Think you have to hit rock bottom in order to head to therapy?
Think again, says Nichole Wilson, co-founder of the Cleveland Therapy Group. Her favorite analogy illustrates the importance of therapy for anyone who wants a safe space to tackle their problems, not just those who are struggling the most.
“Even the finest machines can’t operate without an oil change,” Wilson says. “We all struggle, even when it’s not a pandemic, and there’s no shame in talking about it and confronting it.”
Since opening in August, the Cleveland Therapy Group, like other mental health practitioners in the area, has been conducting the bulk of therapy sessions virtually, though in-person visits are still available (with significant safety measures in place).
It’s a difficult time for all of us, Wilson says, and the overall goal of therapy is to learn how to handle life’s stressors and crises in healthier ways.
Another benefit of going to a pro? Therapists can provide a nonjudgmental ear and objective opinions in a way that friends, family members and significant others aren’t always equipped to do.
“Nobody can be everyone’s everything,” she says. “Your mom, husband and best friend have other things going on, but a therapist’s job is literally to listen to you talk about what’s going on with you.”
Acknowledging the longstanding stigma around going to therapy, Wilson encourages would-be patients to refer back to her oil change analogy.
“You’d never feel bad about telling your mechanic that you need an oil change,” she says. “The end goal is always to be a better version of yourself.”