What you May Experience from Being in Therapy
Now that you’ve made your way through my therapy series, this is last piece. The first two segments dove into some misconceptions and I discussed ways to find a therapist.
For this portion, we’re going to talk about what can happen during therapy and what you may experience from it.
1. You may realize your perception may not be accurate of things. Let’s break this down. Your experience of something is just that, your experience. I’m not saying that a therapist will tell you that your feelings aren’t valid or normal, but what they might do is help you to see situations from various points of view. Another way for therapy to be effective is that you must be willing to accept a new perspective. Therapy helps you to see the bigger picture. Sometimes we can get stuck in how we were affected by something that we fail to see how other’s involved were affected.
2. Therapy holds you accountable. Sometimes we find it easy to deflect and blame others for situations that have occurred. We may fail to realize our role in situations in our life. Therapy can help you see what you may have contributed to a situation.
3. Therapy may lead you to make some difficult decisions. One major misconception is that your therapist will tell you what to do or how to change your life. Actually, therapists often give suggestions on what you should do based on the information provided. With that being said, the rest is up to you. If a therapist tells you that you need to reconsider your involvement with a lover or friend, it’s up to you to decide what to do. Therapists can help you navigate how to remove yourself from situations or to confront someone, but they can’t do it for you. Ultimately, how you move forward is on you.
4. Therapy may awaken old traumatic experiences. Most of our behaviors are tied to what we learned as children from either our parents, family, and/or environment. A lot of the situations we find ourselves in is tied to other parts of our lives. So while you may be in therapy to discuss your marriage, you may realize that you act a certain way because your mom or dad did. Addressing things like this can sometimes bring up unpleasant memories. Most therapist will help you to process and make sure you’re emotionally stable before you leave the session if the memories are very traumatic.
5. You may have to learn techniques to get you through the aftermath of sessions. This can especially be seen in children. I’ve had parents tell me, “it seems like she or he is acting worse since they’ve been in therapy” and sometimes that should be expected. It can be difficult to relive old wounds and they may begin to show in our everyday behavior. Sometimes it may show up in your dreams. If this starts happening, let your therapists know so they can help you to navigate these things.
6. Loss of relationships. I previously mentioned how therapy can change your perception on things. In addition to this, you may realize you need to put boundaries in place for people, change how you interact with them, or distance yourself from them altogether. When you do what’s best for you, people won’t always understand that. Be prepared for people to say you’ve changed or to feel a type of way toward you because you no longer allow them to treat you as they did previously.
7. Change. If therapy brings nothing else, it brings change! The mind is so powerful and literally a small change in perception or our thoughts, can have a major impact. When you get to this point, please pat yourself on the back. While therapy can be uncomfortable, it can be so helpful