So I’m Back in Therapy

As I mentioned in this post Vulnerability , I wanted to work on becoming more comfortable with vulnerability. Dr. Brene Brown’s TED Talk showed me that I still had a good amount of work to do. Recently, I started going to see a therapist again. Since this was one of the main ways that helped Dr. Brown to become comfortable with vulnerability, I thought I would give it a try. Usually when I went to therapy in the past, it was when I was in some form of crisis. I know that as a training clinician, I should go to therapy on a regular basis to at least take some time to check in with myself, emotions, how I’m coping with things, etc.  but I always used to put it off until I was at a very low point, which was usually burnout or some other major issue. When I finally got into therapy, I felt horrible and did not really feel motivated to do anything. The beginning sessions were mostly focused on getting to me to a point of wanting to do work and feeling decent.

This time around, I still procrastinated for a few days on going to therapy for vulnerability since I was not in a crisis. Then I remembered how much harder the entire process was whenever I procrastinated. So, I made an appointment with my university’s counseling center. At first, I was really nervous about going to therapy because I did not know what I was going to uncover and reveal about myself. My previous experiences with therapy were helpful, nothing horrible happened but I was still nervous and anxious. I just wanted to get it all over with. After *my intake appointment, I felt free, which is something I never felt after a counseling appointment in the past. I was also able to fully recognize my strengths instead of focusing on getting out of some type of crisis. Even though I cried during the appointment, I felt happy and validated afterwards. Usually after opening up to people, I immediately regret it but, on that day, I didn’t regret it.

In the following sessions, my anxiety decreased, and I started feeling excited to go to counseling. It feels so freeing and relaxing to just talk about myself, learn about myself, and feel comfortable with my full self for 50 minutes without anyone interrupting me, invalidating me, misunderstanding me, lecturing me, or making it about them. It feels great to talk about anything and actually be listened to and understood. Sometimes I forget I am in counseling because the conversation seems so natural and the atmosphere is so relaxed and welcoming. My therapist challenges (within reasonable means) and validates me. Instead of shutting down when she challenges to be vulnerable or dig a little deeper, I follow through with the challenge, which sometimes causes me to cry. Then she validates my experience and thanks me for opening up. She also incorporates mindfulness and a little humor which helps me to relax and stay in my body. There are only a few more sessions left, which I am kind of sad about, but I do plan to continue therapy with a therapist somewhere in my area when these sessions are done.

Time to Focus on You:

What are your experiences with therapy? What aspects of it made it helpful and/or not helpful?

Sidenote: If you are a college or graduate student or alumni and want to seek counseling for whatever issue (doesn’t have to a major crisis), check to see if your school has a counseling center. Usually they offer a few free sessions (not really free cause you already paying for them through your tuition) and if you need more sessions, they are supposed to be able to offer a few suggestions of therapists in the area.
*An intake appointment is usually when the therapist gathers background information on a client such as family background, culture, any previous experiences with therapy and/or mental illness, past traumas, any substance use, reason(s) why you are seeking therapy, etc.

Photo by Jacalyn Beales on Unsplash

10 thoughts on “So I’m Back in Therapy”

  1. I use to do therapy as well. Therapy helped me to communicate easier about how I felt and it helped me to dig in my past about what bothered me. Therapy made me comfortable opening up.
    But one thing that didn’t help was that it was only 45 min. I thought that was short. Plus the co-payments cost some money
    Also with therapy like how do you know when you don’t need therapy anymore

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s great to hear that therapy helped you feel comfortable with opening up and communicating. Yea the time limit is annoying cause I want to keep going lol. It varies for people. Some people believe they are done with therapy when the reason that the originally entered therapy is decreased or at least more manageable. Some people continue go to therapy as new things and obstacles come up since . Some people continue to go for maybe the rest of their lives but more so for maintenance and to check in (like once a month, once every 6 months, once a year). Kind of like you go to your primary medical doctor once a year for a check up, some people do that with therapy if they have the resources for it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done for being so brave! Trying therapy out after such a long period can be incredibly daunting, but I’m so glad it’s helped you rebuild your confidence and get validated by someone who’s happy to listen. Keep going! You’re doing fantastic! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am so glad I stumbled upon this post! I haven’t logged on in a while but the email to your post brought me here. I can relate to just about of everything you mentioned.

    The first time I ever went to therapy was about 10 years ago on my college campus. I experienced something similar to what you mentioned. I cried during my intake session and never went back there again. I thought something was wrong with me. Being vulnerable is so not me. I don’t show pain to those I know so I for damn sure was not about to show pain in front of a stranger. That was my justification for never returning and I regret it still 10 years later. I needed help but I saw seeking out help as a form of weakness.

    The stigma of searching for help is being lifted and I’m so happy you’re writing about it. This post came at a perfect time being that I have recently returned to therapy after avoiding it for a decade.

    Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading! 😊 yea that was me, like I would keep everything to myself and see myself as weak anytime I cried, especially in front of other people. I’m so happy to hear that you decided to return to therapy.!! 👏🏽👏🏽 hopefully you have a good experience 🤞🏽🤞🏽 hopefully your future therapist helps to feel comfortable with crying, if you do cry in a session, and validates you!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have been in therapy for the last 9 years and it is vital to my well-being. I know not everyone needs that long, but I am finally at the point where my appointments aren’t about a current crisis. It is such a relief to be able to celebrate stability and happiness in therapy, and being able to focus on how to maintain it. The work is never truly over and there is always room to learn more about yourself. I am glad you’re thriving!

    Liked by 1 person

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