What is psychotherapy, you ask? It’s a therapeutic method of treating mental health issues by means of conversing with a psychologist or other mental health specialist.
There are many things you learn as a patient going through psychotherapy. For example, you learn about your diagnosed condition, if any, how to best approach the issues you are struggling with, and what you can do to fix them. Talking through your issues with an outside observer is the healthiest way to deal with stress, depression and negative thoughts. But it doesn’t stop there.
Therapy can be useful for almost anyone. Newly married couples can also go to therapy, couples new to parenthood can go to therapy. Therapy is useful for people who have experienced a divorce, any kind of loss, or need help quitting an addiction. You can basically go to therapy for any new life changes, whether positive or negative, so you know how to deal with or prepare for them.
From my own experience of going to psychotherapy, here’s what I’ve learned, loved, and hated about it:
What I Learned and Loved
1. I learned that it’s a very positive and healthy addition on your schedule to see a psychologist once a week.
Sit back and discuss whatever comes to your mind, whatever thoughts haunt you, whatever you bite your tongue to say in front of other people.
2. I began to understand profound concepts about life. There are two things she said to me that I’ll never forget:
A. “The red chair you see might not be red to everyone, your red might be someone else’s blue.”
B. “When you try to change someone with whom you have a generational gap, you have to understand that you are threatening their self-image and identity.”
My therapist described it to me like this: The person you’re trying to change is in a room with their door shut and locked (symbolizing an adult that has already come to peace with their beliefs and identity). When you try to change them and convince them with ideas outside that conflict with their identity, it’s like you’re constantly and vigorously scratching on their door to let you in. This will disturb them, make them afraid, and turn them into a defensive creature who will only guard their door.
5. I learned to look at the the long run rather than the short run.
I learned to always think, what can I do now that will make me a better person tomorrow? I learned to make choices that will make me feel better about myself later.
6. I loved the care I felt as my therapist listened without judgement or offensive facial expressions.
The attention was undivided and she was all ears.
What I Hated
7. I hated the fact that the diagnosis can always be wrong.
The therapist is human after all, and she might not always diagnose you correctly.
8. I hate that one size does not fit all. The methods of therapy that suit me won’t necessarily suit others.
While my therapist was all ears and very calm and comforting, I had a previous therapist attack me. That previous therapist’s method was different. It seemed like she believed that the more attacking she did, the more the patient would feel obligated to spill it all out. That didn’t work with me but it might have worked with her other patients.
9. I hated that no matter how much you find comfort in your psychologist, you can’t forget the fact that they are your “paid friend”.
That feeling doesn’t go away.
10. I hate that therapy is somewhat addictive.
If one week passes without going to therapy, it automatically becomes a bad week. I relied on therapy, which made me need it and that was unhealthy.
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