For my opening post, I thought I’d address one of the most frequently asked questions I get: “What will I get out of therapy?”
While people benefit and grow from therapy in very different ways, one person summed up his experience with therapy in a simple way that I thought others might relate to. I wanted to share it with you.
(Please note: I have permission to share these words.)
“I think therapy has given me more choices. When I started therapy, I used to have these experiences and get mad or frustrated or whatever, and I’d think ‘This feeling is right! This feeling is valid! And I should be able to feel this way!’ I’d head down that one path every time and even felt like I had to defend my place on it.
In therapy the first thing that happened was that I started becoming aware that I was even on a path, to just observe that I was there without having to defend it.
I began to try and understand how that path was created in the first place and why I go there now.
Then eventually I started to think about what it was actually like to be on the path, and whether it felt good despite being ‘right’.
I’ve always known there were other paths, but mine felt like the right one so I couldn’t try any others.
But then, because I was thinking about which path would actually feel the best instead of what was most righteous, I started feeling some choice in which one I wanted to go down. Sure, I absolutely could get mad, and that would be valid.
But I know I feel better when I’m not mad, so if I have a choice, why not spend my life feeling better?
I used to try to intellectualize myself out of feelings or chastise myself out of them and either it didn’t help or just made me feel worse.
Now I can see my initial reaction and I understand it and have empathy for it, but I feel like I have more choice about whether I want to let myself head that direction or whether something else would feel better.”
As I said, different people find therapy brings different rewards. However, many people talk about a sense of feeling more flexible and more free as a result of therapy.
If you're interested in pursuing this -- in creating a life where you have more choice and more freedom -- please don't hesitate to reach out.