Therapy. Growing up I knew very little what it consisted of. My mind went to how the media portrayed it. A balding man sitting down. Taking notes. While lay on a couch and look at the ceiling, talking about my problems. Being psychoanalyzed. Then the time will be up and would be told to come back next week.
However, my first therapy session was the complete opposite. I sat in a chair and briefly talked about what brought me to therapy. After having enough information, I was given coping skills to use. Then, I would practice it in session. That surprised me since we didn’t have to delve into traumatic experiences. We hit the bare minimum and worked on how to work with the triggers.
In addition, I attended group therapy and learned the support I needed. Seeing others talk about their issues helped me realized I wasn’t alone. It can be daunting to talk about yourself since your brain tells you that your problems are not as severe as others. But I realized I could not get the support I needed if I didn’t speak up. And talking to others and seeing how they could relate to me helped out a lot.
So what should you know about therapy. First off, a good therapist will make time to teach you skills to help you out. They will do their best to remember things about you. They will debrief with you to see you are doing the homework. In addition, they will make boundaries to make sure that you seek support within the community.
In addition, keep notes on what you want to talk about. Sometimes, throughout the week I had in mind what I wanted to talk about but the minute I came into the office, I would forget.
Also, learn therapy shouldn’t be a bandaid. There should be a conclusion. I’ve had friends who have continued to see the same therapist for years with no end in sight. Therapy is not a crutch. It’s to help develop skills and then be able to move on with your life. It’s true you can always go back to therapy but know you can end it when you feel you are at a place you like to be.
What questions would you want me to answer about therapy?