More often than not, when the word therapy is used, it usually refers to psychotherapy. Therapy now comes up in conversations more frequently than it would have 10 years ago. This may be attributed to increased awareness about mental health disorders and the knowledge that it is as important to care for your mind as you care for your body. There’s a preconceived notion that therapy is only reserved for people with deep-seated struggles that cannot walk through problems on their own. However, I’m of the opinion that everyone needs a therapist. This might mean I either believe that everyone is struggling or that with or without personal traumas and tribulations, we all need to talk to a professional every once in a while. This is because of the range of benefits one stands to gain from undergoing therapy, either as a person or as part of a group.

As the popular saying goes, “a problem shared is half-solved” with therapy, though you’re paying to get your problem shared, it is most likely going to be fully solved. According to a David Hoy & Associates (A mental health service) article, with the help of your therapist, you could build better coping skills, and even relationships by learning improved ways to interact with the people around you.

Therapy also improves your physical health. Since you’ve become equipped with better coping skills, you’re less prone to stress and more likely to be happy and productive. This will, in return, reinforce your likelihood to pick up positive habits, maintain a good diet and even engage in physical activities.

However, it will be hypocritical of me to sell the upsides of seeking therapy to you without mentioning the downside, especially in a country like ours. The number of certified psychotherapists available are few and far between. Moreso, the price of therapy is sometimes too expensive for an average person that’s just trying to get by. A quick search on Viscorner(a service provider application) shows that the average fee for a session with a psychotherapist ranges from 2,000 Naira to 100,000 Naira. I mean, how can you learn better coping skills while your stomach is growling from hunger?

There have also been reports of therapists being unprofessional and breaking the confidentiality clause by discussing clients’ issues with relatives against these clients’ wishes. Apparently, some therapists also recommend religious institutions as though their clients’ situations can only be resolved with spiritual intervention. Evidently, this will discourage anyone that’s considering towing the path.

This should, however, not deter you from seeking the help of a professional. As pointed out earlier, there’s always something to get out of therapy, even if it’s just a listening ear or a sympathetic shoulder to cry on. Though therapy can be quite helpful, it is not a magic wand that dissolves all your struggles in one wish. After all, good things take time.

P.S: If you’re searching for an affordable and nearby therapist, you can try the clinical psychology department in UCH.

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