Let's face it, therapy often gets a bad rap. In my experience, here are some of the reasons why:
1. It's a place for "crazy" people, failing marriages and self-absorbed rich people right?
Actually, no. It's a place for anyone. Luckily there are private practice therapists and centers that cater to all incomes, and will charge based on a sliding scale. This can even be cheaper than using insurance. And no, you do not need to be crazy to qualify or benefit. In fact, I've never seen one "crazy" person (and that word means something different to everyone). Who I see are intelligent, motivated people who want to understand themselves, better their relationships, maintain their health, de-stress and live meaningful lives. These are conscious people improving the society we live in. And as for couples therapy, couples who break up after trying therapy often do so because they enter therapy once it's already too late to repair the relationship, or because they would have ended their relationship with or without therapy, among other reasons which have nothing to do with trying therapy. In fact, as a couple or as an individual, If you start seeing a therapist in the absence of a crisis, you can learn tools and skills, and gain insights which will help you to cope in a different way when things do get rough.
2. Therapists are paid to care:
We've all seen the movies portraying therapists as idiots, falling asleep while a client is talking, even pulling out a sandwich and eating it in session. You know what I'm talking about. So, aside from being ridiculous, it's just not true. I have grown up with, studied with, trained with, met and worked with hundreds of therapists and I've never met one who didn't truly care about their clients. We aren't paid to care. We are paid for our training, knowledge, years of practice, schooling and because we need to pay our office rent. We care because we care. If you have had a disappointing experience with therapy in the past, that is unfortunate because you are missing out on an incredibly special experience and relationship. I’d encourage you to try it again. And that brings me to number 3:
3. It's a waste of time to pay someone to listen to me, I can just talk to my friends:
But where will you go when you want to talk about your friends? I'm half kidding. But seriously, here's why therapy is so great: once you find someone you truly feel comfortable with and connect with (this may take a few sessions with the same therapist or meeting different therapists to find the right one, and it is a key factor in your overall therapeutic experience to find someone you feel this way about) it's a life long relationship unlike any other you will ever have. And no, you don't have to stay in therapy for life but you can always return to your therapist when you want to. Also, your therapist is not your parent, friend, boss, sibling or significant other. Your therapist will take care of you without you ever needing to reciprocate. Your therapist will not judge or criticize you. Your therapist is not biased and has no agenda other than to support you, help you and empower you. Your therapist will never go to the people in your life and tell them what you said about them. It's a safe place to not censor yourself and to enjoy the freedom of being authentically you.
4. It’s Selfish to Want to Go Somewhere Just to Talk About Myself: Is it though?
It seems we have a have misconception about what is “selfish” and what is “self-care” (and this will be a blog topic I will write about soon). Finding a safe space for you to process your past, daily occurrences, and your relationships is anything but selfish. In fact, when one person goes to therapy, it can benefit all their relationships and positively affect others in their life through increased understanding and reduced stress. This will help you respond to things differently and therefore change the vicious cycles we all get stuck in in relationships. Not only is this not selfish, it is actually something you are doing for the benefit of everyone you come in contact with, in addition to contributing to a more conscious world. Your significant others, siblings, parents, co-workers, friends and waiters will all thank you! I hope you found this helpful.
Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about this blog or to request topics you would like to read about in future blogs.