Is mental health therapy for the high-powered career woman?

There is much pressure to show up impeccable daily when working in a high-profile job or career. You have tons of responsibilities, sometimes impossible deadlines, and an imbalanced schedule for your work and personal life. On most occasions, you have to tuck your emotions away because you have others depending on you to make significant decisions and resolve any concerns.

I have everything under control, why do I need therapy?

After strategically handling all issues and concerns, you may feel on top of the world. However, you have not felt that way recently, and perhaps you have not felt that way in a long time. But you know how to put on a good face for the world. Internally, you may wish that you had someone to share your concerns with but don’t feel comfortable being vulnerable. After all, you are a powerful career woman and have an image to uphold, and that image does not allow you to be vulnerable in front of others.

Even a high-powered woman needs a place to feel vulnerable and safe.

You have contemplated getting a therapist, looked at many therapists’ profiles and websites, but you haven’t worked up the courage to make the call or schedule a consultation. Although you feel that you need a therapist, you have come up with a list of reasons to justify your hesitation for not calling any therapists:
I am a strong woman.
I am capable of resolving major issues daily.
I can handle things on my own.
I don’t want to be labeled “crazy.”
I don’t have a mental illness and don’t want a diagnosis.

Therapy is more than diagnosing you with a mental disorder.

The truth is, all of your concerns are valid. However, therapy is not simply to diagnose you with a mental disorder or label you in any way. Some individuals may indeed need a diagnosis, but everyone doesn’t. Therapy may help you identify thoughts and patterns in your life that increase distress and lead to an increase in anxiety or depressive symptoms. Keep in mind that experiencing an increase in symptoms does not automatically mean that you will meet the criteria for a mental disorder diagnosis.
For a therapist to diagnose a mental disorder, you must report multiple symptoms that cause significant distress and disturbance in your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. The symptoms must also cause significant impairment in your life, hindering your overall functioning.

The therapist’s role

Working with a therapist will help you process why you respond to certain things the way that you do. A therapist will help you understand your emotional and behavioral patterns and how you react to emotional triggers in your life. If you meet the criteria for a mental disorder, your therapist will help you understand the diagnosis and identify triggers and symptoms to help you better manage how to cope. Speaking to a therapist helps you to begin to understand the “whys” in your life:
Why do I respond to things the way that I do?
Why does this trigger me?
Why do I never feel good enough even when others tell me that I am?

Your therapist will provide you with appropriate tools to know how to cope and manage symptoms and patterns of behavior. A therapist provides you with a safe space where you can process feelings and thoughts that you have wondered about for a long time and offer you strategies and resources to resolve the thoughts and feelings.
If you have been considering speaking with a therapist, make that call; taking the first step is always the hardest.

I am a clinical psychologist in Los Angeles and offer complimentary 15 min initial consultations. If you are a professional woman seeking counseling, you may click here to schedule an appointment.

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