Therapy - What you should know
Updated: Jan 18, 2021
There are many misconceptions regarding therapy that often results in people being ashamed to get the treatment they need and deserve. Similarly, due to a misalignment in expectations, sometimes those who would benefit from therapy are unable to stick the course of their treatment plan. The following is a list of 5 things that every person should be aware of, when it comes to therapy:
1. Therapy is perfectly normal
Due to the stigma and lack of understanding surrounding mental health concerns, many people feel they would be judged as 'crazy' for seeking help. However, just as you would seek relief from a physical illness by consulting a doctor or visiting a physical trainer to enhance your strength, therapy can be for anybody who wants to improve their emotional wellbeing. If you feel overwhelmed by your mind or emotions, therapy can be useful in teaching you effective coping methods and enhance your wellbeing and productivity. A therapist can help with concerns such as stress, anger management or apathy to more serious conditions such as Bipolar Disoder, OCD, or Major Depressive Disorder etc.
2. Therapy is not just talking
Therapists vary in terms of their school of belief and hence their approach, yet many do use talking as an effective method through which information can be gleaned and understood. However, unlike speaking to your friend who may provide advice and support based on their own experience and beliefs, a therapist will hold a process of understanding you without judgement. As a therapist using CBT, we will recognise your unhealthy habits and thought processes; guiding you to greater self awareness and more positive coping strategies. The idea is to make you independent in your life, resilient to the challenges that life may introduce and enhance your capacity and understanding of controlling your own wellbeing. We will not explicitly advice you, but guide you through the process of effective decision making and problem solving to ensure your goals are met whilst maintaining your emotional and mental wellbeing.
3. Therapy is work
Therapy is a collaborative process between the therapist and client. In order to ensure what is spoken about in therapy is applied in their daily lives, a therapist may ask you to complete 'homework'. This is essential step towards enhancing your wellbeing. Continuous application and practice of the tools and methods provided by the therapist will be important in realizing any change. Merely speaking to a therapist for 1hour weekly with no follow up on suggested changes and activities will have no significant impact. You must be committed and prepared to put in the work from your end.
4. Therapy takes time
Therapy is not a quick fix where you can meet a professional, they listen to you and give you a solution on the spot. Unfortunately, our lives and our mental health are much more complex, and it may be a case of trial and error. In order for you to achieve a sustainable change in your life, you must be willing to dedicate the time and effort. Usually there are 6 stages in change - precontemplation. contemplation, preparation, action, maintainence and relapse. A client will be educated on these and expected to work through them. In particular, discussing the potential risk of relapse is important. If at any point it happens, it is important they are not discouraged and focus on the trigger rather than blaming themselves.
5. Therapy can be painful & uncomfortable
Clients often believe they will feel good as they are given the space to release their emotions. Though this is true sometimes, it can also be very uncomfortable and painful to revisit traumas or recognise certains flaws. The focus of therapy will be on providing you with greater self awareness and promoting self growth. Clients can feel disheartened, demotivated or frustrated at the speed of their progress. Moreover, the session can be emotionally draining making them feel physically exhausted. This is completely natural and part of the therapeutic process. Its important as a client, you recognise the progress made so far (however small) and use that as motivation to continue. Remember, great things dont come easy. Keep fighting and work hard, and it will all be worth it.
Disclaimer: The following information is not a suitable replacement for therapy or professional help. Mental health is very complex and there are various individual differences due to circumstances, genetics and life experience. All information published has been generalised and done in good faith. However, we will not be liable for any actions taken as a result of this website/post. If you are facing mental health concerns, it is important you reach out to a professional. You may also contact us at email@example.com for further support.