when self care doesn't work its time for therapy

Mental Health Therapy for Moms: When and How To Do It

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Lets make something clear. A momma who decides to seek mental health therapy is not crazy!

There are a number of reasons why people may need mental health treatment. So, a new mom who feels like she is going to lose it, is in fact one of these reasons.

Self-care is the time you take to do something for you. The overall purpose is to help you feel relaxed and break the normal routine.

Mommas who practice regular self-care experience less stress and are better able to handle stressors that arise.

The key to self-care is to regularly incorporate it into your routine. While, self-care looks different for everyone. The goal is for you to relax.  Above all, you will be a happier and healthier you.

So remember, just like any routine, being a mentally healthy you takes some commitment.

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Mom stressing over self-care

Why is self-care important?

It’s very simple, self-care helps you manage your stress.  Additionally, self-care is what you do to recharge. Remember, mental health therapy is a form of self-care.

Being a momma is one of the hardest jobs that you will have to do. As a caretaker, you often give, but don’t take the time for yourself.

In addition, the role of mom can be physically and mentally draining.

Lets face it, mom fog sucks! Which is why self-care is so important. Self-care allows you to break up the routine, form a deeper connection with yourself, and relieve stress.

Also those who regularly practice self-care, are better able to deal with the stressors in their lives.

What happens when you don’t practice self-care?

Mommas who do not take the time to take care of themselves are more likely to experience the negative effects of stress. Furthermore, stress is a natural and unavoidable response within your body.

If you are not proactive with taking care of your mental health, then you are more likely to experience many different unpleasant symptoms.

Stress can cause somatic symptoms like:

  • Headaches
  • Stomachaches
  • Muscle tension
  • Poor sleep

Poorly Managed Stress can cause changes in your mood and behavior like:

  • Being irritable
  • Feeling depressed
  • Poor eating habits
  • Increase in anxiety
  • Poor sleeping habits
  • Isolation

Long term untreated stress can lead to physical health problems like:

  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes

Stress is not avoidable. However, the unpleasant effects can be decreased (or eliminated) by regularly practicing self-care.

Start by dedicating 10 minutes a day to do something that you enjoy. For example: journaling, reading a book, or sitting in silence.

It is also helpful to get in the habit of scheduling bigger self-care activities. For example: hair/nail appointments, massages, and vacations.

Self-care should be fun and relaxing. In the end, you will be a happier and more pleasant momma. Certainly, something you and your family will enjoy!

Sometimes, our daily self-care tasks are not enough. If this is you, then you should be assessing if you need to add mental health therapy to your routine.

When should you seek mental health therapy?

Mental health therapy is a form of self-care. Have you felt like your regular self-care activities are not helpful for you? Or are you just not interested in doing self-care activities? Then you should probably seek mental health therapy.

Momma, if you find that you are barely functioning. If you are neglecting your momma duties, then it is time to seek mental health therapy.

According to Mental Health of America, common symptoms of adults who should seek mental health therapy include:

  • Confused thinking
  • Prolonged feelings of depression
  • Mood swings
  • Increased anxiety (excessive fears)
  • Inability to cope with daily stressors
  • Isolation
  • Intense negative feelings

This can be the momma who has no patience for her children or her husband. Or the momma who avoids friends and family and often feels like a failure.

Sometimes these mommas appear to have it together, but they feel alone, sad, and inadequate.

If you are unsure if you should seeking mental health therapy, then give it a try. Simply questioning if you need treatment, probably means that you could benefit from a mental health therapist.

What can mental health therapy do for me?

Enrolling in mental health therapy can be a taboo subject for some families. Remember, a therapist is a trained professional. So, their role is to help you to work through your intense, sometimes debilitating, emotions.

A mental health therapist can help you sort through your various feelings. Most importantly, they can even help you to feel like you are not going crazy. In the end. mental health therapy gives you a break from your stressors.

Your therapist is there to support you and encourage you to reach your goals.

Mommas who enroll in mental health therapy are better able to cope with their stressors. As a result, they are more available for their families.

Also, these mommas are better able to balance their different roles and continue to grow as an individual, as a wife, and as a mother.

Your mental health therapist will hold you accountable.  She will encourage you. But also call you out if you are not reaching your potential.  A therapist is someone who you can be honest with. In addition, that person will support, not judge you.

What should I look for in a mental health therapist?

There are several different titles for people who are qualified to provide mental health therapy services.

  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker
  • Licensed Professional Counselor
  • Licensed Psychologist
  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

The differences between these titles are the educational background and subsequent training of your therapist. At the end of the day, all of these professionals are eligible to provide individual and family therapy services.

When seeking out a mental health therapist, you should interview them before entering into a therapeutic relationship.

Not all therapists are trained the same. It is important for you to be familiar with your mental health therapists background. This will determine if they are capable of meeting your needs.

You wouldn’t enroll your child into daycare without touring the place and checking reviews right?

Ask your therapist about their educational background. It is also important to know if they have any specialized training to treat specific problems. Examples include: trauma, children and adolescents, couples and relationships.

If your therapist is licensed, then they are required to obtain continuing education hours. Ask your therapist about recent trainings or conferences they attended for their continuing education hours.

It is also ok to ask your therapist how they will assist you with meeting your identified goals. Remember, a therapeutic relationship is something that you need to feel comfortable with.

Your mental health therapist should be opened to answering your questions and help you to understand the purpose of the services.

In turn, you should be open and honest with your therapist.  Some people feel they need to lie or hold back information from their therapist. If this is you, then you should probably reassess if your therapist is the right fit for you.

The purpose is for you to start to feel and function better. Furthermore, hiding your true thoughts and feelings will only hinder your growth.  This defeats the purpose of you enrolling in mental health therapy services.

What should I expect during mental health therapy sessions?

A typical mental health therapy sessions lasts between 45-60 minutes. The frequency of sessions is something that is determined by you and your therapist.

There are many different forms of therapy. Traditional talk therapy involves you having a conversation with your therapist. Through discussion, you are able to process your triggers, feelings, and other concerns that may be causing you problems.

The role of your therapist is to help you to process through your intense emotions and internal conflicts. Your therapist will also encourage you to work towards your identified goals.

Art and music therapists use artwork and music to help a person process through their triggers and stressors. There is also trauma based therapeutic interventions and other interventions to help treat specific concerns.

Your therapy will continue to evolve.

Prior to starting mental health therapy services, make a list of your goals. Be sure to identify what you want to improve. Include how therapy can help. Talk to your therapist about your goals.

Together, you will create a treatment plan that will list your goals. Your treatment plan should be reviewed periodically. This will determine your progress.  You can also make any necessary adjustments.

It is absolutely ok to ask questions!

If after several sessions, you do not feel a connection with your therapist, talk to your therapist. A good therapist will help you to work through the concerns. Your therapist will also determine if you should be referred to a new therapist.

Do not just quit therapy!

Allow the mental health therapist time to work with you. Together, make a determination of what needs to happen so that you can have a successful therapeutic experience. Remember the purpose of mental health therapy is to help you!

In the end, therapy should help you to feel more confident and stable. This will make you an overall better momma! Do not be afraid to add mental health therapy to your self-care routine.

Above all, mental health therapy is the you time that you need to become a better wife, momma, and you!

What are some of your struggles and have you considered therapy services to help you? Let us know in the comments below.

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