So I’m a clinical psychologist and I work with people who are seeking to improve their lives through therapy. Many of my clients have intense symptoms of anxiety or PTSD at the beginning of treatment. When they first come in, we often work together on a weekly basis and do structured treatments aimed at getting the symptoms under control. Then, as the symptoms start to resolve, we spread our sessions out to biweekly, then monthly. I love to do this work and help my clients to live life with more ease and less torment.
At a certain point, my client’s symptoms are under control and they’re living a relatively comfortable life. And sometimes a wonderful thing happens. They want to continue to come in with the goal not to necessarily get rid of anxiety or trauma triggers. The goal at that point is to live a more full, deep, joyful life.
They’ll come into work through stressful events in order to learn and grow and handle things better next time. They’ll discuss how they feel about their husband or wife. How their buttons have been pushed at work. Or how they are engaging in an unhealthy pattern with their family again. Or how they want to go deeper in their friendships. Or be a better parent.
To me, this is the magic of therapy. Having someone to help work through the ups and downs of life that happen to all of us. Have a trained professional help guide you to make good decisions, handle stress better, manage your emotions and respond in a way you’d be proud of the next day. Who couldn’t benefit from that?
I love to go to therapy to work through my own issues. Things that push my buttons. Issues that keep me up at night. Worries that I have about the future.
One of my favourite things about going to therapy is to have someone just listen to me and provide completely unconditional support. Sometimes, I just go in and cry for the entire session. Even though I do this work as a therapist every day, I can’t believe how good it feels afterward from a client’s perspective. So unbelievably powerful.
I’m writing this post to normalize therapy. To show you that it’s OK to come in. I’m not going to lie…that the first session is often tough as a client, but usually, things get easier and eventually, it might be your favourite hour of the week.
If you think you need to work on some things with a supportive, kind, knowledgeable professional, in the words of Nike. just do it.