When Your Body Tells You to Access Therapy. Accessing therapy for mental health concerns is comparable to going to the doctor for a physical health concern. Typically, if people are dealing with a physical health issue, they will attempt to accept and cope with it until they can no longer cope on their own.
They will then reach out to a professional, who is an expert with providing
strategies and coping skills so they can continue to function in their day-to-day life.
When someone is experiencing a mental health concern, it will affect their daily
functioning and/or relationships.
A reach out for mental health support, can be when you
have exhausted all other resources and/or coping skills to manage your problem.
Mental health concerns can become intense, can cause discomfort, and
overwhelm in the mind and the body.
It can affect your mood, emotions, and your
reactions. You may experience some relief at times and feel extremely triggered other
times. Someone may access commonly used strategies to assist in regulating the
system such as: eating healthy, exercise, connecting with friends and family, and
However, when the body is in a state of high distress, it can create a
barrier towards problem solving and accessing those strategies. At times, using the
strategies to assist in regulating your nervous system are not effective.
strategies are no longer working, this is a way for your body to tell you that you may
need to access a more significant intervention. A therapist is professional who is trained
to process emotions and mental health concerns that are affecting your daily functioning
Similar to treating a physical health concern, the therapist guides you
to process the discomfort and overwhelm, and to assist you in navigating through the
distress. They can be seen as a “mental health doctor,” as they assist in getting to the
root of the symptoms.
When an individual frequently experiences the states of fight, flight, or freeze, it initiates
a bodily alarm system designed to alert us to potential threats. This alarm system can
be likened to a smoke alarm, which activates when it detects the possibility of a fire.
Prolonged periods of heightened distress and anxiety can lead to frequent triggering of
this “smoke alarm”. This chronic activation can make it increasingly challenging for us to
navigate various situations effectively. It may manifest in unhealthy expressions of
frustration, anger, stress, and irritation.
Psychological therapy plays a crucial role in interrupting this cycle. It helps individuals
access the “thinking side of their brain”, allowing them to engage in real-time problem-
solving, emotional regulation, and self-awareness rather than simply reacting to
This transformation aids in the management of behavior, fostering healthier
responses and improving communication and boundary-setting skills. Furthermore,
therapy serves to reduce overall distress levels, enabling the individual to access more
effective coping strategies and promoting inner peace and clarity.
Written by: Penny Solinger
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