Therapy is your safe space.
In therapy, your therapist will seek to understand you, acknowledge you, and encourage you.
A therapist does not judge you or your actions. Good therapy will help you recognize the many strengths that you already have, and will encourage your use of these to help solve your problems.
Recognizing your strengths and successfully addressing problems sometimes just require a different perspective. Here’s a couple things to keep in mind:
1. You are not the problem.
That’s right. This is not all you and YOU are not the problem. The problem is the problem.
In other words, you did not manifest the problems you are experiencing and trying to manage all by yourself. There are many, many factors that impact our situations. All kinds of dynamics and stressors combine to impact our experiences and what we are able to do about them: financial pressures, addictions, family issues, illnesses, losses, traumas…and a whole host of combinations of these.
Beyond that, the bigger societal issues like race, gender, age, and status all create barriers that influence our learning experiences and limit our range of choices. Minority and majority populations in any culture have unique sets of societal expectations and pressures placed on each group that an individual belongs to, and navigating these pressures is not easy.
No matter who you are, there are a myriad of expectations that others have for you, and there can be mountains of shame we feel when we do not live up to these artificial expectations.
The TRUTH of the matter is though: We are all pretty much acting in a manner consistent with anyone walking in our same shoes – anyone who has had the same opportunities, barriers, learning experiences, genetic make-up, traumas, families, etc. that we have would likely act the same as we do at any given time.
Hence, YOU are not the problem.
At the same time…
2. You are perfectly capable of creating a new reality.
Yep. Despite the significant impact of all those external factors on your experiences, there also exists great potential for you to influence and transform your circumstances. You may just need a bit of guidance from an experienced therapist to help you.
A therapist can help you explore how various factors are limited and controlled by our reactions to them. They can also help you set needed boundaries, identify and change the factors by which others around you base their own choices, find alternative ways of meeting your needs, re-evaluate your priorities or goals, or connect with loved ones in new ways.
You can act differently, think differently, and even feel differently with a bit of experimentation and practice.
Hence, with a little needed support, YOU GOT THIS!
If the idea of therapy has you worried about someone seeing you for who you are, please have some compassion and understanding for yourself, and know that your therapist will be doing the same.
The TRUTH is, EVERYONE needs help sometimes. If you would like more information about how therapy might help you, click here to read more.