The Therapeutic Ripple Effect: 21 Positive Outcomes of Getting Therapy

How therapy helps us live better 

Individual therapy is an effective way to help people manage their mental health and well-being. It provides us with a safe space to explore our thoughts, emotions and feelings while discovering underlying issues and learning new ways of coping. The therapeutic ripple effect essentially refers to the positive impact of therapy which can spread far beyond our inner self. The benefits go beyond the personal and may bring positive outcomes in other spheres of our lives including relationships and social life, professional or academic endeavours, as well as physical health [1].

The significance of positive outcomes from therapy

Sometimes talking to a stranger (in this case a trained therapist) rather than a family member or friend can be helpful. Starting with therapy may seem like a lot of work, but in the long term there will be many benefits to reap. For instance, research reveals that almost 75% of people who are in psychotherapy or talking therapies can see some positive outcomes after six months of starting. It is important to understand the possible therapeutic benefits and so we outline the most important ones below for you to see what positive outcomes therapy may bring [5].

Emotional Benefits

Improved Emotional Regulation

Realising how therapy can help with regulating emotions is an important part of achieving emotional wellbeing and better mental health. Emotional regulation is linked to one’s ability to effectively manage and control emotional experiences in a healthy way without becoming overwhelmed by focusing on the factors that may contribute to emotional dysregulation and addressing them. Emotional dysregulation can negatively impact our everyday lives and so addressing these issues is key to balanced mental health [3].

Increased Self-Esteem and Confidence

Sometimes people start therapy because of a specific issue, but it is later found that low self-esteem is the underlying cause. Self-esteem refers to how we perceive ourselves, leading to either positive or negative outlook in terms of our abilities and life in general, influencing our confidence levels. Therapy can help us boost our confidence and improve our self-esteem through changing our understanding of ourselves and others [2].

Reduction in Anxiety and Depression Symptoms

Anxiety and depression can be two separate conditions affecting someone’s mental wellbeing or they can coexist. A therapist can help us overcome the feelings and experiences linked to these conditions as well as provide useful tools and strategies to cope with difficulties. These include depressive symptoms such as tackling low mood, sadness, hopeless mood and symptoms of anxiety which can be feelings of worry, nervousness and fear [4].

Cognitive Benefits

Enhanced Self-Awareness

Linked to a higher mental wellbeing, self-awareness relates to being able to see ourselves clearly, understanding how others see us and how we fit into our societies and the world in general. Self-reflection and self-awareness are also linked to greater levels of empathy. Self-awareness can be enhanced with helpful techniques through working with your therapist [6].

Better Decision-Making Skills

We have all been there. It is time for us to make a decision, but we are taking a long time, eventually we become stressed and perhaps we self-sabotage and miss out. It can be the small things, but also the big ones. Decision-making skills are essential for an individual to thrive in every-day world to be able to face change. Therapy can help us identify the underlying cause for our indecision and help us align with our values, practice mindfulness and de-clutter our brains to be able to improve our decision-making skills [7].

Improved Problem-Solving Abilities

Therapy is more than changing unhelpful patterns of thinking or challenging our perspectives. We can also gain new skills such as learning to identify problems in our life that prevent us from achieving our goals and to generate different solutions [8].

Behavioural Benefits

Positive Changes in Behavior

Another benefit of therapy is identifying negative or undesirable behavioural patterns and replacing these with more positive and beneficial behaviours instead. Our therapist can help us identify the behaviours that lead to negative outcomes and are causing us difficulties through collaboratively building a plan for positive change [9].

Improved Communication Skills

The therapeutic relationship we have with our therapist determines the extent to which therapy brings positive outcomes. As we build this relationship we tend to improve our communication skills as the basis for this alliance, a skill which is undoubtedly transferable to many other areas of our life. These skills can help us improve our relationships with friends, family, romantic partners but also colleagues and clients [10].

Healthier Coping Mechanisms

Through therapy sessions we can learn new coping skills and mechanisms to help us deal with difficult situations in the future. These coping mechanisms emphasise, for instance, social connections, tuning more into our emotions, exercise, relaxation techniques and positive self talk [11].

