The idea of starting therapy can be a daunting prospect but here are a few things to bear in mind so you get the most out of your Therapy journey.
Your Therapist doesn’t fix you – because you are not broken
You may have negative beliefs about yourself or you may have maladaptive behaviours to help you cope with difficulties but you are not broken. Your Therapist won’t give you advice or tell you what you should do but he/she will help you understand yourself and discover what is best for you. She will help you uncover your own inner resources and develop the skills and tools to resolve or cope with difficulties in your life.
Therapy is a two way process
Therapy is an active process that requires work on behalf of the Therapist and the client. While it can feel painful and vulnerable to unpack difficult thoughts and emotions your Therapist will help you work through these in a supportive way. As you learn to trust the safety of the therapy space, you can explore your thoughts and feelings without any fear of judgement to gain deeper insight and start to make the changes you wish.
Therapy can be tough going at times but it is worth it
Uncovering difficult thoughts, feelings and memories can be incredibly painful, and can make us feel vulnerable. This is challenging especially at first, but facing your difficulties and problems and working through things with the help of your Therapist soon becomes easier. Therapy can be a tremendously supportive place where you can speak openly about whatever may be bothering you in complete confidence and for your own benefit. It is a place where you can gain self understanding and awareness that will benefit you long after your therapy has ended.
Therapy can be exhausting
Therapy can be tiring but so also is bearing an emotional burden or unspoken internal pain. Sharing painful experiences can be a huge relief but can also leave you feeling exhausted and drained. Be kind to yourself when you are in therapy – it’s totally normal to feel tired out afterwards.
You might feel stuck sometimes
Sometimes you might not feel you’re making progress at the pace you want or you may feel stuck. Therapy is an incremental process and healing, learning and growth happen gradually over time. If you are feeling stuck, bring this into your therapy session so you can explore this with your therapist and understand what may be going on for you around this.
You may find yourself talking about things you didn’t expect
You might be surprised at some of the thoughts and emotions that therapy uncovers. Don’t be afraid of letting yourself feel your feelings without judgement and use the opportunity of therapy to explore them.
It is a good idea to have therapy goals
Reluctance to begin therapy can be to do with the fear that it may go on forever. And certainly therapy can uncover things you may not have expected to delve into initially. While you may choose to continue therapy to explore something other than what brought you there in the first place, it is equally useful to be mindful of your therapy goals and assess those against the progress you have made. In this way you can make a conscious choice to continue, complete your therapy journey (for now at least) or add therapy to your tool kit of resources to support your self development in the future.
More and more, clients are seeing therapy as something they can call on when they need a safe place for self exploration or a source of support to help cope with life’s inevitable challenges.