Why The Highly Successful Are Seeking Therapy

There is a strange idea that therapy is only for the very "lost". Despite evidence to the contrary, the ubiquitous stereotype of the analyst's couch and long years of talking... still seems to persist in the minds of many.  The truth is- therapy is more effective, fast-acting and meaningful than ever. As medical technology improves, it continues to strengthen the support for neurologically relevant and rapid therapies. And it turns out, we can all benefit from clearing the emotional path from time to time.

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I know this is true in my office. I see some extremely impressive and accomplished individuals and I love it! (Really, you know I wish I could share- but I can't! You will have to use your imaginations. ) It's a well-kept secret: highly successful and well-resourced people regularly seek therapy as an additional life-improvement tool.
Many of them recognize that they have untapped growth potential and they want to live the most vibrant and unlimited life possible. They know first hand that the static of emotional clutter gets in the way of their professional and personal potential, and they want to clear the obstacles.

Not convinced? Here are just a few reasons why my high functioning clients have told me they seek therapy:

1. A neutral party

Many highly connected people struggle to find a neutral audience where they can discuss ideas and concerns. Employees, peers, and even family members often have a vested interest in the outcome of their decisions. Their support system's good intentions can turn into a suffocating environment for emotional processing. A neutral third party can be an invaluable asset when diving into loaded topics.

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2. A safe space

In the same way, high achievers often have high stakes on their emotional and mental well being. There are often real consequences (lost security clearance, damage to reputation, or fearful stakeholders) if word gets out that they aren't okay. Often, a confidential setting is the only place they can truly let their guard down and get to the heart of the matter. Idle gossip can have far-reaching consequences for those in the public eye. They would rather have the safety of a separate space.

3. Expertise they don't have

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Highly successful people believe in the principle of specialization. They recognize that (with only one short life to live) we cannot be all things to all people. They know first hand that there is value in a team approach, with lifetime experts weighing in on a variety of topics. They seek wise counsel and value it. Therapy is no exception. Frankly, they don't have time to become experts on their own mental health. They understand the better return on their efforts when they involve an expert. They know that it pays to have a variety of tools at their fingertips. Expertise in one area doesn't mean you have every answer you need.

4. Augmentation of support

It takes an observant and resourceful person to realize that sometimes we have tapped all our resources. Our support system can only serve us well if it isn't maxed out, and it has a limited capacity. My well-resourced clients know when their support system has had enough, and (instead of accepting that limitation) they empower themselves to reach out for what they need to thrive.

5. Blind spots

Those who have achieved high levels of success know that strong emotions can create blind spots. They recognize that their own perspective can be limited by what is in front of them. In their professional endeavors they have seen the merits of bringing in fresh eyes for an old problem. Mental health is no exception.

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The truth is, life takes a toll on us all; the highly successful are no exception. Those who have seen great success are more likely to realize that they will reach the end of their personal knowledge and experience. The ones who fly highest, know that there is no shame in calling in the experts when it's time. And they would rather reach out for help than be limited unnecessarily.

Maybe it's time we stop seeing therapy as the forum for the very lost, and instead recognize it as the think tank for those who wish to remove limitation and drag.

Fly High,

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