The first time I saw a therapist I did not know I needed one. In my mid-twenties, still in college, I had a decent job and apartment. It was my father who told me he thought it would be good for me. He was a psychoanalyst so I figured he should know. I asked him anyway, “Why do you think I should go to a therapist?”

What evidence did he see, I wondered? Self-sufficiency was something I prided myself on so I admit I was a little insulted that he thought I needed help. I wasn’t wallowing in bed all day, or starving myself to death, or contemplating suicide. Weren’t those severe symptoms what signaled the need for therapy?

My Dad diplomatically said I appeared to be stuck. My college career was stalled after bouts with kidney disease had understandably slowed things down. Healthy now, I had changed majors three times and still didn’t have a clear path for my future. I did not look happy. Maybe therapy would help me get unstuck.

Years later I can appreciate how lucky I was. Without my Dad’s gentle kick in the tush I could have floundered without direction for years. My depression and isolation would have gotten worse, I don’t doubt it for a second.

Today I want to provide the same nudge to you. Do you wonder if you could use a therapist’s help but always seem to talk yourself out of it?

Take this little quiz. (This quiz assumes you have seen a physician within the last year and medically you are well.) If you answer Yes to any of the questions AND Yes to the last question, consider a consultation with a good therapist. Therapy may give you just the lever you need to break free from whatever is holding you back from your happiness.


I wake up without energy no matter how much I sleep.

My sleep is totally messed up.

Often when I eat I wonder “Why am I eating this?”

I hate my body.

I am bored.

I need to drink in order to relax.

The thought of changing anything in my life, even things I know it would be good to change, just makes me feel tired or anxious.

I feel restless a lot but have no motivation to exercise.

I am jealous of my friends.

I know I’m smart but I’m mad at myself for making bad choices.

I feel like the years are passing me by and I’m nowhere.

I am in a relationship that weighs me down but I’m afraid to leave.

I’m a loser magnet. I date one disaster after another.

I dread (circle as many as apply)

– going home after work
– going to work
– looking for a new job
– meeting up with so-called friends
– running into acquaintances at the store
– the future

Whenever I spend money, time, or attention on myself I feel guilty.

Maybe this really is as good as it gets and I should settle.

I’ve been feeling this way for over a month.