Can Therapy Help?

Kevin Grold, Ph.D.


Therapy is no longer a place to just fix problems, instead it has become an arena of growth and self-understanding. Remember, no one can tell you that you need therapy. It is a decision you have to make yourself. The SES is a tool to help you with that important decision. It will point out the major areas in your life that may need improvement and ask you to do a self-evaluation. You may discover issues that you did not know could be changed. It is important to realize that there is hope--and with the desire to grow, you can accomplish great things!




Read each numbered sentence. Then write down the number that feels most appropriate for you. If you are unsure about the meaning of the sentence, then read the paragraph below the scale. If the question appears fairly straightforward then answer it, and then skip down to the next question. Continue through all of the questions this way. When you are finished, go back and thoroughly read the paragraphs below the questions that interest you. Pay special attention to the questions that received the lowest scores.

1. How has your mood been lately, as compared to your normal state?
unhappy           average            very happy

Your mood is a good indicator of how things are going in your life. If you find yourself upset more easily, more often, or for longer periods of time then therapy may be of help to you.

2. How is your sleep pattern?
don't sleep well            no problem sleeping

Your sleep pattern can easily be affected by your psychological state. If you find that your sleep pattern has changed and you are sleeping too much or not enough (insomnia) then therapy can be of benefit to you. Recurrent nightmares, snoring, and sleepwalking, can also be signs of emotional problems.

3. How much transition or change is occurring in your life?
Major or several changes            few changes

Any change, even seemingly beneficial changes can cause stress in your life and upset your mental health. If you have several changes at once, then this can be especially stressful. If you find that you are having trouble coping with transitions in your life, then therapy may be of help to you.

4. How is your health?
health problems                excellent health

Your health can easily be affected by your psychological state. If you find that you are becoming sick frequently or if you are having headaches, or other aches or pains, therapy may be beneficial. Your body may be telling you that you are having trouble dealing with the problems of life.

5. How are your relationships with friends, family, spouse?
very unhappy                       very content

Difficult relationships can be the source of a great deal of emotional pain, especially if there is a friction which has lasted for some time. If you find that you do not have enough bonding with friends, or if any of your primary relationships are unsatisfactory or painful then therapy may help you to develop this part of your life in a healthy way.

6. Do you have trouble expressing your needs and feelings and saying no when you don't feel like doing something? Do significant others report that you have trouble expressing your feelings?
trouble expressing needs        assertive with my 
and saying no                   needs and feelings

You may have been taught to put your own needs aside. If you have trouble expressing your needs and wishes and saying no when it is appropriate, or sticking up for your own rights and values, then seek out assistance to learn these essential skills.

7. How is your sex life?
very bad           fine                excellent

Very often our emotional well-being is tied to feeling satisfied sexually. At the same time, sexual enjoyment and performance are greatly influenced by our mental health. If you did not answer the way that you would have liked, then therapy may be of help to you. Infertility and impotence can also be a source of extreme distress. This distress can be improved by talking to a therapist.

8. Is your sexual behavior healthy and satisfying?
unhealthy		                healthy

Is your sexual behavior putting you at risk? Do you have unprotected sex? Do you fail to use any birth control? If you answered yes to any of these questions then talk to a therapist about having a safer, healthier sex life.

9. Are you comfortable with your sexual orientation?
no                unsure                    yes

If you feel that you may be gay, lesbian, or bisexual and this is causing you distress, then discuss your distress with a therapist.

10. Do you have problems with sexual/life issues (such as concerns about having children, fertility, pregnancy, birth control, or abortion)?
not significant   difficulties         problems

Many people have difficulties with sexual/life issues. A therapist can help you to handle these complex issues in today's society. Sexual harassment can also be a very stressful problem and a therapist can help.

11. Have you noticed problems with your memory?
trouble with memory              perfect memory

Often times significant difficulties with your memory can be a sign that there is something not right with your mental health. If you find memory problems re-occurring, or getting worse, then contact a therapist for an evaluation.

12. Do childhood memories cause you any distress?
yes                unsure                    no

Everyone has some childhood memories that cause distress, but some people have memories that interfere with their adult life. If this causes you distress, then talk to a counselor.

13. Do you accept the way that you look, and feel good about your body?
hate your appearance            feel good about your looks

There is a lot of emphasis on appearance in our society. If you have trouble accepting yourself and the way that you look, then seek out a therapist for help.

14. Are you taking time out for yourself?
don't have time                  self-nurturing

It is important to take time for yourself. If you neglect your own needs then this can cause any problems you are having to get worse. If you are not taking time for yourself, then a therapist can help you to learn how.

Continue. . .


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