In case you missed all the turquoise colored bow-ties, coffee mugs, and tweed jackets about, today is National Psychotherapy Day, a day “when clinicians, clients, and advocates unite to promote the profession, disseminate research, fight therapy stigma, and draw attention to the needs of low-fee counseling clinics."

So why psychotherapy? Check out these 10 reasons and tell me how that makes you feel:

1. Because your (choose all that apply: spouse, children, parents, friends, extended family members, dog, cat, snail, ferret, first grade teacher, pizza delivery person, friendly neighborhood Psychology Today blogger) want you to live a longer, healthier, more powerful and fulfilled life.

2. Your boss may also want #1 for you, but s/he more likely wants you to be more productive and take fewer sick days.

3. Because where else but in a therapist’s office can you check out all those little areas labeled on a phrenology bust? (And impress your fellow party-goers by being able to demonstrate the differing locations of your “desire for solids” and “amativeness.”)

4. Because you miss going to parties and having fun since you’ve been feeling lonely, isolated, unmotivated, anxious, or embarrassed.

5. Some therapists encourage people to explore and try out their feelings by talking to an empty chair. But without you there, your therapist just looks like a rambling and confused Clint Eastwood.

6. Because “when you share pain, there's less of it, and when you share joy, there's more of it. That's a basic fact of the universe." –Spider Robinson.

7. For science! Because studies show that therapy works for a wide range of people and offers many unique and lasting benefits. And many clinical scientists are right now testing out and looking for volunteers for cool new therapeutic approaches (like mindfulness meditation, therapygenetics, and virtual reality exposure therapy) in an attempt to figure out innovative and effective ways of helping people just like you.

8. You’re tired of getting pat, unhelpful, and unwanted advice from people when you’re talking about something that matters deeply to you. Instead, you want a little more space to explore with someone how you’re feeling and what you truly want. Advice is cheap. A good therapist offers solid support, thoughtful understanding, and meaningful guidance.

 9. Because you deserve a time and place to focus on your thoughts, needs, and desires. Because you want to figure out why you can’t seem to get to a place in life you want to go or how to become the person you’ve always wanted to be.

10. Because therapists have comfy chairs, and there’s one waiting for you if you want it.


Jared DeFife, Ph.D.

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National Psychotherapy Day is September 25th!