There’s a quote (author unknown) that says “Every person should see a therapist; the smart ones do”.
I’ve been wanting to share this post for quite some time (I’ve even mentioned it a few times on my instagram stories) but haven’t, until now, found all the words to encompass everything I wanted this post to say. I was over thinking it (as I am known to do – hey look, a reason why I see a therapist!) but I realized that I didn’t need to. What it comes down to is that I want to be open with the fact that I see a therapist in order to reduce the stigma in talking about therapy and explain why really everyone should go. 😊
You should go to therapy because: You can learn new strategies
One myth I hear a lot is that therapy is only for those who are “mentally ill”. I won’t go down that slope of even unpacking the stigma and fear in that sentence, but I will say that just because you don’t have an illness, does not mean that you shouldn’t go to therapy. I don’t have a ‘diagnosable mental illness’ and let me tell you I can’t imagine not seeing my therapist because life itself is messy. Through both nature & nurture you have a certain set of life skills & weaknesses, some of which you are likely aware of, and some of which you may not be. Having a therapist allows you to work through life’s situations – fights in relationships, finding self-love & inner peace, dealing with your job – by learning what tools you are using to do so and where you may need to change your strategy.
For me, I love control and organization. Love, love, love. Highlighters, sticky notes & to-do lists are like my mecca. What I am learning through my therapist is that while this is beneficial in some areas of my life (my legal career) it can cause problems in my interpersonal relationships. I have a tendency to push people into boxes and rush their decision making on questions I ask. I am learning to sit with uncertainty (even though I don’t like it) in order to benefit my relationships both for myself and the other party.
You should go to therapy because:Your problems & challenges get heard
Everyone faces challenges. Everyone. The nature and complexity of these challenges may differ, but there is not a human being on earth who hasn’t struggled with something. Going to therapy allows you to talk through these problems uninterrupted and get advice from someone who has no knowledge (and therefore biases) to the challenge at hand. Talking to friends is great (and I still recommend that as well) but your friends love you and so they’re not going into any problem-solving with a completely unbiased opinion. Your therapist is.
You should go to therapy because: You deserve it
With so much noise on social media these days about self-care in the form of baths, or having a glass of wine, it’s easy to overlook the fact that going to therapy is the ultimate self-care. It is showing yourself that you believe you are worthy of being heard & worthy of growth. You deserve to have this in your life.
For me, therapy is now one of my non-negotiables. Between my legal practice, blogging, and how much travel, I have a very hard time prioritizing myself and my needs. But this year, I have made my bi-weekly therapy sessions a non-negotiable.
I know that the barriers to therapy can be more than just the stigma. For some it may be financial, for others geographic. Whatever the barriers you face, there are ways around them. There are over-the-phone and online therapists for those who may not be able to get to one. For someone with financial concerns, therapy may be covered by your health care plan, there may be free therapy at a nearby college with therapists-in-training, or there may be payment plans or other options that would work for you.
We live in a world where people feel pressured to present perfection, and that can mean not reaching out for valuable resources like therapy. It can also mean not opening up to loved ones about therapy. When I started telling people this year that I went to therapy (I’m a very open person in case you can’t tell) I was floored by how many of friends said that they did too! Many said it sheepishly, many said it with a sigh of relief that they were telling someone. These are men & women who are ‘perfect’ in my eyes, and hearing that they are in therapy really solidified my belief that therapy is for everyone.
I encourage all of you to just go and see a therapist. You may need to try a few out before you find the perfect fit, but trust me it is so worth it.