Therapy is a process of identifying the unmet needs, attachments, and patterns of invalidation that have shaped how you experience the world, yourself, and your relationships. In therapy, we work to help you heal your sense of self and to shift how you interact with the the world and other people in your life in ways you deem as problematic or ineffective for how you want to live. A big part of the therapy process is about better connecting you to your emotions, not protecting you from them.
Emotions are a tool; they are data: they can be destructive or constructive depending on your relationship with them and how you have learned to manage them. Most of us learn to just cope with them at best, waiting for them to pass like a bad storm. You don't have to keep living this way. You can learn to read them, understand them, and then craft your responses. You don't not have to live with your emotions running the show. YOU are the director, however, your emotions are independent and sometimes rebellious and outspoken actors ignoring your direction and needs!
Perhaps you are considering therapy because you realize that you don't trust yourself or your emotions, which can create ineffective, even chaotic patterns in your life and relationships. Emotions and behaviors are different things, and maybe through the caustic effects of invalidation (people telling you over and over that what you are experiencing isn't the right way to feel) the distinction is not yet clear to you. Maybe you are here because you want to learn how to understand and sit with your emotions without acting on them until you are ready to do so.
Regardless of what specifically brings you to therapy, you are here because you seek answers in one way or another. You might not even know the questions you want to ask. Maybe your questions feel more like a sense of things not feeling quite right, something you can't quite put your finger on. Or you might feel unable to change certain thought patterns, actions, or address the feeling of a lack of movement in your life and/or your relationships, your career, job, family, or sense of place in the world. Life might seem overwhelming to you sometimes, making you want to avoid the newspapers or television. Or maybe you are here because someone you love is suffering, and that challenges your relationship. You might be here for a child, friend, partner, parent, spouse, or co-worker. Addiction, illness, and chronic pain might feel like too much to bear sometimes and you want relief.
Therapy is a journey, an experience that can bring peace and relief, understanding, change, awareness, and growth to your life. Therapy can deepen your sense of being alive and enrich your relationships. You might want to explore your feelings of grief and sadness so as to heal recent or past wounds, or to discover new tools for coping with such emotional pain. You might want to awaken passion in you and your relationships, or maybe it is time for you to try something you have always been afraid to try, or to confront a fear or bring resolve to an ending as you welcome or seek a new beginning.
No matter what brings you, you are here and you have taken the first step.
What exactly is therapy like?