‘The Good Doctor’: When Is It Time to See a Therapist?

In a recent episode of “The Good Doctor,” Claire (Antonia Thomas) decided to seek therapy. Her breaking point came after an affair with a married man led to a confrontation with his wife (she slapped Claire in front of the hospital staff after discovering the affair). This situation was just one of many tough situations Claire has faced over the years, such as the death of her mother.

How do you know when it’s time to see a therapist? Here’s what the experts told Showbiz Cheat Sheet.

You feel overwhelmed

ANTONIA THOMAS and  FIONA GUBELMANN on The Good Doctor | Jack Rowand/ABC via Getty Images
ANTONIA THOMAS and FIONA GUBELMANN on The Good Doctor | Jack Rowand/ABC via Getty Images

One indication it’s time to see a therapist is if you usually feel like you’re drowning. It’s not healthy to always feel like you can barely keep your head above water. Eliza Kingsford, a therapist and founder of Kingsford Coaching, told Showbiz Cheat Sheet it’s important to get help if your feelings start to overwhelm you. “[See a therapist] if you are feeling consistently overwhelmed with your feelings of anxiety, depression, sadness, overwhelm, fear, melancholy, anger, irritation, or any other negative emotion that is getting in the way of your daily living,” Kingsford said.   

You’re facing a major transition

Antonia Thomas as Claire Browne | Jack Rowand/ABC via Getty Images
Antonia Thomas as Claire Browne | Jack Rowand/ABC via Getty Images

Change can be frightening. It’s helpful to have someone to talk to when you’re going through a major life change. “There are many entry points into therapy. For some, a difficult life transition such as a breakup, divorce, move, job loss, or relationship challenges can be the catalyst,” said Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby, founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching.

You feel anxious, depressed, or both

Antonia Thomas as Claire Brown on The Good Doctor | Jack Rowand/ABC via Getty Images
Antonia Thomas as Claire Brown on The Good Doctor | Jack Rowand/ABC via Getty Images

If you’ve been feeling anxious, depressed (or both) for a while, it would be in your best interest to talk to someone about how you’re feeling. Bobby says some signs of depression include “persistent feelings of sadness, shame, numbness, apathy, or having a constant stream of negativity (usually directed at yourself) running through your thoughts.” Signs of anxiety can include, “feeling constantly on edge, having trouble sleeping, having intrusive thoughts about threatening things, feeling irritable, being overreactive, and future thinking to the point that it’s paralyzing.”

You need help dealing with trauma

Another reason you might need to see a therapist is if you experienced a traumatic event. Working through the thoughts and feelings that often come after trauma can help you move forward. Jessica Eiseman, MS, LPC-S, NCC, CCTP, owner and clinical director of Ajana Therapy & Clinical Services, says people react differently to trauma. “[Seek therapy] when you want to process some horrible things that have happened to you. [You might not] react in the same way that others in your life may,” Eiseman said.

You want to engage in self-care

Know that you don’t always need a significant reason to go to therapy. Eiseman says seeing a therapist can be part of your ongoing self-care:

Honestly, you don’t need a major reason. Call it self-care, call it a time to pause, call it time that you get a chance to just focus on you. Coming to therapy doesn’t mean you are “crazy” or that you have a major issue. Everyday people from all walks of life come in every day just to manage their mental health in the same way one may go to the gym for physical health or go to their physician for a checkup.

Read more: ‘The Good Doctor’: How Did Shaun’s Brother Die?

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