8 Things I learned in and about Therapy

Therapy isn’t only for difficult times. Therapy can help you manoeuvre through life even when things are great. You learn more about yourself; it contributes to your self-awareness, confidence and self-esteem. With therapy, life becomes easier to cope with, and you can solve personal and professional problems in a way that won’t cause any mental strain.

I’ve been to therapy a few times through the NHS and privately. I also got the chance to interview some therapists for my final university assignment; of course, I chose to speak on mental health, are we surprised?

I’ve learned a few things in things in therapy and about therapy:

1. Your childhood trauma will always catch up to you

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Whether you had a good childhood or bad childhood, everything that happened then will find its way back to you. You know those things you blocked out, guess what? They never left. Whatever it is you went through could manifest in your 20s, 40s, 60s. It can manifest in friendships, relationships, marriages or after having children. It all catches up to you in the most unexpected ways.

2. Therapists aren’t there to tell you what to do

Therapists guide you to make better decisions. They do not tell you what to do. I’d ask my therapist ”Should I do this? Say this? I don’t know what to do” It’s unethical for a therapist to make decisions for you; what my therapist did is they used various techniques to guide me to make better choices.

3. Your therapist is not your friend

You’re paying for a service, you may start to feel better but remember it’s business; they are getting money from you as they counsel you. Your therapist can’t ever be someone close to you; otherwise, you’d have something called a dual relationship.

4. Change is hard

In therapy, you’ll gradually realise many things, and one of the things is change. As one grows, one is used to a particular lifestyle and during sessions with a therapist, you’ll soon realise that there are things you should start to do or things shouldn’t anymore. Change is nerve-racking, but you have to stay focused on your goals, remember why you came to therapy and the importance of your mental well-being.

5. There is such a thing as being too self aware

Self-awareness is a good thing because we understand ourselves and others, but hyper-focusing on that can affect your mental state. When you become too self-aware, you tend to fixate on things that can cause stress and anxiety because you’re in your head too much or you’re too worried about how the people around you may perceive you, leading to depersonalisation. Depersonalisation is when you feel disconnected from your body and thoughts, almost like an uncomfortable dream.

6. Therapy can be uncomfortable

You’re having to admit things you never thought of admitting to yourself. Vulnerability can be an comfortable thing, especially if you aren’t used to it, and on top of that, more than half of the time, you have to talk about past events to move forward, which can be distressing. As uncomfortable as it can be, it’s always best to speak on things because the truth is that if you don’t, you’re wasting your money, and you’re self-sabotaging your growth. Sometimes you have to be uncomfortable to be comfortable.

7. Therapists need therapy too

Therapists also have to deal with many personal issues as much as the next person, and sometimes they have many clients whose cases may be overwhelming.

Some therapists can experience vicarious or secondary traumatization from working with clients with trauma or abuse histories and benefit from talking with another professionals to deal with that traumatization so it does not lead to the inability to continue to do that work.


8. Everyone needs therapy

Unfortunately, not everyone can access therapy or afford to see a therapist, responsively due to its high demand; the need for therapy is spreading across many countries. Coming from an ethnic background, you’ll soon learn to realise that absolutely every single family member needs to see a therapist at least once in their life. 

You can’t just pray all your problems away; therapy and religion can co-exist. It doesn’t matter what culture you come from, how well off you think you are; no, you don’t have to be ”crazy” to see a therapist; yes, men do go to therapy. Therapy is beneficial for your mental growth, but it’s up to you to decide to seek one. 


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