How To Know If Therapy Is Right For You – Part 2

People come to therapy at different times, for different reasons. In Part 1 of this series (you can read it here) , we explored three great reasons why someone would seek counseling:

  • Your life has somehow changed recently
  • You can’t quite seem to cope with the change adequately
  • You feel overwhelmed

This week, we’re going to talk about three more ways you can tell if therapy might be the right choice for you:

  • You want to maintain your well-being
  • You want to get to know yourself
  • You think there’s a chance therapy could help

Read on to go a little deeper into each reason:

You want to maintain your well-being

Do you feel safe, content, and balanced?

There’s no wrong way to answer, but this question might give you a peek into where your well-being is today.
Well-being is a state of general contentment with life and the way things are. If you’re able to put the rough days in perspective, and feel connected to people, purpose and community, you’re experiencing well-being!

It might sound strange for us to suggest therapy if you’re already feeling pretty good about things. We want to normalize going to therapy before things get out of balance. While therapy is useful in times of crisis and extra stress, you can absolutely go to therapy without having a major life problem or unbearable distress./

You want to get to know yourself

Have you ever thought about why you do the things you do? Or maybe why you react to certain events or people in confusing ways? We’ve all had the experience of saying something unexpected, and immediately we think, “Whoa – where did that come from?!”

In therapy, your counselor can help you learn about … you! They’re trained to (nonjudgmentally) spot patterns that you might not have noticed before. In some cases, you might even find that things you haven’t thought much about before – such as your family or past events – have a huge impact on your “right now.” As therapist Nedra Tawwab says, “Therapy is a space to learn more about yourself, your relationships, and how your life experiences impact you.”

An important part of any relationship is getting to know someone. It’s a lot easier to be present with another person when you’ve had practice being present and understanding with yourself. Just remember to be as kind and forgiving to yourself as you would be to a new friend.

You think there’s a chance therapy can help

You’re reading these blog posts for a reason!

If you’re reading this, we want you to know it’s never too early or too late to seek counseling.

Many people come to therapy with issues that are difficult to face alone. Maybe you’ve already tried to bring yourself back into alignment. You might even have participated in different therapies in the past (such as talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, etc). Sometimes, professionals and their clients just don’t “click” or their specialty isn’t right for what you’re carrying.

Everyone’s situation is unique, because people are unique. Reach out to us to learn more, and see how we can help support you!

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Enigma of a Stigma

Merriam-Webster defines enigma as “something hard to understand or explain” and stigma as “a mark of shame or discredit.” I believe therapy’s stigma is quite the enigma. For some reason, mental healthcare is quite taboo and carries a burden of shame. Unfortunately, I often hear mental health professionals speak with discomfort when they admit (as if it was something to hide) they themselves have therapists. You would hope that we, who tell others it is okay to seek therapy, would feel comfortable “coming-out” as a client. I hope it is clear by now that I think EVERYONE can benefit from some therapy every-once-and-a-while, especially those who are therapists themselves. Most graduate counseling programs require their students attend counseling, if not they suggest it. It is understood that there is a benefit to understand what it is like to be on the other side of the couch. Besides this, I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t had a goal they are working towards that could benefit from an outside, unbiased listening ear. Actually, I have met people without goals, and those are usually hopeless, depressed individuals who have given up on the possibility of something better. I’m here to tell you that there is always room for improvement! I find it very confusing why someone choosing to work towards their goals and be happy should need to feel embarrassed for doing such a thing.

So WHY does this stigma exist? I believe it is related to this (incorrect) idea that counseling is only for “crazy” people (something I dive further into in this post). People believe clients must be “psychotic” (another definition which people also have the wrong idea about). But beyond this, I think counseling has evolved over the years. I think counselors have begun to think more systematically, realizing that there are a multitude of reasons someone behaves or feels the way they do, such as relationships with friends, family, or their environment. It is for this reason that I believe people have realized that not only “sick” people can benefit from therapy. However, because people are not willing to divulge that they go to counseling, the Hollywood and old-time version of counseling remains in people’s minds.

Every time that a celebrity or well-known person admits that they put an effort into taking care of their mental health, I believe the stigma gets chipped away at a little bit more. Most of the time, these admittances are also accompanied by the divulgence of a diagnosis, such as Bipolar Disorder (Mariah Carey, Demi Lovato, Pete Wentz, Catherine Zeta-Jones), PTSD (Elle King, Lady Gaga) or Anxiety (Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes, Bella Hadid, Gina Rodriguez, Kendall Jenner, Emma Stone, Kim Kardashian West), Obessive-Compulsive Disorder (Camila Cabello, Amanda Seyfried), Borderline Personality Disorder (Pete Davidson), Substance Use Disorders (James Franco), Postpartum Depression (Chrissy Tiegen, Hayden Panatierre, Brooke Shields), Depression (Naomi Judd, Miranda Kerr, Kid Cudi, Jon Hamm, J.K. Rowling, Wayne Brady) and many more. Because of the stigma that surrounds these diagnoses, it takes courage to admit that you have been labeled with one. But, each time someone does, it feels just a little better for those average joe’s and jane’s that also have that diagnosis. They feel a little bit less crazy. It is for this reason that I do not want to belittle these steps towards de-stigmatizing. However, I do feel it is important to point out that you do not have to have a mental health diagnosis to attend therapy. I also feel the need to highlight that there are some “disorders” that have been more socially acceptable in the recent years, such as anxiety and depression, which is why you might see more celebrity names near those diagnoses. Unfortunately, others such as schizophrenia still carry many misconceptions that bring fear and stigma.

