When we talk about therapy, we often share reasons why we should go to therapy and how it will help you but we never talk about what happens during therapy. I was in therapy for 4 months and it helped me more than I could ever imagine but there were things I wish I knew before the process. Here are five things no one tells you about therapy.
Opening up and being honest with your therapist enables you to process your feelings and open up to your loved ones
Before I stepped foot in a therapists room I use to keep everything to myself. I found the more and more I was able to talk through my issues with my therapist I was more open to talking to my parents about them and see the importance in doing so. Now if I am down having a bad day or my anxiety was making me feel all over the place, I know telling my parents does not make me weak or useless. In fact, last October was an incredibly horrible for me. I spent most of it crying but I was able to talk through it with my parents. They have me the support I needed.
There are many form of therapy out there – it may take time to find the best fit for you.
I essentially had talking therapy but there are many forms of therapy out there suitable to you. I initially wanted CBT as I thought that may help but when I went for my consultation I was presented with a couple of options. It can be overwhelming if you have no idea what each one involves. Ask the therapist to run you through what each programme would look like, do some research and find the one you click with. You may have to try one or two before you get the right fit. Thats ok too.
Write notes in-between your sessions – either on a notepad or phone.
My therapy surrounded situations. So how did I react in this situation, what could I do differently. Generally how do I feel and cope in different situations and it affects my mind and my relationship with food. As I became more conformable talking about this, I found myself making mental notes to bring certain things up in my session. I ended up writing them down so I didn’t forget.
Therapy gives you a sense of calm and the knowledge you are looking after yourself.
In a weird way I felt safe and calm knowing I was doing therapy. I knew it wasn’t something which would last forever. I knew it would ultimately help me move forward with my life. Before therapy I was stuck. I didn’t know how to get out of the hole I was in and progress in life. Therapy gave me the belief and the tools I needed to break through that.
It is normal to feel apprehensive at the start or every session
Those first few sessions I remember walking into the room scared. I kept wondering, would I say too much. What is she going to think of me. Am I going to breakdown halfway through the session? (why by the way is also more common than you would think) Am I going to hate myself after this? All of these thoughts are normal and ok to have. The more sessions you have, the easier it gets. You know what to expect, you know how you will react and figure out a plan accordingly.
Therapy like most things is a personal journey. A journey only you will experience in your own way. If you are tihkning about therapy or about to start, I cannot tell you exactly what to expect but I will tell you this. Embrace it, let it sink in and in doing so you will reap the benefits.