I don’t know about you, but I’m not the least bit ashamed of the fact that I go to therapy. I mean, are people still embarrassed to admit this? Or even embarrassed to go? The benefits of therapy, when you finally learn how to do therapy the right way, far outweigh any shame or embarrassment you might feel. No one is perfect, and no grown adult has a perfectly happy life with zero issues to sort out. If you are a human being and have lived in this world, interacting with others, you probably have issues. That’s okay. And therapy is a fantastic tool to help you with your issues, if you allow it to work for you in the right way.
I really did used to think that it was the therapist’s job to do most, if not all, of the work. And if I could just find the right therapist, who knew exactly what to say to me, and call me on all of my bullshit, I would finally be happy.
To validate the fact that it’s really not the therapist’s job to do the hard work for you, my partner just happens to be a therapist. And from his insider’s perspective, he’s told me that a motto therapists try to stick to within the industry is this:
“Don’t work harder than the client.”
A good therapist won’t and should not do all the work for you. And it’s their job to help establish and maintain appropriate boundaries. It’s our job to do the tough work, and most importantly, to show up!
Therapists have all kinds of different personalities and styles of therapizing. And it’s true, not all therapists will be a good fit for you. Finding a good therapist is actually a bit like dating. You might go on a handful of dates with perfectly nice people. But for whatever reason, something didn’t feel quite right. However, like dating, if you are too picky about your therapist, you might really miss out on an amazing journey of love with someone.
Snippet from The Truth About Therapy podcast episode, available on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google.
THERAPY IS ABOUT LOVE. THAT’S ALL.
I finally had to learn the hard way (not through terribly negative experiences, but through lots and lots and lots of time spent searching) that therapy is all about love. I thought it was about tools, and advice, and guidance. And it’s true, that can be really helpful, depending on what issues you are struggling with. However, for me, and I think for all human beings, we can never have too much love in our lives. And a therapist is an invaluable source of unconditional love. I completely took that for granted for the first 15 years of my adult life.
For years, I was super freaked out by the idea of intimacy and love. And I certainly wasn’t comfortable allowing a complete stranger to sit there and just be nice to me for no reason. I never felt deserving of that, even though I thought I did. And I thought any therapist who would just sit there and like me for awhile, was either pretending, or was just a spineless sucker who had no idea who the real, terrible me was. And after a few months with a therapist, I would inevitably decide that they were lame and unhelpful, and I would move on. PS I did the exact same thing with male love interests and female friends.
THIS WEEK’S PODCAST EPISODE
In this week’s podcast episode, I revisit this topic of “doing therapy the right way” by narrating my 2019 blog article, THE TRUTH ABOUT THERAPY. I’m including a link to the blog post, because I know some of you are readers, and some of you are listeners. If you want to listen, click on the links below for my podcast episode. And if you would rather read about my therapy journey, then please enjoy this gem of an article in blog form by visiting the link above. This topic and story are very near and dear to my heart, which is why I think it’s so important to bring them back into the light for you.
I think I resisted doing therapy the right way for so long, because I was just so uncomfortable letting someone love me so unconditionally. My therapist was and is simply my biggest fan, and no matter what I say or do, she just loves me. And no one had really ever treated me that way before, aside from my angel of a grandmother. And the occasional girlfriend or male love interest who I of course overlooked and/or dismissed immediately.
I don’t want to reveal my whole journey to you here, so I encourage you to check out my article and/or podcast episode. And I wouldn’t be sharing my journey with you unless it had a happy ending (which I share about at the end of my podcast episode, but not on my blog post, sorry). So, if you are searching for your own happy ending in life, consider listening to my journey of love and therapy.
Thank you always for reading and listening! Let me know, have you ever gone to therapy? What have your experiences been with it? How do you feel about letting someone love you with no strings attached?
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Hello from my cat niece, Lucy!
Featured photo by Finn on Unsplash
Heart photo by Fadi Xd on Unsplash