Using Therapy to Be Proactive with Your Own Mental Health
During the pandemic, we were faced with new stressors that weren’t previously on our radar. Rates of anxiety and depression skyrocketed and preexisting mental health and substance use issues were only exacerbated through the pandemic. While about a third of Americans saw a therapist during the pandemic, there were (and are) still millions of Americans that are resistant to seek help from a mental health professional – including lawyers.
To the contrary, engaging in therapy can be one of the strongest and most reliable tools in your wellbeing toolbox.
The National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being starts off their 2017 report, The Path to Lawyer Well-Being, with this statement: [t]o be a good lawyer, one has to be a healthy lawyer. And we all want to be good lawyers, right? Accordingly, we should all strive to be healthy! But just as physical health requires time and effort, so does mental health. And counseling is one of the best ways to better your mental health.
Generally speaking, “therapy” or “counseling” refers to the process of meeting (in-person or virtually) with a trained mental health or substance use professional to discuss and resolve problematic feelings, issues, or behaviors. While there are a number of different kinds of therapy modalities geared toward helping specific issues, one-on-one talk therapy is the most common form.
Not only does counseling help you process through the personal and professional stressors we all face, it can also provide you with skills to help you deal with stressful situations – both personal and professional – that might arise in the future. Comparing physical health to mental health again: if you have a healthy diet and exercise regularly, your body will be better prepared if-and-when you are faced with injuries or illnesses. Likewise, the more effort you put into having a healthy mental health baseline, the better suited you will be to handle future curve balls thrown your way.
Additionally, with mental health and substance use issues now on the forefront of today’s legal discussions, the general view about asking for help or support isn’t what it used to be. Now, well-being and taking care of oneself is an important priority and topic for education and discussion in our profession. Nowadays, there is profession-wide support for lawyers to be healthy. And taking actions to get yourself healthy should never be viewed as a negative!
If you have further questions about counseling or would like to schedule free therapy sessions, please contact Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers at 651-646-5590 or [email protected]. We provide up to 4 free counseling sessions per issue for lawyers, law students, judges, other legal professionals, and their immediate family members. As always, Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers is 100% free and 100% confidential.