INSIGHT INTO THERAPY
So, you are looking to find a counsellor and start therapy? It’s a big step and hopefully, one that will change your life for the better forever. The prospect of sitting in front of a total stranger talking about difficult stuff is bound to be worrying in itself. So how do you “do” therapy? Here’s a few thoughts from the perspective of a therapist and also as a person who’s spent years in therapy himself.
First time in therapy? Relax, you are OK First off, let be clear, understand that you’re not a freak and you are not broken. There is absolutely nothing wrong with coming to therapy. It is a brave and courageous thing to do. If you broke your arm you would go to the hospital and let the professionals take care of it. You wouldn’t put it off and hope it fixes it’s self.. Likewise, if you are finding life difficult or hard in some way then going to a therapist or counsellor makes total sense. They are trained to deal with this stuff. You are certainly not weak or stupid for seeking out help; in fact the complete opposite is true. Taking action takes courage.
You’re not going to shock me in our sessions. Whatever you bring is OK with me, I’ve probably heard something similar before or may even of experienced it myself. Human beings are interesting creatures and pretty much everything we do makes sense on some level. That’s not to say that I will necessarily agree with your behaviour, but I will not in any way judge you; I will help you explore how your behaviour is moving you towards having a rich, fulfilling life.
Take your time. You can take your time with telling me about yourself, our sessions are all about you, your safe place to explore. There is no expectation that you talk about your most private, difficult thoughts, feelings and experiences in the early sessions. Do it when you are ready. Taking responsibility for yourself and keeping yourself safe is important whilst the relationship between us grows.
Take part – It’s your session Both of us will work together to move you towards what is clearly important. If you don’t work then there’s not much I can do. When you come, tell me what you would like to be different in your life and then just sit back and stare at me I can’t help you, I can’t read minds and I don’t have a magic wand. Those that get the most out of therapy are the people who get involved and are willing to work.
Give it time Going to therapy is an investment both in yourself, in terms of time and money. Yes it will take time for things to change. It may be that you want to feel less anxious or you want your relationship to change and it probably took many years, sometimes a lifetime, for you to get where you are today. If this is the case then why would it take a couple of hours with a therapist to change? This is not to say that living your life differently has to take years; Research shows that the average length of time it takes for change to happen is just twelve sessions. We are all different and for some this will be nowhere near long enough and for oth