Therapy has a reputation for being something you consider only when you’re desperate. But the fact is, plenty of very successful people seek therapy every day. There’s no rule that says you must hit rock-bottom before you can contact a therapist to make an appointment. Sure, sometimes people go to therapy because they’re overwhelmingly sad, but sometimes they go because they’re at a transitional moment life and need some help to get through it. Here are three common occurrences in life that often drive people to seek out the services of a licensed and highly trained therapist. 

After the Death of a Loved One

Grief is one of the most universal experiences in humanity, but knowing that doesn’t make it any easier to process. Grief can be so debilitating that it affects your physical health and makes you more vulnerable to infectious diseases. Even if you don’t catch a cold or other physical illness, the loss of a loved one can linger in your mind for a very long time. 

Obviously, seeing a therapist can’t undo the death. It’s not going to make you forget that someone you love is no longer here. But it can help you work through the feelings of bereavement in a way that’s more productive. Let’s say you lost a parent after a long illness. You may feel a sense of relief that they’re no longer suffering. But that sense of relief will also make you feel guilty, which is a confusing mix A trained therapist can help you understand that both of those feelings are very natural responses to death. You may have heard that there are five stages of grief, but the reality is far more complex. Therapy provides a safe space to feel all those complicated emotions at once. 

After a Big Move

We move for lots of reasons, like new jobs, new relationships, or just because we’re looking for a bigger, more fast-paced way of life. But that faster way of life comes with an adjustment period. If you move from one major metro area to another, that’s one thing. But if you move from, say, rural Nebraska to New York City, then there’s going to be a lot more that’s unfamiliar and strange. 

It’s also common to feel alone when you change addresses. The farther away you move, the more likely you are to feel isolated. In low moments, you may feel like you will never make friends again, and you’ll just be alone forever in your new city. That’s not the case, and a therapist can help you realize that you have more options than you think. 

Mental health care is often (but not always) easier to find in larger cities. If you’re new to the Big Apple and not sure where you fit in, a therapist in NYC can help you regain your sense of balance. 

After a Breakup

We tend to associate therapy with a way to help you fix a relationship. We’ve all heard of marriage counseling, after all. But while therapy can be useful during a relationship, it can also be useful after a relationship has ended. You can’t always prevent a break-up. In many cases, you shouldn’t try to, because the relationship has reached its natural end. But you can go over the relationship with a therapist and look for patterns.

For instance, it’s kind of a running joke that all our relationship problems stem from our parents. But as children, we can develop attachment styles that persist into adulthood and color the way we see and interact with romantic partners, friends, and coworkers. No relationship is going to be perfect, but if your relationships keep developing the same issues, that might be a sign that you need outside help. 

These three moments represent only the most common reasons that people seek therapy. A host of other major life moments can also warrant a visit with a therapist like a promotion or a new relationship. Despite the potential excitement of even positive change experiences, they trigger moments of opportunity to explore our reactions to change and learn to better adapt with the support of a therapist.