Every single one of us struggles with something in our lives; no matter who we are. So many people share the same ideology that they should feel happy. Unfortunately for you and I, we don’t live in an ideal world and sometimes we do struggle, depending on our circumstance and emotional resilience.
I believed if I went to see a Therapist, they would think I was insane, I’d be physically removed from university and, probably, locked away in an asylum. A rather catastrophic assumption! However, I’m not alone with my previous misunderstanding of therapy, I often hear (but not as often as a few years ago) my clients concerns over what other people may think of them if they knew they were accessing therapy. There’s definitely been a shift in peoples understanding of therapy, but there’s still an undercurrent of fear feeding the wonder of what other people might think. It’s easy for me to sit here and offer my words of encouragement…”You can do it” (really you can) but, that won’t truly dispel anyone’s fears.
Having attended therapy, I know the remarkable changes that can occur by talking through life with another person, preferably a trained professional, but family and friends can be a good starting point! The problem I had was…
- I didn’t want to ‘burden’ my friends
- I’d get responses like “It’ll be okay” or “Don’t worry”, which wasn’t very helpful and totally shut me down from talking about my problems
For me, it was a massive step just to open up to my friends, but I actually found talking to a Therapist was far easier, because:
- They didn’t know me (Big bonus)
- The sessions were confidential (I could trust them to not blab)
- I could tell them anything (They’d undoubtedly heard all sorts of weird and wonderful things before)
- They were trained in how to respond (I was a closed book, so they could help me open up and actually voice my worries)
- The time was just for me (That’s quite rare in everyday life)
- They wouldn’t tell me how I should or shouldn’t be feeling (They’d accept me for me)
I’ve lost count of the amount of clients who have said to me “You must think I’m mad“… Err, nope! Until I trained as a Therapist, I truly believed I was the only person in the world to be feeling the way I felt. I remember once, whilst in my early days of training, I told my course mates…”I look at everybody else and wish I was as happy as they were“. To me, at that time, I believed everybody else felt happy with their lives. I’d see girls wearing lovely clothes, smiling with their boyfriends and I’d think “Why can’t I be like that?” This is a far cry from the person I am now! However, the truth is people tend to imagine everyone else feels happy but seeing someone smiling doesn’t necessarily mean a person is happy all of the time. People can often hide lots of emotions and be very different to what we actually see.
I still have my wobbles, which is completely normal, but I feel much more able to understand my thoughts and feeling. I no longer look at other people and want what they have. I’ve learnt to bring acceptance into my life, to accept others and myself and this was something I didn’t understand or have in my life, before therapy. So, if this isn’t a testament to attending therapy, I don’t know what is! Therapy can help you de-clutter your life, by talking about and working through your difficult thoughts, feelings and experiences. Going to therapy can be really scary (I’m not saying it’s easy) but, for me, I came out of therapy I a better version of myself.