The process of starting psychotherapy or counseling can be nerve-wracking and often carries stereotypes. The idea of needing another person's help (and a stranger at that!) can challenge our sense of independence. It can also be labeled as something that only “crazy” or “troubled” people do, or people with serious problems, whether that be with family, substances or mental illness.
The truth is, if you are contemplating therapy it is appropriate to thank yourself for your willingness to make healthy change. If it is even crossing your mind it means that you are willing to grow, which can be uncomfortable. Growth does not happen in isolation. Does a plant grow without soil or water? If you are contemplating therapy it also means that you are willing, even if with hesitation, to form a trusting relationship with another person, and bring this new person into your life. It also signifies that you are willing to help yourself, which in turn will aid you in helping others. When we strengthen our own skills and sense of self we are more available to those around us.
If you are contemplating therapy, ask yourself why this has come up. How do you think therapy can benefit you? Is it to gain clarity, learn skills? You may not know. Are there patterns in your life that you recognize as not serving you? Having difficulty in relationships? Cannot explain sadness or anxiety or simply experiencing a shift in your life that you are not happy with? The way through all these challenges are within you, and it is completely normal to need a witness and a guide along the way. The right therapist can be that supportive person.
Kimberly Schmidt Bevans
Kim is a body/mind therapist based in Brookline Massachusetts. She specializes in the use of the body-mind connection to address stress, anxiety, mood disorders, relationship issues, as well life transitions and creating change.
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