February 1, 2023

Therapy and Me in the New Year

By Rebekah Todd

Mental Health & Wellbeing

It’s the new year, and for many of us, we’re wondering how we can make a change to ourselves and improve our daily lives. Perhaps you are hoping to try therapy for the first time, or you could find yourself wondering if your therapy is “working.” If you are just starting therapy or considering starting therapy for the first time, let me be the first to say: Congratulations! That’s the first step toward accomplishing and reaching your goals. You should be so proud! If maybe you’ve been going to sessions for a while, but you feel like you’ve entered a plateau, that’s okay too.

Whether you’re entering therapy for the first time, or if you’re wondering how to get the most out of your weekly sessions, there might be some things you can try to aid you on your journey. While therapy looks different for every person, some common concerns occasionally pop up. No matter where you are on your journey through therapy and self-discovery, honesty and vulnerability are the key to healing. 

If you’re not sure what to expect from therapy: it’s okay!

Therapy looks and feels different for everyone. Your therapist is there for you, and is happy to address any concerns or trepidations you’re feeling. The first session might include a lot of questions and clarifications from your therapist about what you’re wanting. If you know the things you’re hoping to work on or personal goals you have, bring them to session! 

As you get started, you may find yourself with more questions about the process. At any time, you are welcome to bring those questions up in session.

What if you have no idea what you want from your sessions?

This is okay too! One of the most important things to remember is that your therapist wants to know what’s on your mind, and what’s going on inside of you. As you have more sessions, you’ll gain comfortability in therapy, and you’ll find that it’s easier to be open and vulnerable. If you find yourself unsure what to talk about, try to relax and lean into where the therapist is taking you. You may end up finding something about yourself you’ve never known. 

Maybe you’re thinking: I’m going to weekly sessions, but I don’t feel any better. Am I doing something wrong?

Most likely the answer is, no. Therapy is a relationship! Your counselor will need to spend time getting to know you, and understanding your goals and your history. As you work together, you may even start to feel more tender than before you started therapy. Sometimes after sessions, you might feel more sad, or raw than when you started. This is completely normal. Sometimes your counselor might ask you to talk about things that are heavy and tender. This is because as humans, we can’t feel everything at once, and still be able to function in our daily lives. Sometimes as a part of our survival instinct, we push our feelings down, thinking we’ll address them later. Then, if we never get around to addressing them, those feelings might not ever heal. Ultimately, the only way to address them is to feel them. So you might find yourself facing things you thought were in the past. It may hurt at first, but famous psychotherapist Irvin Yalom once said, “If you want to choose the pleasure of growth, prepare yourself for some pain.” As unpleasant as it sounds, the pain eventually gives way to healing, and healing gives way to growth, and your therapist will be there walking with you through each new discovery.

What do I do if I feel like my therapist is not understanding me?

So, this is going to sound scary, but you should tell them. Your counselor will be happy to receive feedback from you. You should always feel free to tell your therapist if they miss the mark, or if you have doubts about what they have said. Your honesty will always be a good thing in therapy. 

Maybe you’ve been in therapy for a while, and you feel like you’re not getting where you need to be going: try telling your therapist exactly how you feel. You might be surprised how good it feels to be honest, and your therapist will thank you for your openness! Just remember, how you feel in the therapy room is always important to your counselor, and you always have the right to explain your feelings about your situations and circumstances, but also about the process as a whole. 

Here’s the thing

Starting therapy, looking for the right counselor, and opening up yourself to be vulnerable can be intimidating. If you find yourself feeling unsure about therapy, feel free to reach out to our Front Desk with any questions you might have about the process. If you think you’re ready to take that step and find a counselor, browse through our listed therapists and read their profiles to see who might feel like a good match for you.


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