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Checklist: Should You Consider Therapy?

check-list-1150080Symptom Checklist
If you have frequent and/or ongoing instances of the following symptoms, you might consider getting an evaluation from a skilled psychotherapist.

A therapist should always refer you to a medical doctor if you haven’t had a physical examination in the last six months to year. It is sometimes the case that physical illnesses cause psychological symptoms. (For example, if diabetes is left untreated, one problem of many it can cause is that the person will have a low-frustration tolerance and may be prone to anger.)

Some people are more comfortable going to a clergy member, mentor, friend or parent. If so, together you should try and determine the seriousness of your symptoms and if they are very frequent and/or ongoing. Although not foolproof, this might help you determine if some kind of mental health treatment might help.
 Sadness/depression (the “blues”)
 Any overwhelming or ongoing fear
 Anxiety/extreme tension/nervousness
 Hysteria
 Memory problems (moderate to severe)
 Overwhelming guilt (your mind can’t rest)
 Scattered or confused thinking
 Overwhelming suspiciousness or hostility
 Strange or bizarre thoughts
 Anger/impulse control (you become easily upset and lash out verbally or physically)
 Identity problems (questions the meaning of [my] life,
confusion about long-term goals, sexuality, career choices, group loyalties, friendships)
 Spirituality problems (moral, religious, and spiritual questions and issues, cult
membership, etc.)
Life Stress Checklist
If you believe that any of the following life stressors are causing any of the symptoms from the Symptom Checklist (or other related or unusual symptoms), you may want to see a clergy member, mentor, or psychotherapist.

If you are feeling that you are in crisis and have thoughts of harming yourself or others, you should immediately call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room and notify a trusted friend or family member.
 Death of a family member
 Divorce
 Marriage complications
 Terminal illness (one’s own or that of a family member)
 Physical incapacitation, chronic pain, or chronic illness
 Drug or alcohol abuse by self or family member
 Mental illness of self or family member
 Loss of job or job change
 Moving house
 Change of school (for children, but can be adults too)
 Relationship/relational problems (unable to get along with spouse, family, friends,
 Academic problems (poor grades, inability to retain information, problems with
teachers, deadlines)
 Occupational problems (lateness, absences, problems with boss, coworkers)
 Victim of abuse
 Victim of crime
 Criminal/abusive actions of self or family member
 Extreme loneliness/lack of community membership or friendships
Adapted from Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better and Move On

Checklist: Should You Consider Therapy?

Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC is the author of Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and Move On Without Wasting Time or Money and is licensed in addiction and psychotherapy with over 25 years experience as well as a consultant to organizations and companies in the fields of mental health and addiction. He is the executive director of an outpatient behavioral health program. Learn more about Richard here.

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APA Reference
& C.R. Zwolinski, R. (2016). Checklist: Should You Consider Therapy?. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 18, 2019, from


Last updated: 11 Jul 2016
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 11 Jul 2016
Published on All rights reserved.