The question many people have is; “how do I know if I need therapy?” The cavalier response many give would be as follows, “when your life is falling apart,” “when you cannot manage on your own,” or “when sh** hits the fan.” Now the question becomes the following, “when do I know if my life is coming apart?” or at times seeking therapy after all has fallen apart, is too late. There is a simpler way to judge if you need therapy and you can skip the guessing game. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is based on the concept that we need to have our basic physical needs met before we move on to our advanced emotional needs.
Maslow explains that if we do not have our needs at the base of triangle, we are unable to continue up the ranks and reach our highest potential. At the base of the hierarchy we have our physiological needs such as sex, food, and sleep. Notice that sex is at the core of the hierarchy! Moving up to the next rank we have safety such as security of employment, resources, family and physical safety. If we have an unmet or unfulfilled need in the first 2 ranks, the need for therapy is dire. Continuing up, we have love and belonging such as friendship, family, and sexual intimacy. Seeking therapy to fulfill the needs of love and belonging is highly suggested and will surely enhance your life. The last 2 ranks are esteem and self-actualization. A therapist can assist you in achieving self-esteem and self-actualization but at this point therapy is no longer crucial yet highly beneficial.
Look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, are all your needs being met?
Sara Schapiro-Halberstam, MHC-LP, CASAC is a psychotherapist in New York City where she practices individual therapy, couples counseling, and sex counseling. You can contact Sara at firstname.lastname@example.org and read more blog posts at www.mwr.nyc
Sara Schapiro-Halberstam, LMHC