Therapy. What are your thoughts when you hear that word? What do you tell yourself about yourself when considering therapy? If you have been to therapy before, were you able to achieve your therapeutic goals or did you stay with a sour taste in your mouth? Do you recommend therapy to others?
As a therapist, I love what I do, but like any other profession out there, I am aware and understand that there is a spectrum of greatness for therapists. So, if you are considering therapy, research and request a free consultation prior to booking a session. Therapy, like any other service, might take a few trials prior to finding the best service for your needs.
If you live in the US, over 44 million American adults have a mental health condition per the reports of the first State of Mental Health in America report (2015). Yet, one in five, or 9 million adults reported having an unmet need concerning their mental health care. Florida, for instance, is one of the lower ranking states indicating low prevalence for mental health care.
If you or someone you know is looking for change, let me share with you my outside the box beliefs on therapy. May you take what serves you and may this post inspire some new ideas.
1. Therapy is not for everyone
If you are ready for a different chapter in your life, therapy will gear you into a new direction. If you are considering therapy because someone else wants you too, but you don’t, then therapy will not help. I used to think that “once you go to therapy your view will change.” However, throughout the years I have understood that you will only get what you put in, so if you are not putting in, not much will return. Do yourself a favor and be honest with yourself. Unveiling wounds and masks comes with vulnerability which is the interlude to change.
2. Classical vs. Integrative vs. Specific approaches
If you are seeking a therapist, know there are different approaches to therapy. You are probably familiar with CBT, DBT or even ACT. Many therapists relate to one or two approaches that they are loyal to, so look for one that matches your personality or your vibe. You might ask, “What if I don’t know my vibe or are just trying to work on my personality?” Well, choose a therapist that makes you feel like you are just having a conversation. That is always a good sign.
Genuine connections propel greater shifts when working together towards your goals. Depending on the client’s needs/goals different tools and/or interventions should be considered and discussed.
3. Holistic options
Therapeutic approaches are not a miracle pill and for sure cannot “solve” it all alone. There is more to you than just your thoughts and behaviors. Your body also holds emotions and memories/trauma that might not be in your conscious radar. Depending on your belief system and personal experiences, so many influential factors can impact your journey towards change. Mind-body-spirit is definitely the route you want to integrate into your treatment plan. You can develop one more than the other, yet if unbalanced it will be noticeable. The more you shift towards embracing your whole you, the more you’ll shift.
Consider the benefits from different perspectives within and outside mental health therapy. For instance, Reiki is a form of energy healing that could be offered alongside a mindful practice like meditation. I sometimes incorporate Reiki into sessions as well as techniques and/or exercises learned from other interventions, such as breathwork, meditations, intuitive tools, benefits of essential oils, crystals, amongst others that have resonated with clients.
4. Self help
Therapy not for you? Your journey is yours and you get to call the shots. For example, I’ve had clients express they are not wanting therapy but would like to explore other resources. I’ve referred clients to wellness centers, workshops, classes, books, female/male circles, healers…it all depends on what you need and are ready for.
There’s so much of us –as individuals- to explore that one way might not cut it. Incorporate all that resonates with you, your essence, your goals. Therapists are one form of healers. We are all powerful, all of us who share the joy of connecting and supporting growth.
Stay true to you and remember, your journey, path and ways will always be yours to choose.