Relational Benefits

Strengthened Relationships

Healthy relationships are one of the most important aspects of our lives. As social beings, relationships positively impact our emotional wellbeing, personal growth and overall life satisfaction. Although looking after our relationships may be a complex task since we as humans exist within complex dynamics sometimes involving communications issues and unresolved conflicts. Our therapist can help us find the right tools and strategies to build and maintain healthy relationships [12].

Better Conflict Resolution Skills

Conflicts are a natural part of our lives occurring with various people for various reasons. However, when conflict is mismanaged the relationship can suffer and it may be difficult to restore and resentments may be present. Moreover, the way the conflict is handled can affect the quality of the relationship as well. Conflict resolution skills which can be gained from therapy are an incredibly helpful skill to navigate through our social lives [12].

Enhanced Empathy and Understanding

Touching again on enhanced communication skills and understanding, therapists can support clients with learning how to express their thoughts, feelings and emotions in a healthy way, how to listen actively and how to effectively address difficult situations with empathy and understanding [12].

Professional and Academic Benefits

Increased Productivity

Are you a night owl? Or do you work best in the mornings? What is your working style and are there any factors that either positively or negatively influence the way you work, study or simply do things? Therapy can help us learn more about ourselves and answer important questions to be aware of how we can work in a more productive manner including teamwork, problem-solving and importantly burn out [13].

Better Stress Management

Stress affects everyone in varying ways and intensities, both physically and emotionally. It is a natural reaction to difficult circumstances ranging from an argument with a loved one to financial worries and more. Stress can sometimes be a good thing to a certain degree, but excessive prolonged stress can bring a lot of difficulties including impacting our mental and physical health. You can protect yourself by learning coping mechanisms and skills to overcome these difficult situations through talking to a trained therapist [14].

Improved Focus and Concentration

A wandering mind is the least we need when an important deadline or an event is approaching. This inability to concentrate on a task at hand or simply remembering information can complicate our everyday functioning at work but also in our personal lives. Therapy can help us identify underlying causes for poor concentration and focus while providing effective strategies to follow when we need it [15].

Physical Health Benefits

Improved Sleep Patterns

Importantly, poor mental wellbeing can also affect our sleep. Since therapy can help us manage our mood, amongst many other things, including managing symptoms of depression and anxiety, we can learn how to improve our sleep and therefore increase the quality of our life while using important strategies such as creating new sleep habits as well as avoiding behaviours that prevent us from getting rest [17].

Boost Immune System

Research reveals that poor mental wellbeing can affect our physical health too. People may fall ill easily and their ability to resist illness becomes weak. As we already know, through seeking therapy we can improve our overall mental wellbeing while tackling symptoms of anxiety and depression which can compromise our immune system [16].

Healthier Lifestyle Choices

Making a lifestyle change can be challenging, but our therapist is here to help us with the important transition. We have all tried to change our habits for the better, such as more exercise, eating healthier or drinking less coffee. Therapy can help facilitate these important initiatives and help us make them last through careful planning, positive behaviour change and encouragement [18].

Personal Growth and Development

Fostering Resilience

Working on improving our skills to better tackle stressful events and improving our resilience is something that can also be addressed during therapy. Looking after your mental wellbeing and working with your therapist can help you feel more prepared to manage stress. Depending on your unique needs, you might be introduced to new strategies and tools to help you better navigate difficult situations. The idea is that as you feel more equipped and confident your resilience increases [19].

Understanding your values and goals

As people progress in therapy they start noticing that their sense of self is becoming stronger, gaining clarity in terms of their own values and goals in life. It is then easier for us to set objectives and navigate through decisions and plan for the future [13].

Cultivating a Positive Outlook on Life

Life is not always easy and it can be difficult to remain positive when we go through a difficult patch or when we are simply too busy. Investing the time and effort in your mental wellbeing through therapy is the first step towards shifting your mindset and rigid patterns of negative thinking preventing us from enjoying life to the fullest instead of focusing on the bright side [22].

Therapy is a great way to understand yourself better and learn new things, if you are seeking a reputable therapy clinic in Singapore – our friendly team of clinicians are more than happy to help.