Talking to a therapist is like taking your clothes off and then taking your skin off, and then having the other person say – “Would you mind opening up your rib cage so that we can start?”
Have you ever been to therapy?
Therapy is the most intrusive, intimate relationship an individual can have, so “do I need therapy” is not an unusual question. It strips you bare, opens you up to thoughts, feelings, emotions and motives that you probably are unaware of. It is therefore understandable that many people have quite some heavy reservations when it comes to therapy.
Firstly you completely bare your soul to a complete stranger. The idea of being vulnerable before a person, whom you do not know, may make one very wary.
Secondly there is the stigma associated with seeing a therapist. Therapy is perceived to be for people who suffer from severe psychotic cases. The exact same thing that the therapists from Niskize have emphasized happens in this country.
Tucking our heads in the sand
The truth is, therapy is just as effective in dealing with day to day struggles like trying to lose weight, stopping to smoke or overcoming excessive drinking. We all are likely to struggle with relationships, job security, the death of a loved one, or the stress and strains that come with the demands of life. But how many of us seek help? How many of us openly say, I am at the end of the line, so do I need therapy; I need help? Don’t we sit silent in our marriages as our partners physically and emotionally abuse us? Or spend nights on end lying awake worrying or crying about our errant children, malicious bosses and nagging in-laws? Do we really think that tucking our heads in the sand will make all our troubles go away?
Struggle is part of who we are. It is how we address these struggles, how we cope in times of struggle that defines us.
No one looks at you funny when you say “I think I am coming down with flu”. Or when you declare, “I have a terrible stomach ache, it must be something I ate, I will go and see a doctor.” Not at all. And, no one judges you for that. You should therefore not be ashamed to see a therapist. Whether it is for a simple need such as a broken heart or a profound effect such as a chronic mental illness.
Let us demystify the fear of baring your soul to a stranger – assuming we have addressed the issue of stigma, .
Therapy is a two-way treatment based on the relationship between an individual and a therapist. It provides a supportive environment that allows you to talk openly with someone who’s objective, neutral and non-judgmental. You and your therapist work together. You jointly identify and change the thought and behavior patterns that are keeping you from feeling your best. Consequently, the outcome is quite impactful. As a result, at the end of your therapy sessions you will have solved the problem that led you to therapy. In addition, you will have learned new skills to enable you better cope with whatever challenges arise in the future.
So…. What do you need to do today?
First – Therapy is for everyone. Yes, everyone. Right from those suffering serious psychological disorders to those struggling through routine challenges in life. Therefore do not get into the “do I need therapy – people will think I am mad” trap. Go go go for therapy! Go on and talk to someone about what is bothering you!
Second – Therapy is good for you. Yes, you. It is just the prescribed remedy since it offers a professional and safe environment that by no means lowers your dignity. Rather, it empowers you to rise above your circumstances.
Please – start shrinking your troubles today…
* Stephanie Anyango (Not real name. Name of author has been changed on request to protect author’s identity).
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