Therapy Demystified And Stigma-Free

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BY ST. LUKE’S WOOD RIVER

Many of us experience situations that cause emotional distress or challenging hardships. In a society that often expects us to “pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back to it,” it can be frightening, disheartening and/or embarrassing to ask for help. Sharing your thoughts and feelings with friends and family can be helpful. Sometimes we may need extra support from someone with an outside perspective and with professional training. However, if we give in to the negative portrayal or stigma of mental health services, we deprive ourselves of this great opportunity.

Whether it is a life event or a general feeling of sadness, therapists are professionally-trained listeners who can assist in getting to the root cause of issues, helping to cope with emotions and making changes to work toward overcoming challenges.

Once the decision is made to seek professional help, it’s okay to shop around for the right fit. Ask questions about specialties, licensing and treatment protocols. Look for a therapist who is experienced in treating the areas you want to address. Ask about their techniques and suggested length of treatment. There are numerous types of therapy to consider—individual, family, group or couple therapy.

If the connection doesn’t feel right—if you don’t trust the person or feel like they truly care—go with another choice. A good therapist will respect this choice and should never pressure you or make you feel guilty. One of the most important factors is to be honest and open with a therapist; they are not there to judge but rather to provide support and confidence.

Multiple resources are available within our community to help us address mental health conditions. St. Luke’s Center for Community Health, with support from the St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation, has recently published Get Help! a mental health resource guide for the Wood River Valley, which is available in English and Spanish. The booklet is in magazine racks at the hospital, the Hailey Clinic, at local post offices and in grocery stores. A downloadable PDF is also available by visiting www.stlukesonline.org/gethelp. For more information and to access resources, call (208) 727-8733.

It’s your life
We help you live it

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