Four Reasons to Start Therapy in the New Year

4. Because the holidays can be tough.

While some may consider the holiday season to be “the happiest season of all”, there are many individuals who face the holidays with trepidation. For those who struggle with depression or anxiety, the holidays may result in an increase in symptomology. As a society, we tend to put a lot of pressure on the holidays; television commercials portray happy families gathered around a table, backlit by a roaring fireplace. In reality, the holidays can be a difficult time for many of us, especially when our realities fall short of the idyllic vignettes on the cover of holiday cards. Strained family relations may be exacerbated by the pressure of the holiday season, and we may find ourselves emotionally depleted come January. Take care of yourself this holiday season, and know that you are not alone, no matter what you are facing.

3. Because winter is long.

According to Mental Health America, seasonal depression is a very real entity that plagues many individuals. Seasonal depression, which is sometimes referred to as the “winter blues”, affects roughly 5% of the U.S. population. When the temperature drops and the days get shorter, many individuals find themselves feeling down, unmotivated, or lethargic. Mental Health America reports that reduced levels of sunlight in the winter months may have an impact on an individual’s serotonin level. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter that impacts mood, is often linked to depression. Shorter, darker days also result in increased levels of melatonin, a sleep-related hormone that is produced in the brain. It may feel like the winter will never end…but spring is coming.

2. Because depression and anxiety are prevalent, but they don’t have to rule your life.

According to the National Association of Mental Illness (NAMI), 16 million American adults live with major depression, and 42 million American adults live with anxiety. NAMI estimates that 20% of youth ages 13-18 live with a mental health condition; 11% of youth suffer from mood disorders, while 8% of youth are living with anxiety. NAMI also indicates that 50% of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14 and 75% by age 24. If you or your loved one is dealing with depression or anxiety, you do not have to suffer in silence. Psychotherapy is proven to be an effective treatment option for individuals dealing with a variety of mental health challenges and greatly improves an individual’s prognosis.

1. Because you want to make this your best year yet.

It may sound cliché, but with the start of a new year comes the promise of a happier and more fulfilling life. Many individuals have considered pursuing therapy in the past but may not have taken that next step. For some, the thought of beginning therapy can be daunting and overwhelming—you are not alone. At Olive Branch, our team of well-trained, empathetic therapists is here to help you. Our office is staffed with licensed clinicians who specialize in a variety of mental health challenges and disorders, including depression, anxiety, trauma, grief, behavioral issues, and substance use. Olive Branch offers individual therapy, couples therapy, family therapy, and play therapy, as well as psychoeducational and peer support groups.

For a brief consultation, please contact us at 732-659-0683. We look forward to working with you.

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Alyson Rentrop, MSW, LSW
About the Author

Alyson Rentrop, LSW is a therapist at the Olive Branch Therapy Group. Alyson works with children, adolescents, young adults, and adults. Alyson specialties include depression, anxiety, grief, and womens issues. If you are interested in working with Alyson, contact us today- via email, phone or chat on our website!