An Opinion on Therapy
I’m a therapist by profession, so naturally I’m going to have a few opinions on the subject.
Therapy is for anyone who is facing challenges or dramatic change, and recognizes that they can’t make that change by themselves. It’s not easy to admit we aren’t perfect, or that we need the help of others, but to acknowledge our imperfections and face our issues head-on is what creates the best and most lasting change.
Everyone wants growth and a good life experience, to live a positive life full of good happenings and smooth transitions. We want to be authentic and genuine in how we live and how others see us, and when it’s time, we want to improve our lives – maybe even improve the lives of those around us, especially our children. And we do that by being strong and clear-headed through the transitions, and that isn’t always easy.
I’ve known some extremely strong people in my life, and most will tell you the same thing: they couldn’t have got where they were without the help of others… and it starts by talking to one another.
My Personal Approach
In therapy, I’ll often start a session by asking what brought an individual into the office and what they hope to accomplish. I listen, and follow an instinct toward the next question … and the next.
Most clients I work with have complimented this process and reassure me that the questions I’m asking lead them to the discovery they’re looking for. And even though they live with themselves all the time, they somehow never thought to ask those things of themselves. Through this give and take process, the client gains clarity and insight. A path is cut for them, one that may have been over-grown with time. They then begin to articulate their issues aloud where we can best address them.
What to Expect
Imagine sitting in your house, with no air conditioning, while the sun is baking the roof from outside. You think to yourself ‘what this house needs is some shade. We need to plant some trees.’ So you plant a few trees, but they’re going to take time to grow before you get the relief you need.
Therapy is much the same sort of process. When the heat of life is baking our lives, we finally come to the realization that we need to seek relief. Sometimes the fix is fairly simply; but most of the time it’s going to take some effort and investment on our part to grow the trees of understanding and realization that will protect and shade us as we continue through life.
Some people have left their ‘roofs’ out in the sun too long and they’ve burned from too much exposure. Are those people beyond help? No one is beyond help. There are just some who haven’t received enough over the years and needs more of a investment of time and therapy to get their relief.
Perhaps you don’t see yourself as that bad off; you’re not running around the streets with your belongings in a shopping cart, talking to park benches and squirrels and screaming random phrases into the night. OK, you’re not so bad off.
But you see where you’ve “got a hitch in your get-along.” You recognize that certain things set you off, or that you’ve been in a bad relationship – either at home, in your marriage, at work or with a family member. If this kind of ‘fine tuning’ sounds familiar, an investment in therapy can grow that shade tree and bring relief faster than you might imagine with a little effort.