Is Therapy for Me?
I'm not sure if I should go to therapy?
If you are asking this question, the answer is most definitely yes, not because you “need” it, but because you are most likely open to the gifts it might bring. Even in today’s day and age “you should go to therapy” is still often used as an insult, we shy away from even sharing if we do go to therapy. So it’s no wonder people are apprehensive about going to therapy. For many years talk about mental health, and more so therapy, have been, and still often is, associated with “being weak”, not having the ability to “handle life”, and the most common of them all “being crazy”. These messages are constantly being communicated to us via our families, communities, society, and more.
Why do I feel like this?
The perfectionist that resides within us all cannot stand the idea of “not being good enough” or “failing”. Unfortunately, social media is not helping. We are constantly confronted by smiling people dancing at weddings, or parents holding their newborn babies at photoshoots. We see people on Instagram having parties with “many” friends and wonder to ourselves why don’t I have that? Why do I feel so alone? This cannot possibly be normal… The problem is our perception of normal is shaped by algorithms, and people who go out of their way to create the narrative we see and perceive.
While I was designing my website, I received a lot of advice on how to make it more appealing. I received suggestions such as only using photos of happy people, rather than people who are in pain. We are taught and conditioned to think that any deviation from “happy”, “perfect”, and that which is “social media worthy” is not normal. So what do we do? We hide it. From others yes, but even more so from ourselves. We don’t want to appear weak or unable to handle our own lives. How many mothers don’t want to admit they have considered leaving in the middle of the night because it all just felt TOO MUCH! Society has taught us these feelings are “not normal” and therefore we bury them, deep within ourselves, drenching ourselves in shame and guilt for even ever having these thoughts and feelings. The thing is, every single person we encounter, at some point in their lives, experience this deep sense of guilt and shame of “not being good enough”. You are not alone.
And that’s where therapy comes in. Not to fix you or “make you good enough”, but to offer you a space to just be, to be with all of it, in one big pot. All the social media worthy moments and the moments you want to hide. You do not have to do it by yourself.
When we are in relationships with the people around us we need to be aware of “their stuff”, we feel we can’t “burden” them with our struggles. In therapy that is not a factor. You get to express, process and feel everything you’ve felt you’ve had to hide. Your therapist is there to sit next to you and help you sift through and look at things that are difficult and painful. You don’t have to do it alone.
Therapy is not about getting “fixed”, but rather about being held and supported as you navigate this complex thing called life. I often say to my clients that I believe every single person should be in therapy. Not because there is something “wrong” with them, but because I believe being supported and having a place where you are the main priority is extremely liberating.
So if you are considering going to therapy think of it as a gift to yourself, because you are worthy of being supported and deserve the opportunity to look at the complexity of your life without guilt and shame.
Disclaimer: There are various opinions and needs for therapy, this is just one perspective and should be seen as such.
Here are some other blog posts explaining what therapy is and what some signs are you might benefit from therapy