The short answer: when a problem in your life is not improving through your usual means of dealing, i.e. hashing it out with friends, ignoring its existence, drinking, working out, etc.
The long answer:
Truth is, none of us are born knowing how to deal with feelings and interpersonal relationships. We learn how from our families and others around us as we grow up. Sometimes we are blessed with amazing role models who teach us really useful ways of coping with the world around us. Often, not so much.
Even under the best of circumstances, life sometimes throws us curveballs no one around us really knows how to handle, including us. Transitions, happy or sad, are always a challenge. Or maybe we realize we don’t want to live the same way our parents did and have no idea what the alternative might be!
All of these are great reasons to seek professional guidance. A professional counselor, like me, will honor your story and concerns with unconditional positive regard and warmth. Working together, you and I will identify new choices, explore places and ways to grow, and work as a team to increase your conscious control over your happiness and well-being.