek therapy?

Anyone can seek therapy. While it may be recommended for the management of a condition, you do not have to be diagnosed with a mental health issue to seek therapy. People with everyday concerns such as problems with the family member or partner, stress related to the workplace, anger issues, eating disorders or even self-doubt can consider opting for therapy.

Isn’t it easier to take medicines instead of getting therapy?

Not every mental health issue requires you to take medication for its treatment. If your condition is severe, your therapist may advise drug therapy and refer you to a psychiatrist. Taking medicines without the guidance of your psychiatrist is inadvisable. Even when you’re prescribed medication, your doctor would observe and check in with you to note any side-effects. They may change the dose or the type of drug you’re on, depending on how you respond.

Where should one seek therapy?

There are various hospitals, clinics and healthcare centres that have a mental health department and you can schedule an appointment by reaching out to the centre. If you don’t wish to do in-person sessions, you can sign up on healthcare apps that connect you with therapists through call, video, text and even email. You can also ask your family physician or primary healthcare provider to refer you to an appropriate expert.

Which therapy should one opt for?

There is no one-size-fits-all program for mental health treatment. Every individual has a tailored treatment which would help them resolve their issues. Even two people with the same mental health diagnosis can have a different course of treatment. Some people may require one-on-one sessions, while others may perform better in group therapy. There are various therapies which are used to treat mental health issues, some of which are:

Behavioural therapy
Psychodynamic therapy
Cognitive behavioural therapy
Humanistic therapy
Holistic therapy
Dance or movement therapy
Art therapy
Drama therapy
Psychosexual therapy
Family and couple therapy
What to look for while searching for a therapist?

Finding the right therapist is extremely important as they would help you get stronger and more self-aware. While this task may take some time and research, it is worth the effort. There are certain things that you take into consideration before locking down on a therapist:

You must feel a connection with your therapist. You need to find a person who makes you feel secure and comfortable. Your therapist must respect your choice and must never pressurise you or make you feel guilty.
Your therapist should be a licensed professional. Mental health shouldn’t be taken lightly and those with a masters in psychology are trained to deal with any situation that may come up during your session.
Look for an experienced therapist who would have treated various types of mental health issues in their life.
If you know the special area you need to focus on, go for a specialist. For instance, there are special therapists for depression, eating disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).