Okay, okay … NEED is strong language, but I had to opt for the dramatics, because I’m super passionate about the fact that therapy for ALL is so instrumental. My therapy sessions are budgeted for and set-up on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, much like a hair or nail appointment. I love that being able to be open about going to therapy is more accepted now, and I can write this post without feeling shame.
I remember telling my mom I was in therapy, and her eyes getting big. “Is something WRONG?” Unfortunately, talking to a stranger about the things going on in your head is still taboo for older generations and even some of us in the 20-40 age range. There’s this notion that something has to be WRONG, if you’re in therapy.
Do we only go to the doctor when our health has gone WRONG?
Do we only go to the mechanic when something is WRONG with our car?
(Sure, some of us do, but most of don’t).
Therapy should be seen as proactive, moreso than reactive.
So many of us are out here running on fumes. Anxiety and depression rates are steadily increasing and a lot of us are hiding the fact that behind all the pretty pictures online, we’re really struggling to keep ish together.
I’m not too proud to say, life was molly-whopping ya girl. Amidst these extravagant work trips photographing overseas, capturing street-style at fashion week, sold-out workshops, and an amazingly curated online grid, I was STRU-GUL-LINNNNG. Stress was an understatement, boo. Something had to be changed.
I appreciate social media for the fact that people being transparent in their mental health journey’s and the sharing of resources allowed me to do the same. Accounts like @the.holistic.psychologist helped me to start seeing behaviors that needed to change, and ways to cope with certain stressors, which got me interested in therapy again. Accounts like, @myleik, shared valuable resources, like Open Path Collective, which offers affordable therapy from $30-$60 to those who needed an alternative option to traditional healthcare.
For me, the greatest benefit of therapy was the gift of increased self-awareness.
You have no idea that the reason you and your husband are nearing divorce, is because you do not know (and have not learned) HOW to set proper boundaries with your mother, who pops us whenever she wants and wreaks havoc in your home with her words and actions. Simply becoming aware of WHY you let your mother pop up when she wants and WHY you fear imposing limits and HOW you can employ new techniques, could give you greater insight to overcome an irrevocable decision, like divorce.
Maybe your situation isn’t that extreme.
Maybe you’re like me, you’re so used to winging everything that to you it’s either done or it’s not. Not to mention, you say yes to everything, even when you literally CANNOT take on another task (hey queen’s of “Sure-I Can-Help-You-With-That”). Then you’re freaking out because there’s “So much to do and so little time.” Your brain is on overload and you don’t even know where to start, so you shut down and take a nap — which, BTW is the LAST thing you need to be doing.
Therapy brought awareness to why I was saying yes to please everyone else, even though doing so brought harm to myself. Something seemingly so simple as a NO, was something I couldn’t do until I became aware of WHY I was doing it.
Therapy challenges the mental lies that keep you in bondage. It stands to refute every limiting thought that keeps you lopped into the same things year after year. And once you break through, boo, it’s so incredibly freeing. Sure books and podcasts are great, but there’s nothing like some:
customized-SPECIFICALLY-to-you-and-all-YOUR-unique-issues type of help!
So yes! You NEED therapy, boo. Cause there is not a single person that is out here NOT battling something.
Considering therapy, but on the fence? Here are some tips based on my personal experience.
- Even if you feel your issues aren’t “that serious” – still make a point to go. This may just mean that instead of your sessions being weekly, maybe it’s bi-weekly or once a month. The beautiful thing about therapy is that you can customize a pace that works for YOU.
- Scared about picking a therapist? I always say it’s a little like dating. You definitely should consider what kind of therapist you want. Woman? Man? Does race/ethnicity matter? Sexual Orientation? Studies say therapy is most successful when you feel like you have a good connection with your therapist. I had seen two other therapists prior to finding to my current one, who I’ve been with for a little over a year now. Being specific about what you think would be best for you, helps the search.
- Not sure what to expect? Don’t place a lot of time expectations on your healing. If you’re dealing with a lot of trauma, don’t expect to find healing in two sessions. Just stay open and consistent. Progress takes TIME.
- What exactly happens in therapy, do I need to bring a notebook or something? Every session is different. I’ve found that therapy for most is you talking to your therapist, and them listening, so you really don’t have time to be taking notes. However, if there’s a resource or a revelation that you had and you want to recall it, then perhaps you may want to have a pen and paper handy. For me personally, I usually have a journaling session at some point after my session, just to write down my thoughts, and things I uncovered and can apply in the following week.
There’s my two cents! I hope this helps. If you have any other specific therapy questions, feel free to comment below or send me a dm on the gram @cookayemonster!