Can Therapy Help You Stop Procrastinating?

When to Seek Therapy For Help With Procrastination

 

Everyone has procrastinated at some point in their lives. Some people wait until they’re out of clean clothes to do laundry, whereas others burn the midnight oil in order to finish a project that they’ve put off for months. This type of procrastination is fairly normal. But for some people, procrastination is more than just a bad habit. 

Severe procrastination can lead to mental health issues such as anxiety, guilt and panic attacks. Fortunately, there are ways to put an end to this behavior once and for all. If procrastinating is affecting your daily life, therapy might be the solution. Here’s what you need to know about this treatment and whether or not you could benefit from it. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy for procrastination

No treatment method has been officially established for procrastination since it has not been recognized as a clinical disorder. This does not mean that procrastination is untreatable, though. 

Studies have shown that cognitive behavioral therapy in a group setting is effective for certain people suffering from procrastination. In one study, participants even continued to improve long after the group therapy sessions were over. The goal of this treatment is to replace behaviors associated with procrastination with positive behaviors such as setting goals and earning rewards.

Researchers believe that receiving cognitive behavioral therapy in a group setting is effective because it gives people the opportunity to connect with other procrastinators. This can help them understand that they are not alone, which can alleviate the feelings of anxiety, guilt and shame that often come with procrastination.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is not right for every procrastinator

Even though this treatment method has shown promise, it is still not right for everyone who suffers from procrastination. There are certain factors that you should consider when determining whether or not you are a good candidate, including the seriousness of your procrastination problem. 

Experts believe that this treatment should only be used on those with “problematic procrastination.” This bad habit is not considered problematic unless it interferes with your personal or professional life. Are your grades slipping? Are you missing deadlines at work? Are loved ones constantly irritated with your failure to complete your household chores? If procrastination is blame, you may want to consider seeking therapy to change this behavior. If your problem is not as severe, there are ways to beat procrastination on your own.

Procrastination is often a symptom of another underlying mental health issue such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression or anxiety. For example, people with depression may procrastinate because they feel they are not capable of successfully completing the task at hand. People with anxiety may struggle to complete tasks because of a fear of failure. ADHD sufferers lack strong time management skills, so their procrastination may be unintentional.

It’s important to determine if there is a link between your tendency to procrastinate and another mental health issue. If there is, therapy can help by treating the underlying mental health issue that is triggering the procrastination. 

Therapy may not be the answer for everyone who suffers from procrastination, but it can help certain people kick this bad behavior to the curb.

The caring therapists at Foundations Counseling can help you and your family overcome life’s greatest challenges. Contact us today!