Eight Things You Should Know About Therapy
From scrolling on the Internet, I discovered something that I never really thought about before. I began to see articles telling people to stop being concerned with what their therapist thinks. I was amazed. This may come out of me being in the mental health field, but I was shocked that people have difficulty getting through their sessions because they’re fixated on what their therapist is thinking about them and their issues. After giving it some thought, it makes perfect sense. To some, the concept of therapy can seem intimidating and overwhelming. I came up with a eight things that people should know about therapy to help ease their minds…
1. You’re not crazy for going to therapy. You are actually very brave for taking that step. Most people don’t get that far. It takes self-awareness, accountability, and courage to seek therapy. Commend yourself for knowing that you need help in certain areas of your life.
2. Your therapist is not there to judge you and probably has heard your situation before. Working in the mental health field, sad to say, there a few things that surprise me now. When I tell other people about my work day, sometimes people are floored or emotional, but I’m past that point now. Your therapist will be the same way. While it may contain different details or the story line may be different, remember that your therapist has seen plenty of clients in your same situation. Their main focus is to help you grow and work through your issues. However, if you do feel judgement (legit judgement and not perceived judgement) then I suggest finding another therapist.
3. Finding a therapist may be trial and error. Selecting a therapist that best works for you is just like finding a new doctor, dentist, or hair stylist. You may not get it right on the first try and that’s okay. Don’t let it discourage you from going.
4. Therapy will not work if you are not ready for it. When you go to therapy, you must be prepared to change your way of doing things. You must be ready to let go of maladaptive behaviors that you’ve had all your life. If you are defensive or want to rebuttal everything the therapist says, then change won’t be able to take place. Be open to what your therapists suggests or brings to your attention.
5. You may have homework. Just like school when you learn something new, homework is given to help you practice the lesson outside of the classroom. Therapy is the same way. There may be a person you need to talk to or a breathing technique to help you with anxiety. But in order to make things a habit or resolve an issue, you will have to do it outside of therapy.
6. Your past will not always be the focus of therapy. Your past won’t be the topic unless that’s why you’re going. You can talk about present day. Most therapy consists of working through present issues or how your life is currently being affected by your past. However, if you don’t want to talk about your past that may be a sign that you need to seek therapy.
7. Talking about therapy may open doors for you that you never imagined. In my case, I was able to avoid #3 with my first therapist because two of my coworkers had already been to her. Talking about therapy cannot only help find the right therapists but it may be a way to build new connections as well. Discussing therapy with other can also ease your mind about going and help you learn help techniques.
8. You may have to go to therapy multiple times in your life. Just like you go to the dentist and doctor routinely, therapy is similar. Sometimes you need a reminder of techniques that helped you in the past. Life doesn’t give you a heads up on when things will get rough. You may have to go back to therapy for a different reason. As with everything else, therapy helps you work through the tough stuff and it may take you years to get where you need to go. That’s totally okay.
There are high and lows. There are moments when you’re going to achieve goals, experience breakthroughs, and feel like a weight is lifted off your shoulders. People don’t often talk about this, but therapy can really be a relief, especially if you go in there with the mentality that you need to talk/work through things. However, there will be sessions that are difficult to get through. I encourage everyone to go to therapy. We all have things that are difficult to work through and that’s something no one should be ashamed of.
Are you scared to attend therapy? Why or why not? If you’ve been to therapy, how was your experience?