How Therapy Has Helped Me Gain Self-Confidence

I know mental health and getting help to treat mental illnesses can be a delicate subject, but I am going to be rather blunt. I have been going to therapy for the past four years, and whenever I get the chance to go back home, I call my therapist to meet with her. I currently go to therapy for my anxiety and any other hardship I experience in my life. I often simply complain and rant to my therapist. I love getting advice and help from a third perspective; from someone who has heard the stories of so many people, and who went through a lot in her own life. My therapist gives me tips on how to deal with my testing anxiety and my constant fears about the future. She also teaches me breathing exercises to reduce my stress. Even though I don’t visit weekly anymore, when I do go it is probably my favorite hour of the week. I come out of my session feeling relaxed, a lot better about my mental state and even more confident. Yet, the journey of getting to where I am today was long.

I started going to therapy my sophomore year of high school. My first two years of high school were definitely some of my hardest years; my anxiety got the best of me, my parents and I did not have the relationship I wish we had and I lived in constant fear and stress about my future. Due to my anxious state of my mind, I always assumed I was irreplaceable to my friends. I believed I wasn’t good enough and my insecurities about my physical appearance heightened. I fell into a dark hole and felt extremely misunderstood. I picked up some rather bad habits, and eventually my mom found out. Looking back, my mom getting me a therapist and urging me to go actually strengthened our relationship. Honestly, my first therapy session was awkward. I felt uncomfortable opening up to a random lady but as time went on, I began to open up more. My therapist was young, came from the same background as me, and understood where I was coming from when I expressed my feelings.

While in high school, my years in therapy alleviated my depression, my everyday problems with my parents and friends, and obviously the stress of school. I looked forward to every Wednesday afternoon because I had an hour dedicated to my problems and my problems only. Then, college started and I felt at peace with everything. I was going to attend an amazing school (go Bruins), I was extremely content with my family/social life and I was in the best shape of my life health-wise. I decided to take a year off of therapy, mainly because I was moving away to college. The spring of 2018 hit and I became an emotional wreck due to my personal problems. My mom offered to call up my old therapist but to my dismay she had moved to a different state. Then we started the mission of finding a new therapist and initially I was not pleased. I was not ready to become vulnerable again and open up old scars with a new therapist, while also explaining the emotional trauma I was facing. But now, I am beyond happy by my sessions with her.

Finding a therapist is a job that no one should take lightly. First off, if you are in need of a therapist, I recommend finding someone who attended therapy themselves. It only makes sense you go to someone for emotional help if they have been in a similar position as you. That way, your therapist can truly understand how you feel when you sit on the couch and open up about some of your deepest secrets and darkest moments. Second, find someone who can relate to your background. Both of my therapists come from the same culture as me, therefore they totally understand my perspective on certain matters, how my parents treat me and what my values entail. Third, make sure your therapist matches your preferences. Personally, I prefer a therapist who is also a female. I believe a same gender patient and therapist duo indirectly affects the results you get from therapy. Yet, if you disagree with this, that is totally fine. And finally, fourth, make sure the therapist you find fits your budget. Therapy can be extremely expensive at times, so make sure your insurance covers it or have different methods of payment. Overall, I love going to therapy, even though I am in a much better mental state than I was before. It makes my feelings feel justified, my voice is always heard and I feel listened to.