10 Reasons to Go to Therapy in your 20s
As someone in their 20s, you’re probably trying to figure out your life and what it means to become the type of adult you want to be. You might be dealing with challenges such as finding your place in the world, navigating relationships, or pursuing your career goals. You might also be struggling with mental health issues that are common, specifically in your age group. Whatever your situation, seeking help from a therapist can be an effective way to address your concerns and move forward with your life.
Therapy is often associated with people seeking help with mental illness or enormous life-altering events. However, therapy can be beneficial for so much more than these acute presenting problems. In your 20s, many do not realize how much counseling can impact their life positively. Below we’ll explore 10 reasons why you should consider going to therapy in your 20s. Whether you’ve never been to therapy before or you’ve had a previous positive experience, I hope that this post will encourage you to prioritize your mental health and seek out the support that you need.
How Therapy Can Help
1. Developing self-awareness
Therapy can help you develop a better understanding of yourself. During your 20s, you are still exploring and figuring out who you are and who you want to be. Therapy can help in this process by allowing for a more in-depth understanding of your emotions, behaviors, and thought patterns. This understanding can create more self-awareness, leading to better decision-making and more meaningful relationships.
What do you think you could achieve with a better understand your emotions, behaviors, and thought patterns? By identifying and exploring your feelings, you can gain valuable insights into yourself and your life. This awareness can lead to purposeful decisions in your life, becoming more intentional about friends, relationships, work, and family so they align with your inner values.
2. Managing stress
It’s common for people in their 20s to experience high levels of stress due to the demands of school, work, and relationships. There is a reasonable chance that you are in the midst of negotiating significant change in your life, which also can lead to stress and anxiety. Therapy can provide you with coping strategies and stress management techniques to reduce the impact of stressors in your life.
Coping with stress and anxiety effectively are lifelong skills worth cultivating. That’s not to say that you’ve never had stress before, or haven’t been able to manage it, but the transition into adulthood from young-adulthood and adolescence certainly can present uncharted territory. Build those skills early and initiate the support that will help you negotiate new jobs, new cities, new relationships, and be able to keep an eye on the future.
3. Improving relationships
Therapy can help you enhance your communication skills, navigate conflict, and build stronger, healthier relationships. By getting to the root of relationship issues (some might be a repeating pattern in your life), you can learn how to improve your interactions with others and create more meaningful connections.
Building healthy relationships takes work and intention. You might have friendships that have spanned your lifetime, but moving ahead new relationships can’t rely on a common history. Your 20s may be a time of new and exciting relationships, but it can also be a time of unhealthy dynamics. Therapy can help you understand what you want out of relationships, set boundaries, and communicate effectively. The work and skill of relationship building can avoid heartbreak, uncomfortable situations, and unfulfilling work environments.
4. Treating mental health concerns
Mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and substance use are prevalent among people in their 20s. You might be noticing these issues in yourself or those close to you. It’s important to face them as pertinent, and not just things to happen to other people. Therapy can provide you with the necessary support and tools to manage these challenges and improve your overall well-being.
Managing mental illness effectively is essential to maintaining an optimal level of functioning. Mental illness does not discriminate by age, you are not too young to have it. If you have symptoms of depression, anxiety, or other conditions, talking to a therapist can lead to better symptom management and overall health.
5. Making career decisions
Your 20s are a time when you may be exploring different education, jobs, or career paths and trying to figure out what you want to do with your life. This can feel wildly overwhelming, the constant questions from friends and family aren’t helping either. Therapy can help you clarify your goals, develop strategies for achieving them, and navigate the job market.
Planning for the future can help you make decisions today. Your 20s may be a time of uncertainty and ambiguity, but a therapist can help create a plan for a successful future. This can include financial plans, personal goals, and lifestyle changes. Additionally, psychotherapy will help you build in flexibility in goal setting, managing disappointment, and cultivating resilience.
6. Building resilience
Life can be tough, sometimes with more challenges than we expect, and therapy can help you develop resilience and coping skills to bounce back from setbacks and challenges. This can help you feel more empowered and confident in your ability to navigate life’s ups and downs.
Gaining support helps build resilience. You likely have some people in your corner who you can rely on, but this is a good time in your life to fine tune your search tool for support and community. Your 20s may be a lonely time, but therapy provides a supportive and judgement-free environment. Often, just having someone to talk to can make all the difference. Your therapist can be an important ingredient in your support system.
7. Addressing trauma
Trauma can impact anyone at any age. While it may be tempting to push past traumatic events, therapy can aid in addressing and resolving them. This can lead to a more fulfilling and less stressful life.
Trauma can have a lasting impact on your mental health and well-being. Therapy provides a safe and supportive space to process and heal from traumatic experiences.
8. Gaining perspective
Sometimes, it can be helpful to talk to someone outside of your immediate circle to gain a fresh perspective on your life and challenges. Therapy can provide you with an objective viewpoint and help you see things in a new light. You will have access to a trained professional who can see your defense mechanisms, rationalization, and the ways you don’t see yourself fully. A therapist can help you examine your life and aid in deciding what to keep, what to enhance, and what to get rid of.
Learning mindfulness can increase feelings of relaxation and life satisfaction. In therapy, you can learn techniques such as breathing exercises and meditation that promote mindfulness. You will grow what is often referred to as an “observing ego,” the capacity to see yourself in the moment. Eventually, you can examine your life from all of its angles and make your wants and needs known appropriately.
9. Making personal growth a priority
Therapy is an investment in yourself and your personal growth. By prioritizing self-care and mental health, you can live a happier, more fulfilling life. Frontloading the work of personal development, self-care, and healing will allow you to avoid some pitfalls later in life. These goals can translate into tangible impacts in your current life.
Better academic or career success could be on the other side of initiating therapy. Your 20s may be a time of significant academic or career goals. Therapy can help build strategies such as better time-management and interpersonal skills, leading to higher success rates.
10. Creating long-lasting change
Therapy can help you develop insight, skills, and new perspectives that can lead to long-lasting change and improvements in your life. Why not get started early? An underrated aspect of working on yourself early, is that you’ve established a potentially life long resource for yourself. If, or when, you need support in the future, you already know what to do to ask for and receive help available to you.
Developing healthy habits early lets you be an adult who has healthy habits later. Unhealthy habits can lead to long-term physical and emotional damage. Therapy can help you develop positive habits such as exercise, healthy eating, and better sleeping patterns.
Therapy in Your 20’s Can Set Up Long-Term Success
Your 20s are a period of change and growth, and therapy can help you navigate your path. Therapy is a tool to explore who you are, manage emotions and stress, and build healthy relationships. In the end, it can lead to a more fulfilled and successful life.
There are many reasons why you should consider going to therapy in your 20s. Whether you’re struggling with mental health issues, trying to navigate life’s challenges, or simply looking to live a more fulfilling life, therapy can provide you with the support, tools, and strategies you need to achieve your goals. Take the first step towards improving your mental health and overall well-being by reaching out to a therapist today. You deserve it. It can all start with “therapy neat me” in your search bar.
I hope that this helps you feel more confident about starting therapy in your 20's in San Francisco. If after reading all of that, you’re still swirling with questions feel free to call me at 415-990-1452 for a free 15-minute phone consultation and to get some questions answered. I would be happy to hear what is happening for you, what you’re looking for and provide some direction to finding the right therapist for you.
Additionally, if you are seeking help with couples therapy, drugs and alcohol, life transitions, discovering yourself, or therapy for men’s issues, you can read more about how Caleb Birkhoff might be able to help by clicking here!