This month Accepting Therapy’s blog posts are focusing on some common reasons people decide to go to therapy. Therapy is an avenue for self-improvement, growth and mental wellness. Therapy is often overlooked due to the stigma of it being reserved for those with severe mental illness and life altering circumstances (death of a spouse, for example). This month, Accepting Therapy is working to eradicate this stigma by sharing some of the goals people work on in therapy.
The issues and goals addressed in therapy, are life experiences many people can relate to and empathize with. One reason a person may choose to see a therapist is related to identity crisis. An identity crisis is triggered by a life event, a transition point or, even, an emotional state that causes a person to feel distant from the essence of who they are. This can happen with a change in career, a transitory life event (graduating college, becoming a parent, turning 30 or going through a divorce), a sense of unfulfillment or struggling to find purpose in life. As a result, these events can often trigger an identity crisis.
An identity crisis can lead to other mental health issues; commonly depression or anxiety. Therapy is a preventative measure and a way to work through an identity crisis in a healthy and productive manner. For example, a therapist can assist a person in finding meaning and purpose in their life through value exploration.
Here are some signs of an identity crisis:
- No longer feeling like yourself
- Disengagement from passions and values
- Feeling displaced
- Feeling as if you are just going through the motions instead of being an active participant in your life
- Not recognizing yourself in behaviors or certain actions
- No longer spending time on things you enjoy
- Struggling to name key personality traits or strengths, or identifying things you enjoy or make you happy
- Feeling numb
- Lack of purpose or meaning in life
- Difficulty being present
If this resonates with you, utilize the support systems you have in place and engage in further self-reflection. Therapy is an opportunity to explore personal identity in a safe and supportive environment, that will provide you with tools and skills to successfully reach goals.