- Monika La Nuez, LCSW
Updated: Feb 8, 2020
Taking those first steps towards setting up an initial therapy session can often feel overwhelming and scary, especially if you are considering trying therapy for the first time. Therapy has often been stigmatized in the past, and people can sometimes feel shame about the idea of participating in therapy. I believe that everyone and anyone can benefit from therapy at different points in their lives, and that therapy is one of the highest forms of self-care that people can give themselves. Many people find that once they start therapy, they begin to feel relief immediately and begin looking forward to their weekly sessions as a space where they can openly express anything that is on their minds. If you are on the fence about starting therapy, here are some reasons why therapy may help you.
You can talk about whatever you need to talk about: It can be difficult to openly express yourself about what you are thinking and feeling to your friends and family. You may find that people have negative reactions or judgments when you authentically open up about your thoughts and emotions, especially if these are feelings which are deemed “unacceptable” by society. When you’re in therapy, you are free to express all those uncomfortable thoughts in a non-judgmental environment. You can express your frustration about your partner, children, job, or anything else without fear of being reprimanded or shamed. For many people, simply being able to open up about things they have been holding back can provide a major feeling of relief.
You’ll receive validation for your emotions: You may find that as you open up, your therapist will be able to validate your emotions and perspective. You may have been judging and second-guessing yourself for feeling a certain way. A therapist can help you to see what is valid about what you are thinking and feeling and that there is legitimacy to what you are experiencing. Many clients often express feeling normalized when they are validated for what they are going through, often citing that they feel less alone in what they are going through.
You’ll be offered new perspectives and ways to approach situations: Therapy is also a wonderful way to begin building awareness of patterns and behaviors which may be interfering with your quality of life. In a non-judgmental way, a therapist can point out behaviors which may be contributing to your suffering. A therapist may also be able to provide feedback and suggestions about new ways to approach situations, without giving advice or telling you what to do. Through therapy, you will likely acquire new tools through which to cope with problems in your life that will lead to increased happiness, clarity, and peace.
You’ll Increase awareness and insight into yourself: As you continue to engage in therapy, you may find that you are building awareness and insight about yourself and your patterns. You may start connecting the dots between events which occurred in your past which have led you to cope in the ways that you do now. You may become aware of thinking patterns that contribute to your anxiety, anger, or depression, and thus become able to challenge and reframe those thinking patterns. We cannot change that of which we are not aware. Therapy is a major contributor to creating awareness, which is the first step towards creating meaningful changes in your life.
You’ll be speaking to someone who’s trained to be unbiased and nonjudgmental: People often fear sharing their thoughts and feelings with others because of the prospect of being judged, shamed, or given biased feedback and advice. A skilled and ethical therapist approaches each therapy session from an unbiased and non-judgmental stance. A therapist will attempt to approach your experience with openness and curiosity, helping you to dig deeper into yourself in order to uncover the root causes of what you are experiencing. It can be so liberating for many clients to find a space where they know they are receiving unbiased feedback that comes from someone whose principal goal is to support you on your search for healing.
You’ll be able to organize your thoughts and priorities: People often begin therapy with an array of problems, worries, and concerns. Often, clients share that they feel as though their lives are jumbled up and and that they don’t know where to begin with regard to how to improve their lives. A therapist will help clients sort out and organize their problems in order to develop a clearer approach to how they will work through their presenting issues.
You will feel understood, valued, and seen: People seeking therapy often share that they feel they have limited outlets where they can be themselves and where they feel that their thoughts and beliefs are taken seriously. In therapy, you will be working with someone who is listening actively and deeply to everything that you share. It is truly healing when you can express yourself honestly and openly, and when your experiences are reflected back to you and validated. Furthermore, a therapist can help you to identify how to begin finding supports within your own life who can provide that healing validation and support which you may be yearning for.
Seeking therapy is a courageous and brave first step towards achieving the healing you need, and is something everyone can benefit from when trying to work through the challenges which life throws our way. It may be the very thing that will set you on the path towards the peace of mind you are seeking and so deeply deserve.