Dear sweet friend,
Maybe you are hurting, maybe you have things in your life that you need to figure out, or maybe you simply need someone to just listen… whatever your situation is, I want to offer you some encouragement. I will to instill confidence within you. I want to help you find the strength to do what will be best for you.
Here is my quick word of advice: If you are considering going to therapy, find a therapist and book an appointment.
If you hate it, you never have to go back. But if it is something you are considering, I believe it is worth a chance.
You may be wondering what you will gain from therapy. What can therapy do for you that talking to a friend cannot? Well, here is a short list of what you can gain from therapy sessions:
- You will receive validation. This does not mean that your therapist will agree with all of your thoughts and actions, but your therapist will validate that he/she understands why. You will have another human being hear you and express to you that what you are saying makes sense and that he/she can understand what you think, feel, or behave in a certain way.
- You will be heard. Therapists are literally trained in the art of listening. A therapist does not listen to respond, as many people do. Nope. A therapist listens to hear what you are truly saying, and we often hear the deeper meaning or feeling behind what you have said.
- You will have a safe space to talk express your feelings. Everything that happens in a counseling session is confidential, unless you are a danger to yourself or another person, if there is elderly or child abuse, or if records are subpoenaed by the court system. If your situation does not involve any of these criteria, your therapist will not share anything you say during the session. You will have a completely safe zone to talk about anything and everything. Moreover, you will have a place to feel and express those feelings. One of the best places to cry is in therapy. Your therapist will allow you the space to feel that emotion, rather than trying to instantly cheer you up.
- You will receive tools to navigate difficult situations. Sometimes we don’t understand how to handle a situation that we are in or the road that lies ahead of us. Sometimes we need outside support and input to learn how to handle the lemons that life hands us. Therapy may not help you make lemonade, but it will teach you how to handle the lemons you have been given.
- Lastly, you will receive personal growth. Therapy is a great space to explore who you are and can often lead to personal growth. Insights are discovered, tools are learned, and growth ensues.
And like I said, if you decide to try therapy and realize that either it is not for you or that specific therapist isn’t for you, that’s okay. A good therapist will not be upset that you decide to find a therapist who is a better fit for you.
If therapy is something you think you may need, go for it. Do not allow people around you to convince you otherwise. Do not let people, or society, convince you that therapy is a bad thing. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. And actually, your mental health has an impact on your physical health.
Love yourself and nurture yourself, friend. Do what you believe is going to be best for you.