How to know if therapy will help is a tricky question to answer. Prior to asking that question one should ask “Am I ready to commit to an investment of time and money that may transform my life? One which may prove painful at times but will ultimately support me in creating the changes I long for?” If the answer is yes, then you are ready.
Taking the leap of faith to look for and finally find a counsellor or therapist you feel you can work with is not easy. I recommend everyone speak with at least three professionals, and more, if necessary, to find that someone you feel you can begin to trust. And be open to the possibility there may be some false starts. That is OK. In fact, talking openly with the therapist about your concerns is the best thing you can do and usually adds to the richness of the work between you.
If only therapy were like exercise where, after 12 weeks of intense muscle group workout, you see some sculpted abdominals. Therapy is much more subtle. Beware anyone who makes absolute promises about the changes you will see. No one can make those claims.
What they can do is help you identify the areas that are causing you trouble, listen to what you bring every week and pose questions to support your own reflections thus effecting the subsequent changes you desire.
The changes are usually noticed by others first before you see them yourself. There tends not to be a eureka moment in therapy although at times you may make a mental connection between things past and present and that can be deeply rewarding as part of your self-discovery.
Seeking help is a sign of tremendous strength. It is an often-overlooked part of therapy but a crucial one. It is not easy, nor is it straightforward but in my experience if you can listen to the voice inside you it will lead you in the right direction. Therapy is more like a slow unfolding of yourself with a professional who cares deeply about holding a space for you to be all versions of yourself and to be heard with empathy and unconditional regard.