Society’s Message about Therapy
Society is, thankfully, slowly changing the narrative around therapy. Likely, if you were born before the year 2000, you grew up with the message that ‘you go to therapy because something is ‘wrong’ with you’ and ‘you need to be ‘fixed’’. Therapy was looked down upon and was something to be ashamed of. Therapy, if you went, was a secret.
Lately, society is sending the message that it’s okay to attend therapy. It is, in fact, not shameful to go and seek outside counseling on different aspects of your life that you are struggling with.
I hope to see the narrative continue to grow and change. I hope that we get to the point where we see the bravery and strength of therapy attendees. Admitting to yourself you need support or want to change can be really challenging and hard. We are, after all, creatures of habit. Stepping up to break the generational trauma, wanting to see change within yourself, to admitting ‘Hey, I could use some insight here’ are all very hard things to do.
Society doesn’t often tell us it’s okay to make mistakes, to be wrong, or give us room to grow. We are to be right and have it all together all the time. I hope to see that narrative change. I hope to see the narrative become ‘Hey, we are all human. We all make mistakes. We could all use a little extra support or insight at times.
Why go to Therapy?
Society used to (and still sometimes does) tell us that we must have some huge trauma to need to go to therapy. We must have gone through some crazy or extreme life circumstances to seek out therapeutic services. While, yes, if you have experienced traumatic life experience(s), therapy is a great resource to seek out, therapy is not only for those traumatic areas of your life.
Therapy is also for you if…
- You have relationships at work, home, or in daily life that just aren’t clicking
- You feel anxious and are unsure of why or what to do
- You have gone through a major life change
- You have a goal you don’t know how to meet
- You are feeling a lack of support
- You find your self-talk is more negative or harmful to your self
- You struggle to understand your feelings
- Your life feels chaotic, and you are struggling to find a balance
- You find it hard to engage in certain aspects of your day
- You are finding it hard to break a pattern that isn’t truly helpful for you
- You’re struggling to know who you are or what you want to do next (or at all!)
- Your family seems to be fighting more than usual
- You and your partner have started to notice differences in your relationship
- You want to learn about yourself, communication pattens, triggers
Click here to learn about other reasons to seek out counseling services.
All to say, that therapy isn’t just for those pin-point finger moments that something went wrong. Therapy is for finding yourself. Therapy is for working through any and all areas of your life where you feel resistance. Therapy is for finding support for the various aspects of life where your needs feel unmet.
Taking the step to attend therapy is a big one. In your therapy life, it’s probably one of the biggest ones you’ll take. It’s not always easy. Therapy is admitting to something being off and being willing to determine the root cause. This requires you to answer the potentially hard questions and process what comes up. The first step is the hardest. Deciding to go back gets easier and easier with time, growth, and healing.
What is Therapy?
You may be asking yourself ‘What happens in therapy?’.
Well, there is the stereotypical ‘lay on the couch, tell me how that makes you feel’ viewpoint that comes to mind when you hear the word ‘therapy’. Therapy has evolved and become so much more than sitting on a couch, talking, and being analyzed.
Some sample therapy styles/interventions include:
- Sandtray Therapy
- Expressive Arts Therapy
- Walking/Outdoor Therapy
- EMDR Therapy
- Theraplay Therapy
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
- Therapeutic games
- Group Therapy
Children, mostly engage in Play Therapy where they use their developmental language of play to communicate their needs and desires.
Therapy is adaptable and differs from person to person and session to session. Your therapist and you will spend a few sessions getting to know each other and understanding your history and goals. From there, your therapist and you will decide how sessions look. Your therapist may present interventions or methods they feel might fit your needs.
You are in control during your session – you get to decide what is your comfort level in the discussion. You get to decide if it ever feels unsafe or too much for that session. That’s not to say therapy will be easy. Your therapist will challenge your thoughts and beliefs. They will encourage you to explore the feelings coming up for you throughout your time together. They will be there as a guide. Most importantly, they will be there with you through the comfortable and uncomfortable moments.
Choosing a Therapist
The therapeutic relationship is a unique relationship. It’s imperative during the therapeutic process that you feel connected and trust your therapist. This may require you to ‘shop’ for the therapist that you can have that relationship with.
We shop around for everything, the best deals, the best car, the best filter… you name it, we are searching for the best of the best and won’t settle until it is exactly what we want! To an extent, it’s the same with therapists. It’s important to find a therapist that you feel connected to and one that fits your style. As mentioned above, therapists use a variety of techniques in therapy. Some therapists practice from a particular theory. Others may pull techniques/activities from multiple theories because they find that is what fits their client’s needs best. Neither way is better than the other, but one way may be best for you.
Now, hear me out. This is NOT me saying to leave and find a new therapist when one you previously felt connected with upsets you. Therapy is hard and doesn’t always feel great (or even good). Your therapist will challenge you and your thoughts and that may get uncomfortable. That is normal.
We are all human and we won’t click with every single person we meet. If you are struggling to connect or not seeing progress from the sessions, the therapist and fit may be something to explore.
If you ultimately make the decision that the therapist isn’t the right fit for you, it’s important to remember that it’s not you. It’s not that therapy doesn’t work. It may be that particular therapist doesn’t fit the style you need to process and cope. Sometimes, it is that you have to try a few therapists out to find the right fit. It’s worth finding someone you click with and trust because it makes the therapy process a little more enjoyable.
How BPC can help
Here at Brittani Persha Counseling, we want to support you through your journey of therapy. We hope that you can find someone that fits your needs, and we are here to support you through your counseling journey. We have a wonderful team of therapists that specialize in counseling all ages from childhood to adulthood and with a multitude of presenting concerns. Our therapists are highly trained in their focus areas and are continually learning and expanding on therapeutic techniques to best help our clients. We would love to see if our practice has a therapeutic match for you.
About the Author
My name is Megan Griffith. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor – Associate at Brittani Persha Counseling. Personally, I knew for a long time that I wanted to be a therapist. I wanted to help others find their strengths, process hardships, and work towards their goals. After engaging in my own therapy, I realized just how powerful therapy is and it fueled my desire to pursue this career.
I am currently accepting new clients! I work with children, teens, families, and adults with a variety of presenting concerns. As a Mom myself, I provide therapy for moms who are working to find the balance between being a Mom and the other hundreds of tasks moms do on a daily basis. I would love to work with you on your journey of discovery! For a free consultation, click here!