What a lot of people are surprised about is the fact that most people tend to ask the same questions before starting therapy.
Starting therapy can feel like a daunting process. Your issues are your own.They have got you to the point you are today and are unique to you and your own situation.
My aim is to make this process as easy as possible for everyone. This is why I have put together five of the most common things I am asked.
And here is what I have to say on each of them.
Question 1. Can therapy fix me fast?
You can’t really go into one or two therapy sessions and expect your life to dramatically improve. But the speed at which things change depends on how willing you are to put the work in.
A lot of the early sessions of therapy are about establishing a relationship with your therapist. This is where they come to understand who you are and what makes you tick.
Throughout these you might, early on, find some negative habits or patterns, but reworking these takes time and work.
In the short term, you will feel a sense of relief, benefit and satisfaction just from candidly talking to someone, but the long term affects come from you going along of the journey with your therapist.
Question 2. What do you expect me to talk about?
Your therapy sessions are just that – yours. This means that the conversation can go anyway you want and you can say whatever is on your mind.
A lot of people feel like you are expected to talk about certain things or for things to go in a certain direction. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
When you recall your past, you are going to remember things in a variety of ways and in a very jumbled order. Whatever you decide to bring up in therapy is what we are going to talk about.
Question 3. What do I need to prepare for my first session?
The first session is the time for you to get settled and to establish what has brought you to therapy. However that doesn’t mean that anything needs to be prepared.
You may have decided to start therapy and thought it was to talk about one thing, but once you are sitting down with your counsellor, you could end up talking about something completely different.
As you continue, a lot of the affects come into play when you start to take action in between sessions. This might be in the form of informal homework, where you consciously act on something you might have been talking about in a session.
All of this progress is lead by you and the steps you are willing to take. Preparation is not key, but action is.
Question 4. Are you going to judge me?
Near enough every therapist will relay to you that therapy is a non-judgemental space.
Even though we all say it, I don’t think it is heard enough. A large part of being a mental health practitioner is client confidentiality and that is only broken if we believe that yourself or someone else is unsafe.
This is in place because the only way you are able to talk candidly, is for you to feel that trust.
Judgement is the last thing on a counsellors mind when because our number one goal is to understand your issues and to help you get through them stronger and happier.
Question 5. Do you think I need to go to therapy?
Along with this I hear ‘I don’t think I deserve to go to therapy’. Many people throw around that they shouldn’t complain or that they have ‘First World Problems’. I see this as a common deflecting tactic.
There is no need to leave to therapy for the people who really need it. Because yes, you do need it. If you feel like you want to talk to someone, you need it.
It doesn’t matter what your issues are or what level of emotions you feel. What matters is that if you want help, it is there for you.
Everyone is deserving of therapy because everyone deserves to feel satisfied, proud, successful and fulfilled.
If you feel like one aspect of your life could be better, that doesn’t mean that you are ungrateful in any way. Once you have worked on all aspects of your life, the other parts will feel even more amazing – and without any guilt attached to it.
Therapy is the best space for you to create balance in your life.