I’m going to start this off by saying that the fact that you chose to read this post may be an indication in itself that you’re considering therapy, at least to some extent.
So, please, keep reading.
I have been going to therapy for around two months now, and I am thoroughly in love with the process. I am now better able to understand why I feel the way I feel sometimes, and how I can respond to those emotions.
However, therapy isn’t linear, and it definitely isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. It’s uncomfortable being so vulnerable to a stranger at first, and it can be even more uncomfortable once you realize that you actually have to acknowledge your feelings.
Finding the right therapist is also a tricky process as well.
I first saw a therapist about a year and a half ago, after my mother passed away… and I hated it. In fact, I dreaded going, and not even because I had to talk about the trauma that I went through. Instead, I felt absolutely no connection to my therapist, and I surely did not feel like I was genuinely being listened to. Needless to say, it left a bad taste in my mouth.
Timing also plays a major role in the success of your therapy visits. The first time I made an appointment, I was doing it for the wrong reasons– I went because I wanted to make those around me happy, not because I was ready for it myself. And, let me be the first to say, therapy won’t work unless you’re doing it for yourself.
Though, after some time away, I was able to realize that I had come to a point in my life where I now needed the extra guidance. I was struggling handling my issues on my own, and felt completely drowned by my emotions. As anxiety-inducing as it was, I found the strength in me to schedule an appointment with a new therapist, and I am so very grateful that I did. I am lucky to say that I have now found the right match for me, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
That being said, although I am about to give you a wide array of reasons for why you could benefit from scheduling your own therapy appointment, you have to be fully ready to take the leap for yourself.
1. Therapy gives you an unbiased, neutral source to talk to.
2. Your feelings will be validated.
3. You can learn really great coping strategies.
(This can range from a variety of things– from breathing exercises to specific ways to retrain your thoughts.)
4. You will be constantly reminded that you are not alone.
5. It can provide you with tools and skills that you can use for the rest of your life.
6. You’ll learn so much about yourself.
7. Going to therapy pushes you to acknowledge and reflect on your feelings.
8. You’ll likely feel more in-control of your feelings.
Lastly, (and most importantly)…
9. ANYONE can go, for ANY reason.
There is no one, right reason for why someone should seek out professional help. It can be extremely easy to get stuck in the mindset that you don’t need therapy, because you can handle your problems on your own and/or because “someone has it worse.” I had fallen into this trap myself; it took me a while to realize that although I may have an “easier” time coping with some things than others, my feelings and struggles are still completely valid. So, drop that “who’s got it worse” attitude and recognize that you have every right to seek out help yourself.
And, just in case that list didn’t persuade you to finally make that phone call, I asked around to see why different people sought out therapy/ what they got out of it, so here are a few of the anonymous testimonies that I was given consent to share:
“Therapy provides me with a judgement and expectation-free place to discuss all of my problems and feelings.”
“I was hoping to find coping skills to deal with my anxiety/ to help myself through anxiety attacks.”
“Therapy was a place where I could just vent and [my therapist] would give me good advice.”
“Talking about yourself allows you to look at yourself objectively!”
“I went to therapy, because I needed coping skills to handle a toxic family.”
“[Cognitive Behavioral Therapy] teaches you methods to put yourself back in control of how you’re feeling! The techniques I learned in CBT are things I carry with me every day, even on my healthiest mental health days.”
“I wanted to go to therapy, because I wanted to gain control of my life back… It worked!”
Take care of yourselves, friends! Your future self will be so glad you did.