If you’re hurting after breaking off a romantic relationship, it’s not all in your head. Research shows that heartbreak elicits a similar reaction in the brain to that of physical pain. Going to therapy to heal can be an essential step for many. So, when should you go to therapy after a breakup? Here are some reasons you might decide to see a therapist or counselor after a breakup, why they can benefit you, and how to find a therapist.
Reasons To See A Therapist Post-Breakup
If you’re wondering when to go to therapy after a breakup, here are some situations to consider.
- You need objectivity. Unlike friends and family members, a mental health provider such as a therapist is an objective third party. This is beneficial for a number of reasons. First, you can tell them anything; what you say will never leave the session, and you can be as candid as you want. Second, they don’t have a dog in the fight, and they’ll be able to see your situation from a new, totally judgment-free point of view. They may notice things that friends and family won’t notice when you talk about the breakup, which can aid you in healing fully.
- You can’t stop reaching out to your ex. If you feel the compulsive need to reach out to your ex or find yourself checking their social media profiles, seeing a therapist or counselor can help. Compulsively reaching out to an ex, especially if they have set a boundary with you, is maladaptive in many ways. It keeps the person in your peripheral, which prevents you from healing and moving on.
- You’re feeling down. Love releases dopamine, so it makes perfect sense to feel down, or even depressed, after a breakup. Therapy or counselling can help you move past this point and feel good again, no matter how impossible it may feel right now.
- Your stress is high. Breakups can come with a number of different stressors, ranging from trouble telling loved ones about the split to child custody to deciding how you’ll divide property and personal items you shared in the relationship. Having someone to talk to in an environment where you can let it all out is a game-changer for many people going through a breakup.
- You feel stuck. Maybe, you feel like you’ll never love again, or perhaps, you can’t get over the sensation that they were “the one.” On the other hand, you may never want to see their face again but find yourself feeling stagnant post-breakup for other reasons. Therapy can help you break through that wall and focus on building the life that you want moving forward. If you’re not sure what you want, therapy can help you figure it out.
- You need help separating peacefully. If you’re getting a divorce, it may be helpful to seek divorce counseling with your ex. Unlike marriage counseling, the goal of divorce counseling isn’t to rekindle the relationship. Instead, it’s to help you separate amicably.
Of course, it’s imperative to note that sometimes, a breakup isn’t just a breakup. If the relationship – or the breakup – was a traumatic one, it’s even more crucial to reach out for help. You may even decide to see a trauma-informed therapist specifically. If you have experienced trauma and find that it’s impacting you on any level, it’s never too late to reach out.
The Bottom Line
There’s no “wrong” reason to go to therapy. Anyone who is struggling with dating, relationships, a breakup, mental health, self-esteem, stress, or any other similar concerns can benefit from seeing a mental health professional. People see therapists for so many different purposes, ranging from grief to familial concerns to self-improvement and more. Therapy helps you move forward and live your best life, so if you’re considering reaching out, this is your sign to take the leap.
How To Find A Therapist
Sometimes, the hardest part isn’t knowing that you want support. Instead, it’s knowing how to find it. You can find a therapist by searching the web for providers near you, asking your doctor for a referral, contacting your insurance company to see who they cover, or by signing up for an online therapy platform such as MyTherapist.
Online therapy is often more affordable than traditional in-person mental health care, and when you use a website like MyTherapist, it helps you skip the waiting list and see a provider far sooner than you typically would with traditional in-person therapy. Whether you see a therapist online or near you, you deserve to get the support you need to heal from your break up and have healthy, happy relationships moving forward.