People often give me odd looks of compassion when I say that I have been in therapy since I was a young kid. They’ll often ask me what happened to me that made me decide to start therapy or if my personal life is that crazy that it put me in therapy. But the truth is, it’s neither of those things. Therapy is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and here’s why.
1. Therapy allows you to talk about yourself for an entire hour without being judged or considered self-centered.
Sometimes you just need to be able to talk about yourself and your problems to release the emotions you’ve built up inside you.. And while doing so, you do not want to feel judged by the person you are talking about yourself with. Everyone has those days where all the bullshit of your life piles up into one large shit hole and you feel as if you are going to explode. Going to therapy allows you to liberate yourself from that anger or anxiety in a healthy way, rather than breaking down crying randomly every few months.
2. Your therapist doesn’t decide what topics you should discuss, instead you decide.
Having a therapist allows you to have a person to whom you can discuss whatever topic you want without them changing the subject or looking down on you for your mistakes. You can talk about dating, your family or friends, even your insecurities that you wouldn’t allow anyone else to know about. Seeing a therapist gives you the chance to tell someone else about these issues you may be having and they will listen to your problems and give you advice, which most people won’t do.
3. Therapy allows you to unleash any feelings you’ve been bottling up, which means lots of healthy crying.
People have always said that it is healthy to cry every once in a while. But by that they don’t mean having a crazy month of not letting out your feelings to then getting extremely drunk and crying alone in your apartment for hours without really knowing why you’re crying to begin with. In therapy, you can cry or scream while having someone there to remind you that these feelings aren’t crazy and everyone has them.
4. Sometimes you have secrets you really want to tell someone and now you can.
Ever have a time when as soon as the person you were talking to said please don’t repeat this to anyone, you immediately thought, “I wish there was someone I could talk about this with.” Well in therapy, you can. Thank goodness for that little thing called doctor/patient confidentiality. It really is magical. You can tell this person anything on your mind and know it won’t get out to anyone else. Maybe you know your two co-workers are dating and you have almost spilled the secret to other employees even though you were told not to tell. Or maybe you have a personal secret you’ve been itching to get out but you’re afraid of what people will say. In therapy, you can say these things to get them off your chest without getting you into any trouble. Usually, it’s not the actual secret that you even really care about, but rather it’s the idea of knowing there is something you cannot tell anyone.
5. Therapy will teach you that everything is not your fault.
It may take you a while to fully grasp this concept, but therapy will help you realize that while everything around you seems to be crashing and burning, it is not entirely your fault. Although it truly feels as if nothing you could possibly do would turn things around, you’re wrong. There are ways to fix the problems in your life. You just may not see it because you’re too focused on the lows. A therapist can help guide you through these issues, big or small, with an outside perspective.
6. It will also teach you to stand up for yourself and your beliefs.
Maybe you were a bit of a pushover with your friends growing up, or you found it hard to open up about what you believed in or cared for. Through the lessons taught in therapy, you will slowly come to realize that who you are and what you believe in are valid thoughts and ideas. They matter. Your opinion matters. You can be a strong man or woman and not feel as if you need to step aside when conflict comes your way. Take it head on and fight for your values.
7. Therapy allows you to let out your inner crazy and every so often we need to do that.
No matter what anyone says, there is a little bit of craziness inside all of us. Some people can handle it in their own ways, but some cannot. Either way, it is not healthy for someone to bottle up these unmanageable emotions because they are almost certainly bound to explode at the worst possible moment in life. Therapy gives you the chance to unwind and get rid of all your stresses in life. If it really helps, you can just scream for a little. But don’t keep the crazy inside. Therapy has helped many people overcome a variety of issues, whether they are medically diagnosed or just everyday personal issues.
So here is where you come in. You can decide to continue holding in your feelings and deal with them on your own, or you can find a therapist who you can trust and rely on for good advice when needed. And if you aren’t a believer, just go to one session and see how it feels, then decide. Therapy can change your life. I know this because it has definitely changed mine.