"Never be afraid of growing slowly,
only be afraid of standing still."
If you have never been in therapy (also known as counseling) before, you may have questions about the experience. It’s very common to feel conflicted about starting therapy, particularly if your only knowledge of what it is like is based on how it is sometimes portrayed in movies or on television. My hope is that this simplified description will give you a better understanding of it and ease your concerns.
• It is not an experience where you are giving up your control, and the therapist is going to tell you what to do. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Therapy is a function of getting to know yourself better, finding solutions to life issues, and working through emotional pain “with your therapist’s help.” A good therapist helps you to discover and expand on your own strengths, as well as introducing healthy coping skills.
• You are not “crazy” because you go to therapy. This is the saddest and most ridiculous misconception of all. In some cases, therapy serves to help heal emotional pain, and in some cases, it is used to discover solutions to life issues. Many people that are intelligent, creative, successful, famous, and wise go to therapy. In fact, many people attribute their therapeutic experience as having been influential in their personal growth, success, and in deepening their creativity and satisfaction in all areas of life.
• It is not “an easy way out.” In fact, it takes courage to face ourselves and address what we either need to change in our lives, or to heal from. Any time we take responsibility for our needs and take action to help ourselves, we are the strongest version of ourselves. Even if we don’t realize it at the time.
The most simplistic description of therapy is “conversation.”
Therapy is conversation with a trained therapist. Research has proven that speaking to another person about what you think and feel has remarkable healing qualities. It makes things clearer for the person who is sharing and helps to interrupt negative thought patterns. The difference between speaking to a therapist verses anyone else in your life, is that a therapist is highly trained to understand human behavior and psychology. They may have additional training that leads them to specialize in particular areas as well. The most important aspect of this professional relationship is “confidentiality.” A therapist cannot speak to anyone or share your information without your permission, except in extreme circumstances that should be explained to you.
I hope this puts to rest some misconceptions about therapy and leaves you feeling more comfortable about asking for help if you are having a difficult time. Please contact me if you have any further questions.
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