I could go on forever about this, but I would just like to thank anyone out there who has been honest and open about their mental health care. It is responsible, good for you, and nothing to be ashamed of. Thank you for trying to be happy!

Your listening ear,


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How do Choice Theory & Reality Therapy Work?

“Blog article on choice theory & reality therapy” for Adam Rahman February 1, 2018

It’s a fact that people are healthier when involved in positive relationships. That said, the psychotherapeutic methods of choice theory and reality therapy teach that personal choices and behaviors influence our ability to connect with others and build meaningful relationships. Negative behaviors lead to damaged and even broken relationships. Bad choices include destructive behaviors like physical, mental and substance abuse, controlling others and even criminal activities. Counselors use choice theory and reality therapy to encourage better choices, habits and behaviors that help their clients develop happier, more fulfilling lives.

First conceptualized by the late American psychiatrist Dr. William Glasser, choice theory provides the foundation upon which reality therapy was built. Psychotherapists began seeing promising client results with reality therapy beginning in the mid-1960s. As time passed, an increasing number of counselors began incorporating reality therapy and choice theory into their counseling sessions. But how exactly do they work, and what are the potential benefits for clients? Let’s take a closer look now.

Choice Theory Starts with Our DNA

According to Dr. Glasser, our lives are based upon our behaviors; ones that for the most part we are able to control. Furthermore, every person is genetically-wired to satisfy 5 basic human needs:

  • Survival
  • Love
  • Sense of belonging
  • Power
  • Freedom & Fun

Of those, love and sense of belonging are the most influential. Dr. Glasser postulated that there are seven caring habits that we all share: supporting, trusting, encouraging, listening to, accepting, respecting and being able to negotiate differences with, others. Juxtaposed with those are a like number of negative, or “deadly”, habits. Those include criticizing, blaming, complaining to/about, nagging, threatening, punishing and bribing/rewarding to control, others.

Negative habits damage relationships. Those eventually lead to disconnecting from someone in your life, and possibly from people in general. When an individual feels disconnected, or that they don’t belong in relationships, destructive behaviors can follow, such as crime, violence, mental illness, addictions, spousal and child abuse, poor job and school performance, and more. Helping a client identify bad habits, while equipping them to positively control their behaviors and improve their ability to cultivate relationships, is the key to choice theory. Reality therapy is the clinical method used to get there.

How can Reality Therapy Help Clients?

Reality therapy teaches that most of life’s problems stem from an inability to connect with others and build positive relationships. Counselors that practice reality therapy methods focus on these key points when working with clients:

  • Human problems come from unfulfilled interpersonal relationships. Clients are urged to forget about their past and instead concentrate on the present.
  • Avoid using excuses for behaviors and ignore symptoms and complaints as much as possible.
  • Concentrate on negative behaviors, and how those can be changed. Clients are encouraged to express what they think and believe. Discussing how to change one’s feelings, mental and physical well-being- all by focusing upon things within a client’s control- is important.
  • Clients develop skills to avoid blaming, criticizing or complaining in their relationships.
  • Clients are encouraged to be non-judgmental and non-coercive, while choosing better behaviors to promote healthy relationships. This important concept originates from choice theory.
  • Clients are taught to avoid excuses that interfere with their ability to enjoy positive relationships.
  • Specific relationship issues are identified. What people in the client’s life are involved, and how can they reconnect with them using positive behaviors? If a given relationship is damaged permanently, the client is encouraged to cultivate new ones.
  • Clients learn to formulate a series of doable action plans in the event one falls short. Progress and success are discussed.

During reality therapy sessions, it is of the utmost importance that both counselor and client practice a high level of patience. For most people that are having relationship problems it took a while to develop their negative habits. As a result, the road to happiness requires time spent and hard work, but the rewards are truly unlimited for both client and counselor.

Help is Only a Phone Call Away!Are you having trouble connecting with others and building healthy relationships? Are you making bad choices and using destructive habits? If you’re ready to make a change, help is only a phone call away. The Social House Wellness Center in Houston provides clients with the counseling they need in order to turn their lives around. Led by Clinical Director Adam Rahman, the staff at Social House specializes in choice theory and reality therapy counseling methods. To learn more call us at: 210-816-2992 or visit now.

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