- What things are worth going to therapy for? People come to therapy for all kinds of things. I’ve seen people who want to work through a significant event or trauma, like a car accident or assault, people who are going through a big life transition, like becoming a parent or graduating college, people who are experiencing anxiety or depression and need to feel better – everything is on the table.
- How will I know my therapist can help me? It’s a lot to meet a new person and be immediately vulnerable with them. Not every therapist is suitable for every person, and that’s ok. Does this therapist have expertise in what you want to work on? Do you feel comfortable talking to them? A lot of it is a gut sense. You’re also well within your rights to switch after a few sessions if someone doesn’t feel like the right fit. Don’t worry about shocking them, though. Therapists are generally pretty hard to shake.
- Do I need to go forever? You don’t. Some people want to come in for a short amount of time to work on a specific issue, and that’s great. Other people like having a designated place to talk and figure things out and come for years, and that’s great too. Still, other people will filter in and out, maybe regularly coming for a while and then taking long breaks. All of that is perfectly fine.
- Is it worth the money? It’s an investment, but I think it’s worthwhile. Therapy works, and taking care of your mental health is as important as taking care of your physical health.
- How will I know it’s working? One day, you’ll realize that you reacted to an issue in a completely different way than you would have before you started therapy. It’s not always a lightning bolt moment, but you’ll know. Tell your therapist! We love hearing about your successes.
- What if I don’t know where to start? That’s ok. In your first session, your therapist will probably ask you a fair number of questions to get a sense of what’s going on, when it started, a little about your background, what helps, and what doesn’t. Your therapist will have ideas about where to start based on that, and the two of you will take it from there. That said, it’s so important to be active in your therapy. Write down things that occur to you between sessions that might be worth talking about (this doesn’t have to be fancy. Your phone’s note app is OK), think of how to apply the ideas you talk about in therapy to the rest of your life. My favorite therapy metaphor is thinking about it as a long drive. You, the client, are driving the car, but there might be things along the way from the passenger seat that I pick up on.
- How do you deal with listening to sad things all day? I hear many painful things, but I also hear many wonderful, triumphant things that balance out. It’s an honor to be let into someone’s most profound, innermost thoughts and to help them change their lives for the better.
- Am I going to cry? You might cry. Almost everyone does! If you do, likely, you aren’t the first person who has cried in the office that day. We’ll also spend a lot of time laughing – honestly!
- What do you do between sessions? Different things. Chat with a colleague, work on paperwork, make another cup of tea, stretch, scroll cute dogs on Instagram.
- Do you ever take naps on your couch? Absolutely. It’s a perk of the job.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash