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My Honest Experience with Therapy

Now, this is a topic I never thought I would write about. I grew up not understanding why I would be okay with talking to a stranger about my problems..like you don’t know me so how could you understand me? The times where I should have gone to counselling or therapy, I didn’t. I always thought I didn’t need it and I would figure it out myself. A couple of months ago, I hit a wall that I got tired of hitting and I decided to get help. I never thought I would feel so down that I felt like really needed to talk to someone but I was getting really overwhelmed and I was getting tired of feeling that way. Today, I’m going to talk about my experience of going to therapy sessions for the first time. Before I go into my experience, let me just do a general talk about therapy. So...what is it?...well, according to Psychology Today:

“Psychotherapy, also called talk therapy or usually just "therapy," is a form of treatment aimed at relieving emotional distress and mental health problems.”

A few reasons why persons may seek therapy treatment can be dealing with anxiety or depression, coping with a life transition or just want better for their mental and emotional health. A few benefits of therapy can be:

  • improving communication skills

  • develop fresh insights about your life

  • learn how to make healthier choices

  • develop coping strategies

They are many more benefits with therapy as they are several different types of therapy such as family therapy and couples therapy. As usual, I leave some helpful links down at the end of the post.

A man sitting down on a conch

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The first meeting

I got the help of my dad to find a therapist and in about two weeks, my appointment was set. Now, I had an image of what therapy would be like, you sit down in a room, then you get asked how you’re feeling or what’s the issue and it starts from there. Before I met the therapist, I had to fill out a form...seems normal but this form comes back in the story. I was called in, I met them and we starting talking. I didn’t expect it to just go straight into..you know what’s your problem haha. After an hour session, I was finished and I felt, honestly, not that different. Remember that form I filled out, I ticked no on a general question and it was brought up in the session. The question I ticked no for had no relation to what I was dealing with and it was honestly annoying that it was brought up and used as “advice”. Also, a lot of things I was told, are things I’ve constantly done over the years and has never benefitted me. For example, think more positively, which can be done and I do it now more often but because it’s easier for me. When I was constantly overwhelmed and having meltdowns, just saying “think positive”, isn’t the most helpful thing honestly. I felt like I didn’t accomplish anything in that session, I felt the same and a bit annoyed with hearing back the same stuff and that question issue. Even though I was disappointed with the session, I still wanted to try again with someone different.

Trying again

Two weeks later, I made another appointment with a new therapist, well he was actually a psychologist. I didn’t expect that first meeting to go that bad because genuinely wanted help. The approach of this therapist was so much better, he asked a few questions then he would give me some...I would say worksheets to do. I got a personality test and some sentences I should finish with whatever comes to my mind. This made it easier for him to understand how I’m feeling and I found really good for me since I find myself more expressive in writing...hence my blog hehe. In that one session, he determined that had moderate depression, which I wasn't surprised about but it felt different being told that from a professional. He even gave me homework to do and I had to bring it back at our next session. I had to write 25 things I liked and disliked about myself...let’s just say, I had a hard time finding 25 things for one of them. In our next session, after going through the papers I wrote up from the last time, he also determined I had a damaged self-esteem...which again, I wasn’t surprised to hear either. Remember that homework, well I had to read it out loud and we went through each of them. Also, this was the first session where the dam broke, reading those things out loud and talking for a bit, my eye ducts were struggling. It wasn’t a bad cry but I never felt comfortable crying in front of people so I got embarrassed. After ending the session, I was still grateful for it because I never realized how many things I had built up inside until I wrote them down or when someone analysed me.

A building with a sign saying "How are you really?"

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My thoughts

Since starting back school, I haven’t had the try to go back to another session. He actually provides online sessions so I may do a few more sessions soon. Even though my first ever experience wasn’t the best and I’m happy that I still chose to try therapy. For years, I never saw the point of it and thought it was a waste of time. The one downside to it is that it can be costly (I added a link below about the finances around therapy) but I think it's still worth it. I hope my experience can be helpful to others and also, you should have to find the right therapist for you. Your first experience may not be the best and the therapist could be the reason why. I recommend doing some research on therapists and therapy centres that could be located around you, check out their websites and reviews left by others. I also want to just say that no matter what you’re going through, you are not alone. It might feel like you can just deal with things on your own but personally for me, it became too much and I wanted relief. I do understand that therapy isn’t for everyone and find that working on themselves is more beneficial. Now a few questions for you, what’s your take on therapy and have you ever tried it? I hope everyone is doing well, the world is crazy and life can be really hard sometimes...please don’t be hard on yourself and take care.

Some sites I found helpful:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/therapy

https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-therapy

For anyone that's thinking about therapy and is curious about the finances:

https://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/financial-guide-to-mental-health-therapy/

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I hope you're at your happiest if not, it's okay...I hope you're starting or working on reaching the highest peak of happiness.

- Anissa (TheQuietGirl)

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