When we think of therapy, we conjure up images of appointments with licensed therapists who can help us deal with our struggles, issues, problems, and stressors. And this is a way many people find help and resolution.
But therapy does come in all shapes and sizes, and you may be interested in knowing about some of the personal therapies you can use when you are in a funk, when you know you need to change your perspective, when you are dealing with divorce, grief, stress, or when you know you need to find peace and comfort in who you are and where your want to go.
So, let’s look at some new things you can try for your self-designed therapy.
The term “self-therapy” is self-explanatory. A person takes control of their emotional/mental issues and develops their plan of self-help to gain well-being. Again, by definition, a licensed professional therapist is not involved, at least not in person.
What Self-Help Therapy Strategies Do People Use?
In today’s world, people can use all sorts of tools and strategies to deal with their emotional/mental health issues. Here are five of the most common things.
You don’t need to go to a brick-and-mortar bookstore to find self-help books. Many online retailers, Amazon being the most popular, have books by professional therapists that fall into the self-help category. While these books will not address serious psychiatric issues and illnesses, they will provide strategies to deal with such issues as:
- Relationship Issues
Journaling aims to get your innermost thoughts and feelings out for your review and analysis. What this activity can do is help you to identify the emotional issues you are struggling with. And once you identify those issues, you are ready to address them. Then, you may want to check out some self-help books for your well-being.
Oh, there is no lack of coursework, in person or online, that can assist with emotional issues.
- Yoga classes are all over the place, and they help you learn how to relax, meditate, and calm your mind. When you are clear-headed, you can take a more objective approach to your emotional issues.
- Many courses deal with anything from identifying mental health issues to listing typical behaviors of those with mental health problems and providing strategies and tips for dealing with them. For example, if you are dealing with grief from a death or divorce, you can find courses that will take you through the important steps to overcome it with your emotional health intact.
Online Chat Resources
Many people with emotional issues struggle because they have no one else experiencing the same issues to talk with. While “misery loves company” is not a productive strategy, there is something to be said for online discussions where participants can also speak about what works for them. Suppose you are a member of a minority and shunned community, for example, let’s say, a pansexual who feels isolated and alone. Finding a chat resource for pansexuals will allow you to join a community where you are accepted and validated. This alone can relieve the feelings of loneliness that are causing anxiety and depression.
Find an online chat room for people experiencing the same issues as you, and you may very well discover some good suggestions from others for how they cope and overcome the struggles you face.
Web and Phone Apps
As of February 2023, there are 8.9 billion apps in the Google and Apple stores combined. While a huge number of them are games, a large and growing number are very practical – time and financial management, calendaring, etc. And the number of self-help apps is growing too. There are apps to help with meditation, anxiety relief, depression, stress, and cognitive issues such as ADHD.
Does Self-Therapy Work?
The short answer is it can. The longer answer, of course, is that it depends on several factors:
- How committed is the person to sticking with the strategies that could work?
- How serious are the emotional issues that a person faces? For example, there is temporary depression due to a circumstance (breakup, death, job loss), and there is clinical depression which is more systemic and often requires professional therapy and medication.
- What types of mental health issues is a person suffering from? Self-therapy will not work for psychoses, for example. These require professional and medical treatment.
Given the number of resources available for people who are dealing with emotional issues, there are certainly some pros to choosing self-therapy – it’s certainly less costly, you can develop your plan and change/revise it as you wish, and you have flexibility in the schedule for your activities. This is not the case if you are under the care of a therapist.
On the other hand, it’s important that you also recognize when the strategies you are using are not working, and you may have to consult a professional. Nothing is shameful if self-therapy doesn’t do the job for you.