How Therapy Changed My Life
I saw my first therapist when I was six years old in the mid nineties. Looking back now I am so grateful that my mom committed to taking me, because mental health was not a hot topic at the time. In fact, it was not something you talked about at all really. Only recently have efforts been made to de-stigmatize mental health and mental illness, and let me tell you it has made me feel less alone! In fact, it has helped me so much, I would like to share a bit of my personal journey with therapy and mental health.
Therapy has changed my life in almost every way. Not only has it given me a safe space to talk about past trauma, but it has also given me an outpouring of emotional intelligence. I use the tools I’ve learned in therapy (such as ways to calm anxiety, how to have difficult conversations, tips for combating depression etc.) not only in my everyday life, but in my relationships and in my business. My years spent with a therapist have helped put a name to feelings and behaviors (such as OCD, depression, and anxiety), identify and cope with triggers, and above all it has pushed me to step out of my comfort zone and always push to be better and learn more.
Has it been an easy road? No. In fact, taking the first steps to find a therapist are often the hardest. I remember a few years back I was in a bad place mentally. I could barely muster up the energy to get out of bed, let alone find a therapist. But I knew I needed to get better and I made the decision to get better. Once I made that decision, it was just a matter of putting it all into action.
Talking about hard things is not easy, but it is freeing. Take it from someone who has been in therapy (on and off) for almost 23 years, you won’t always leave feeling warm and fuzzy, but if you take it seriously and put in the work, your entire life will be transformed. As an adult for the first time I have finally been able to identify the sources of my anxiety, depression and OCD and just knowing that has brought me so much clarity. I am able to identify my triggers, I have healthy ways to cope, and can easily notice when I’m falling into unhealthy habits. And it’s all because I chose to open up, and become vulnerable.
If you’ve never been to therapy before, but are thinking of trying it out here are some things you can expect when you’re just getting started:
.:. Usually the first few sessions the therapist will want to know a little bit about you, and your background.
.:. You can expect a judgement free zone! Therapist have heard it all- and then some. They won’t be judging you, but if you don’t feel life it’s a safe place, you have all of the power to get up leave.
.:. Breakthroughs take time, so give it some time.
.:. Finding a therapy is a lot like dating, it may take a few trials to find THE one. But when you do it will all be worth it!
If you are currently looking for a therapist I have found if you have insurance the easiest way to do so is to go to your insurance providers website and “find a doctor." If you don’t have insurance some other options are using the online tools Talk Space, or Better Help.
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