People go to therapy for different reasons. That’s the great thing about seeing a counselor: there’s no right way to approach a therapeutic process. It’s up to the client and their therapist how they want to proceed with treatment. Some people need a place to talk about their problems that they feel they can’t share with their friends and family. Other people see a therapist because they have mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, or trauma of some kind. There is no one reason to go to therapy, there are multitudes of reasons and the meaning of therapy is different for everybody. Here are different meanings that people assign to a therapy session or a therapeutic relationship:

A Safe Space

It can be challenging for many individuals to feel like they belong. It’s hard to admit that you have issues with that, but therapy can be a place to discuss these concerns. A therapist understands that individuals want to be understood. Some people see therapy as a safe space where they can truly be themselves. Maybe they don’t have people in their life where they can talk about who they are and feel open. Therapy provides a space where they can feel secure to talk about issues that might be scary to them. Some people struggle with depression or self-harm or even suicidal ideation. But anything is safe in therapy. Your therapist is a person who you can feel secure talking to about these issues without judgement.

Learning About Your Mental Health Issues

Therapy is not only a safe space, but it’s a place where you can discover why you are experiencing certain symptoms. Mental health is something that therapists take seriously. These are professional who want to help you figure out what’s going on with you so you can find coping skills. As examples, maybe you didn’t realize you had depression or perhaps you didn’t know what you were experiencing was a panic attack. Maybe you are having difficulty coping with mental health symptoms of a loved one. A skilled therapist will understand what your symptoms and concerns are and help you to learn some coping skills for them. It helps to have a mental health professional who truly is there for you to guide you through these mental health difficulties.

Discovering Identity

Determining your identity is a complex process that could potentially take years. A therapist can help you look inward and discover who you are. It’s important to be able to be transparent with your counselor because even though you might not feel safe talking about these things with your family or friends, a therapist is somebody you can be honest with. If you are not feeling that way about your therapist, it might be an indication that it’s time to switch mental health professionals.

You might be exploring your gender identity or sexuality. Therapy is a safe place for you to figure out who you are and that could include gender identity. No matter what identity issues you’re trying to determine, a therapist is somebody who wants to help you work through them. The goal of therapy is to be genuine.

Finding a Therapist

When you recognize that you need help, finding a therapist is a good first step. There are many ways to locate therapy whether it’s in person or online. An online counselor is an open person who you can see during whatever time works for you. You can read about that here. You can talk to an online counselor in the comfort of your own home or wherever you feel safe to discuss therapeutic issues. People define therapy in many ways and you have to figure out what the meaning of therapy is for you and how you can utilize those 45 minutes to the best of your ability.

Marie Miguel Biography 

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health 
related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health 
resource with With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with 
mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.