As a therapist, I am used to first sessions. I'm always eager to meet the person I'll be working with. Actually, I'm quite excited - because I know how life changing therapy can be.
I know this from sitting in the seat of the therapist and the client. I am super grateful that I have committed to practice what I preach and done my personal growth work. There's one main reason that I have committed to doing my work... I don't like to feel bad.
Feeling bad has definitely motivated me to get the support I've needed to make the changes that will help me feel better.
Recently, I started a YouTube series on tips for going to therapy. I love sharing videos, but my first nature is to write. So I decided to bring those tips here and do some companion blog posts on the topic as well.
Because a lot of people struggle with going to therapy. For some it's more scary than others. People will sometimes worry about being open and telling their painful story and struggles to a stranger. They worry about being judged. They worry about finding out they might be wrong, or right. There are all kinds of worries.
Frankly, I think pretty much everyone would benefit from therapy... at least from time to time. But not everyone is interested obviously. It can take a certain level of pain, combined with a willingness to be vulnerable and courageous, to risk joining the therapeutic process.
I'll include the link to the first YouTube intro video in this blog. But I'll give you the short list of why to jump in therapy:
1) You have continued emotional distress. You feel sad, anxious, down, depressed, angry, jealous - you're feeling the emotions that don't feel so good.
2) You have physical health problems. You suffer from some illness or disease. Often continued emotional distress can create physical problems. But even if your health condition isn't stress-related > having stress won't help it. Going to therapy can help you lower stress and improve your immune system which will in turn help whatever physical issue you have.
3) You want to solve a problem that you need help with. Sometimes you just need guidance, advice, input and a safe space with a safe person to talk things through. Is it so bad to ask for help? No! But go to someone unbiased, uninvolved and able to create a safe and non-judgmental space for you to find your own wisdom.
Maybe the hurt child in you is ready to be healed!
There are many ways to get help:
1) self help books and magazine articles,
2) videos and movies,
5) ministers and spiritual guides,
6) life coaches,
7) yoga and meditation,
8) medication and medical treatment,
9) time in nature, and
These are all great. And, at different times you may try different ways to cope with life and find your way. I've tried many of these with great success. Having a go-to professional can be super for one main reason: you have someone to check in with regularly when you need it. You have a relationship with a non-biased, safe person. Many life coaches and spiritual guides are amazing and I also utilize them when needed.
Here's a little more about licensed therapists or counselors:
They have a master's degree in counseling or a related field, they have passed a licensure exam if they can bill insurance or are self-employed, they have training in counseling theories and creating safe space for you, and they can help you safely dive into deep issues related to your past. They cannot prescribe medications (only psychiatrists and doctors can do this).
If you are tired of feeling bad, consider trying therapy. Contact me, if you have questions. Ask your friends or people you trust who they go to. That can be a great way to find someone to work with. I'll be posting more on this topic:
* More on how do I know when I need to go to therapy,
* How to find the right person to work with,
* Preparing for the first session, including asking about costs,
* My rights in therapy,
* How often to go to therapy,
* When to change therapy and find someone else...
If you have questions or want specific topics covered, please reach out to me.
I want to help :)
And remember, starting therapy or going back can be a great self-care practice!
You are worth it!