So, you want to talk about therapy? Great! I’ve been seeing a therapist regularly for about five months now and I’m going to share my experience with you and try to offer a little advice!
First and foremost, I’m going to preface this by saying that everyone has a difference experience with therapy. There are a lot of variables and that means my experience probably won’t look the same as yours. But there are some general consistencies that I feel confident telling you about as well as some things that are specific to my experience!
I want to clear up one of the most common misconceptions about therapy before I begin! Nothing has to be “wrong” for you to benefit from therapy. And benefitting from therapy doesn’t make you “broken” – it makes you human. Literally everyone can (and should) go to therapy! Whether you feel a little more stressed than usual or you’re working through some major trauma, therapy is one of the most beneficial tools we can use to take charge of our mental health. Therapy is the ULTIMATE form of self-care.
I won’t lie to you – I felt silly my first time going to therapy. I was nervous and a little skeptical about laying it all out there for a stranger. That’s normal! Sharing your business with someone you don’t know is weird at first, but this is the first step toward building a relationship with your therapist that you can learn to love and count on down the road. It’s difficult to put it into words, but there’s something very freeing about being able to let it all out to someone who doesn’t have any preconceived notions or biases about you or the people you might be talking about. I’m originally from a really small town, so it was comforting knowing that I wasn’t going to have to worry about my therapist running into my mom at the grocery store.
Another hesitancy that I had at first – that I think lots of people do – was whether or not I was actually going to get anything out of this. Will a conversation with a stranger actually make me feel better? YES! Sometimes we don’t realize that we’re holding onto something until we’re given opportunity to just let it out and let it go. I find myself saying, “I’ve never noticed this before…” and “Well, now that you put it that way…” pretty much every time I go to therapy. There’s something about just being able to speak freely and have someone intentionally listening and responding that is so rewarding.
I think the most important thing to keep in mind is something my therapist told me from day one: “Therapy isn’t magical.” Your problems won’t miraculously disappear, but therapy gives you the opportunity to bravely face them head on with the intention of wanting to work through them for the better.
Therapy works because you do. Now go out there and make an appointment! You’ll be so glad you did!