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CAN THERAPY HELP?
Part II

Kevin Grold, Ph.D.

15. Do you have excessive feelings of anxiety, fear, or distressing phobias?

1----2----3----4----5----6----7----8----9----10 regularly never

Whenever fears or anxieties become excessive, then it may be time to bring in a professional to help you to deal with these problems. A therapist's job is to help you cope more effectively when feelings become excessively troublesome.

16. Are you having occupational, school problems, or problems taking care of your family?

1----2----3----4----5----6----7----8----9----10 problems no problem

Problems with your job or with school are usually a strong indicator that a therapist can be of assistance. If taking care of your family is causing you significant distress, or you are having trouble in these other areas, or in trying to juggle responsibilities, then a consultation is highly recommended.

17. Are there any stressful situations occurring in your life?

1----2----3----4----5----6----7----8----9----10 high stress low stress

The time to seek out a professional is when stress is building. A therapist can be extremely helpful during times of crisis.

18. Are you or someone close to you faced with a life-threatening illness?

1----2----3----4----5----6----7----8----9----10 yes no

If you are facing a life-threatening illness then make sure you get some professional support. If someone close to you has a serious illness, then that can be very stressful and it is okay for you to receive support. It may even help you to more effectively assist the person who is ill.

19. How has your energy level been lately compared to your normal state?

1----2----3----4----5----6----7----8----9----10 large change little or no change

A significant loss of energy and interest in things that previously made you happy, signals that therapy can be helpful. Sometimes, even a large boost in energy, especially if this feels beyond your control, coupled with a substantial reduction in your need for sleep, can also signal the need for therapy.

20. Do you find it difficult to understand and express your feelings?

1----2----3----4----5----6----7----8----9----10 difficult able to understand and express feelings

It can be difficult to understand your own feelings. As a result it can be even harder for you to express these feelings. It can even be hard to allow ourselves to cry even when we desperately need to. It is also common to have trouble expressing positive emotions. If you have difficulties in any of these areas, then consult with a therapist to learn new ways of relating to your feelings.

21. Do you find yourself repeating behavior patterns that are unhealthful or that are causing you distress?

1----2----3----4----5----6----7----8----9----10 often rarely never

When you feel compelled to do something that is harmful such as smoking, drinking, overeating, excessive gambling, or abusing drugs or alcohol, then therapy is indicated. You may also find yourself having to repeat a behavior or thought over and over to the point where it feels like you cannot control it. If such thoughts or behaviors are causing you distress, then speak to a therapist about it.

22. Do you have trouble staying in a committed relationship even though you desire intimacy?

1----2----3----4----5----6----7----8----9----10 trouble with intimacy not a problem

Many people often wonder why they have trouble committing to a partner even though they feel lonely and are desirous of an intimate relationship. A therapist can help you to clarify these issues.

23. Do you find yourself losing your temper often?

1----2----3----4----5----6----7----8----9----10 often rarely never

If you are having problems in your life because of your temper or if you feel that at times you just "lose it," then you need to talk to a therapist about effective ways to deal with the emotions that build up inside of you. If you fear that you are going to abuse your child or spouse, then immediately talk with a counselor.

24. Do you feel that eating is a major focus in your life?

1----2----3----4----5----6----7----8----9----10 eating and food its just eating are very important to me

The emphasis on dieting and body image in our culture has caused many people to develop different ways of relating to food. Food can become a source of comfort, an enemy, a friend, or an obsession. Some people starve themselves, others make themselves throw up, and others eat compulsively. If you are relating to food in an unhealthy way, then seek out a therapist for help.

25. Do you feel that you provide adequately for your family and/or for yourself?

1----2----3----4----5----6----7----8----9----10 no sometimes yes

You may feel that it is your duty to be the provider. You may be unemployed. If you feel uncomfortable with the contribution that you are making then a discussion with a therapist can be helpful.

26. Do you have problems with emotions changing in cyclical or unexplainable ways

?

1----2----3----4----5----6----7----8----9----10 severe emotional changes no problem

If you notice patterns where your emotions fluctuate and cause you more trouble or times when they seem to fluctuate for no reason, then a therapist can help you deal with these changes.

27. Have you ever been raped, physically abused, beaten, or otherwise sexually assaulted?

1----2----3----4----5----6----7----8----9----10 yes no

If you have experienced any form of rape, sexual abuse, or physical beating, then talk to a therapist--there are a lot of resources out there for you. Look in the front of the yellow pages for resources, and in the yellow pages under "Women." If you are in imminent danger, call 911.

28. Would you like to learn more about yourself and why you are the way that you are?

1----2----3----4----5----6----7----8----9----10 interested not interested

Therapy does not just have to focus on problems. It can be a medium for growth and self-awareness. If you are interested in learning more about what makes you the way you are, then therapy is for you.

Back to Part I:

RESULTS:

Consider discussing the above results with a "significant other" who knows you well in order to learn how others view you differently than how you view yourself. If your significant other feels that you definitely need therapy and you feel that you do not, then discuss this discrepancy with a mental health professional.

Each of the above questions probes an area which signals that therapy can be of help. If you scored close to 10 on all of the questions then therapy is not likely to be of help to you at this time. Therapy is not just designed to help you through the tough times; it can also help you to understand yourself better and help you to grow as a person.

5/28/98

Kevin Grold, Ph.D., is the founder of the 1-800-THERAPIST NETWORK, a United States referral service for individuals seeking a therapist. Referrals can be accessed from 1-800-843-7274. For calls from outside the U.S., dial 619-481-1515.

Copyright © 1996 1-800-THERAPIST NETWORK
used with permission.

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