You’re hurting and need help. You are starting to run out of options on ways to help yourself. The gym isn’t helping anymore. That nice bath bomb you bought doesn’t bring you comfort in the tub. Your friends and family are biased and cannot provide you with the type of support that you need. You have heard about therapy. You’ve that it may help provide some relief to you. Now, you’re weighing your options.
Is it really for me?
Yes, therapy is for all ages. I see people who come into my office because they need help figuring out their emotions about leaving their current job. People from all walks of life with a myriad of issues come into therapy. You do not have to be “mentally unstable” to come to counseling.
I’d be shocked if you weren’t. There is no roadmap for what to expect in a therapy session. Most people come in with preconceived notions about what counseling is based off of portrayals from the media (i.e. television shows and movies). It can be a frightening experience since you do not know what to expect. If you are unsure, give a counselor a call and ask about the intake process! You are entitled to know the process and what types of questions you may be asked. Being in therapy is also a place to be vulnerable. Which is an uncomfortable feeling for many of us. Especially with a complete stranger. However, it can also be a freeing and empowering feeling to bare your soul to a complete stranger and just leave it there in their office, free of judgment and shame. Your counselor is there to offer support and guidance and to make therapy a positive experience for you!
Am I that weak that I can’t handle my own problems?
Seeking out counseling is not a sign of weakness. In fact, it shows how much strength and courage you have. Admitting that we need help can be a difficult task for many of us. Our pride and ego’s may get in the way and we may feel ashamed that we have to ask for help. Therapy does not equal weakness, lack of masculinity, mental instability, or any other negative idea you can come up with. If you get physically injured, you do not try to give yourself surgery to mend the injury. You go to a doctor, a trained professional. The same goes for your mental health. If there is a problem emotionally, you call up a counselor, a trained professional to help you mend.
What if I leave worse than when I came in?
Talking about difficult issues can sometimes bring up repressed emotions and we can feel out of control. THIS IS NORMAL! It is an uncomfortable feeling but part of the process. For many, you spend your life burying things you would rather not remember hoping the longer you don’t think of them the more likely they will vanish from your life. If that actually worked then my profession would not exist. We know burying our fears and insecurities only makes them stronger and gives them more control over us. As a therapist, it is my job to know how much you can handle in a session and how to equip you with skills to prevent you from feeling out of control. I always tell my clients that they will never leave my office after a heavy session without me making sure they will be okay afterwards and utilizing some skills. This is tough for many to believe as the fear of the unknown if they do talk overwhelms them. That’s okay. I am here to listen, support, and show you that you will be safe after talking about your emotions.
How do I know if my counselor will be the right fit for me?
RESEARCH! If you know you’d prefer to work with a younger, female counselor then look it up using that criteria. If you want your counselor to be specialized in relationship issues then great, ask them if they are! Finding the right fit for a counselor is an important process in therapy. Ask for a consultation to meet them first and see if they are someone you click with. This is for you. So, you have to be able to advocate for yourself to ensure you are getting what you are looking for.
Where do I even start looking for a counselor?
The biggest platform we use in the community is www.psychologytoday.com. There you can see our pictures, filter your search for specifications you want, and read a little bit about the work that we do. You can ask your doctor or insurance companies for a list of referrals and begin to research from there. You can also visit our website at www.breakingfreeservices.com to see if one of our clinicians would be a good fit for you.
Always remember that the choice to come to therapy is not an easy one but can be the first step in changing the rest of your life. It is a choice from a place of vulnerability. Of strength and courage. And above all, it is a choice that you make. It has to be your choice. That is one of the biggest components to effective therapy. You have to want it for yourself. Not to appease someone else. You are worth investing in. You are worth having someone listen to you. You are worth letting out your issues instead holding them in and helping everyone else. You are loved and important and I hope to help you find the awareness you need to believe that too.