If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now than you’ve probably figured out that I’m a strong advocate for counseling and therapy. I have benefited greatly from psychotherapy. It has changed my life profoundly in so many ways. I sought out therapy for depression and anxiety, as well as the need to know myself better and be aware of my own needs and emotions.
The overall benefit of therapy is to have a safe and secure place to talk with another person without the fear of judgement. Having a sounding board releases an incredible amount of pressure and stress, which allows the person to be happier and more centered; this goes for all people, and doubly so for anxiety sufferers.
Another benefit of therapy is it places a high value on the worth of the individual. A good therapist will praise and encourage their client to seek help. A therapist can help to determine which kind of therapy the person will benefit from, whether it be cognitive behavioral therapy, Pastoral, Humanistic, Gestalt, Interpersonal, Transpersonal, or Positive Psychology. Therapists may present other techniques to the client, but the client has the ultimate say of which technique, he or she feels works best for them. The client works with the therapist to establish goals that the client wants to obtain from therapy. Therapy is all about the client, while the therapist does their best to help the client seek and reach those goals. For many, being in the position to make significant choices over their own well-being is a new experience. This can be intimidating to some, but again this is what the therapist is for. Working through this can be incredibly empowering.
Therapy is a gentle process. Therapist are trained to be very emotionally gentle because they realize that if they make even slight comments or mistakes that are perceived as threatening, or judgemental, that they have begun to jeopardize the therapeutic relationship. Clients who feel judged withhold information, which impedes progress. Going through therapy isn’t always easy. When one is willing to make changes in their lives it can be very distressful. Therapists help to reduce transitional stress so that they can aid their clients to lead the healthy and happy lives they want to live.
Some important things to know when seeking out a good therapist…
* Ask your general practitioner for a referral, or ask your religious community if they can recommend someone.
* Interview the therapist. Ask them their area of expertise and how they’ve helped people with your presenting concern. If it is important to you, ask if they will respect your Spiritual views.
* Listen to your inner voice or instincts. Not every therapist will click with a potential client.
* Go with experience over degrees. Not everyone with multiple doctorates can be helpful. But make sure they are licensed to practise.
* You do not have to tell anyone you are seeing a therapist. This is a very personal decision. It is entirely up to you who you tell. unfortunately, there is still a stigma over mental illness and it is a profound shame. If someone you know thinks that only, “sickos go to head shrinks,” then it may not be in your best interest to let them know your personal business. But this must be discussed with your therapist.
* If after a few sessions you find that you are not comfortable with this therapist than it is ok to seek another one. I’ve had this experience and was so glad I kept looking for a therapist that could really help me. I’ve never regretted it.
If you know of someone who may need help encourage them to seek therapy. Let them know there is no shame in it at all. Refer them to my website. Let them know they aren’t alone and that they can lead a happy life. Ok, now que the soundtrack to Good Will Hunting:)