The benefits of therapy in the lives of individuals and how society treats therapy and counseling
The ancient Greeks believed that without a healthy mind you cannot have a healthy body. Living in the modern world where people have many responsibilities and tasks to perform in their daily lives has an impact on mental health. Healing people’s mental health issues and having a healthier life is what therapy and counseling sessions are all about.
If we could go back in time, especially a few decades ago, we would see that society did not believe in mental health issues and did not treat them in the same way as they do today. In the early 2000s, people tended to believe that if a person sought a therapist, they were either crazy or had serious problems. Another feature of the past was that society did not accept therapy as an important aspect of people’s lives. People who needed treatment would not see a therapist or, if they did, they would not share it with their society.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) therapy looks different in modern society than in previous years. The number of adults who received mental health treatment or counseling from 2002 to 2020 has increased. In 2002, nearly 27.2 million American adults received mental health treatment compared to 2020, where 41.4 million of these people were treated with therapy or counseling.
According to COD Mental Health Advisor Dr. Dennis Emano, to understand the importance of therapy, we must first know what therapy is. A singular definition of therapy would be that therapy treats mental health issues and disorders without medication.
“There are many types of therapy. Each therapy covers the needs of each individual in different aspects. From an early age, people need to know and learn the concept of therapy and mental health. By meeting with a counselor or therapist, individuals can get on the right path to the type of therapy they might need,” Emano said.
Also, according to Dr. Emano, one characteristic that therapy and counseling have in common, perhaps the most important aspect, is that they both try to solve problems.
For example, counseling tends to focus on a specific issue for a specific time frame. However, therapy can be longer term and focus on the individual rather than the problem itself.
When it comes to youth, the future of this world, young adults need to be aware of therapy and its benefits. Young people need therapy or counseling more than ever; coping with stressors like homework and work. But how can young people know when to consult a therapist?
“Social media and the stress it causes on the younger generation can be harmful not only for young people, but also for adults. Everyone, regardless of age, should simply ask themselves, “Am I happy? If the answer is “no” or if there is no answer at all, the person should not be afraid to ask for help. Even if the answer is ‘yes’, talking about experiences and why they feel happy can help individuals feel even better,” Emano said.
There is no doubt that mental health is as important as physical health. What society needs to understand is that it’s okay to feel different. It’s okay to ask for help, and it’s okay and normal to attend therapy or counseling sessions.
“The therapy isn’t just for people who have mental issues,” Emano said. “If you are human, you need therapy. Therapy not only helps people to solve their problems, but also helps them to understand themselves deeply and in a more thoughtful way.
Emano said accepting each other helps us accept each other. Therapy and counseling can only work if we as individuals allow therapy and counseling sessions into our lives.