At times, difficult and unpleasant feelings may arise, leading people to seek help from a therapist. They might go to a therapist before or after holidays, but sometimes it is difficult for individuals to receive effective therapy. When seeking a therapist, one might want to build a relationship with their therapist and to dive deep into their feelings. However, some might also have misconceptions of therapy and therapists.
For instance, many don’t know, but traditional talk therapy will not lead you to blame your parents for your issues. It is true that early relationships influence one’s current attitudes and behaviors, such as being sensitive to others with short fuses. However, therapy gives direction in difficult relationships and unpleasant feelings you might have about others. This is not to say that memories of your parents will not be burdening, but you ultimately have to be responsible for your behaviors.
Another misconception is that therapy will lead to selfishness due to the goal of overindulging. Ideally, if you are having your needs met due to therapeutic goals, you will be more loving and generous to others. The end result of therapy should be the termination of depressive thoughts and to be more trustworthy, creative, and open.
Revisiting past memories will not make your situation worse. Although the thought of your past might cause anxiety, you will ultimately be able to release those feelings in a healthy way. The suppressed feelings that resurface are actually a good thing because you are learning to communicate effectively. Perhaps thinking about an emotionally abusive spouse, for instance, will cause distress, but it will get better. Uncovering your trauma with someone will actually release pent up emotions, causing you to feel better. Also, a skilled therapist will help you unravel these emotions patiently and at your own pace.
Largely, many people believe the communication with a therapist is a one-way street. The stereotypical therapist is silent, deep in thought, seemingly judgmental. However, a therapist is not all knowing and will not simply give you answers to your issues. It might be frustrating that your therapist asks too many questions and does not give you a clear path, but the best a therapist can do is give you advice based on getting to know you better. In fact, many people do not want advice, but they merely want to feel understood, which is exactly what a therapist can do for you.
Therapy is not just for people with mental illnesses. Everyone goes through good and rough times, and they are unable to escape everyday hardships. Whether you cannot get through the day, or you are fully functioning, it is okay to seek a therapist. Grief, anger, adjustment, lack of self-esteem, and depression are common reasons to seek a therapist. And, if the symptoms worsen, they might get worse. It is a big step to accept and ask for help and to understand that effective therapy will not only reduce symptoms but will help you live your best life.
In conclusion, therapy is not always what you expect, especially not in the stereotypical way. Your sessions will adjust to your pace and to your issues, all based on your needs. So, as the holidays come to an end, and you are in need of a therapist, do not let misconceptions keep you from seeking help. Therapy might not be for everyone, but it is worth a shot.