5 Things to do if You Don't Have A Therapist
Develop a Social Support Network
We take for granted the importance of having a network of people we know and trust. Having the support of family and friends is great, but everyone does not have that. If you're one of these people opt for finding a chosen family. These are the people we can meet volunteering, doing creative projects, book clubs, running clubs, special interest groups, or even through community activism. You will get to do something you enjoy and meet people along the way.
ATTEND A SUPPORT GROUP
Think the grief group in "Collateral Beauty," a small group of individuals available to discuss and process a host of different issues. There is a support group for almost every situation from codependency anonymous to Al-anon (support group for individuals with alcoholics in their family). Support groups are not all gloom and doom, it is a great place to bond/gain support about stressful situations. Support groups are where you can find similar elements of therapy such as a safe open space and also gain validation and/or feedback concerning your issue at hand.
Develop a Spiritual Practice
There is evidence to support that developing a spiritual practice can create more peace in your life. The practice of getting in touch with your spirit/soul/alternative conscious can be bring a lot of perspective to what can be daunting circumstances. Practices like attending religious services, enrolling in meditation classes, reading self-help books, or identifying spiritual laws you connect with will give you the strength to triumph over adversity.
Have a Weekly Dumping Ritual with Friends
Preface the conversation with, "Hey I need my friend right now. Can I vent?" Venting is cathartic, meaning after releasing that energy of your emotion you often feel much better (similar to exercise or ugly crying but burns less calories). However, ask that person's permission before you vent don't assume they want to be your weekly dumping ground. Also, return the favor to them.
Find A Life Coach
If your struggles are more circumstantial than mental, life coaching can also be an effective remedy. The role of a life coach is to help you get intentional about addressing the stagnation in your life, help you develop goals, and provide accountability. Unfortunately, life coaches aren’t covered by insurance, but a payment is usually negotiable. If your struggles are mental (mental health diagnosis, grief/loss, family life changes) no one can replace the expertise of a mental health professional and in those cases, find a therapist.
Obtaining a therapist is not always easy and for some it's not always THE solution. Identify your needs, assess the severity, and explore small steps to get you closer to your ideal. Mental health professionals are one AMAZING way to mental wellness, but not the ONLY way. Our developing a trusting connection with one another, ourselves, and/or the universe is always a great first step!