Therapy is really, just a conversation. It’s non-judgemental space to address issues of importance to you, with someone impartial and receptive.
You don’t have be struggling with your mental health to see a therapist. You may be seeking someone to talk to, motivate you, or a space to be creative & reflective. Perhaps support about your work, a relationship or in parenting would be helpful. A space to process an experience, or have someone to confide in about your grief or yearnings is another purpose of therapy. Perhaps you wish to build more confidence or change direction in your life?
Understanding the Process
- All topics are open for discussion, however, you might like to search for a Therapist with a specialty that relates to you (ie, anxiety, relationships, parenting etc).
- As with all new experiences and relationships, it takes time to build trust and for a feeling of ease to occur. Give it time, at least 3 sessions, to see if you and the Therapist are a good fit.
- Therapy is relational. What we put in, we get out. If we feel guarded, unsure, sceptical or anxious, it’s likely we are going to find Therapy challenging & scary. Try and see it as a learning experience. There is no right or wrong way to do it! Openness is welcomed if possible.
- It’s OK to cry! Many people apologise for crying in a session. But actually, therapy is a perfect place for tears. A good place to let go and process sadness.
- We may expect to have big cathartic moments and a “release”. Sometimes this happens, but not always. Mostly it’s little moments of understanding and gently letting down our guard. Sometimes the a-ha moment comes between sessions.
- The more skills & training a Therapist has, the more effective the therapy will be. Actually, research reports the relationship you have with a therapist will have more impact than the type of therapy they use. PhDs don’t guarantee good people skills. What might work for one, might not work for another,
- Pick a Therapist that suits your purpose. Do you want advice & strategies or someone to listen? Most Therapists want to empower you to find out what works & explore ways for you to gain personal insight & growth. Having someone witness and support your perspective can mind blowingly good, comforting, and more helpful in the long term than advice and information.
- Be careful about your preconceived/negative biases. If you have had a bad experience previously in therapy, you might set a very high bar. That makes it difficult for the therapist to build rapport. Ask yourself “what barriers might exist that are stopping me from getting what I need?” Some of us have very strong defences, and when we are starting to get to the difficult stuff; we run… this is actually pretty normal and can be gently worked through if we are patient and persistent. Sometimes, we just aren’t ready.
- No-one is broken, so fixing isn’t needed. Therapists can’t solve all problems & make feelings disappear; but we can sit with you through the difficult parts of life and help you understand and be less afraid of big emotions.
- Please talk to your therapist about what is going well & what is not in your sessions. Therapists need feedback to make sure they stay on track.
- Some Therapists have good senses of humour. Sessions don’t always need to be super serious. A joke or a giggle is sometimes the best release. It’s ok to show all parts of you in sessions. It may the one place you can be entirely yourself!