Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what therapy means to other people. Therapy, talk therapy that is, can look like different things to different people. I have noticed in our society that due to mental health stigma (more on that in another post) a stigma around talk therapy has developed as well. We have created this culture where we sometimes shame people for seeing a therapist, or where we have to hide that we see a therapist for fear someone might think we’re “crazy”. We also have created this idea that talk therapy is only something you do if you’re really mentally unstable, or this place where you lie on a couch and share all of your deepest darkest secrets. Well, yeah, some of that could be true, but there is so much more to it than that.
Talk therapy is a safe space for people to go and share their thoughts, feelings, and concerns. It is a place to process difficult emotions and events. It is a place to get support. It is talking with an un-biased person who does not judge you for what you share. It is a mostly* confidential space where people can share anything they want. It is a space to work through difficulties with yourself, a partner, child(ren), family member or friend. You may lay on a couch, you may sit on a chair, you may go for a walk, and you may share some of your deepest darkest secrets. It all depends on what you want from it and the therapist you’re working with. There are several models of therapy that therapists might/could utilize in sessions, but overall it is a compassionate, empathetic, and trusting person that will allow you the space to share and process and cry and laugh and get some tools to help make you a better you. Therapy can be several weeks, months, or years long. It is going to look different for each person. Each person will find a therapist that they work best with because, to be honest, we all mesh well with certain people and that is true when working with a therapist as well.
Talk therapy is a another way to gain support on your journey to finding your true and authentic self. It is for people with several mental health concerns, and it is for people who want support with life transitions or everyday worries that they may have. We don’t have to judge others for seeing a therapist, and we don’t have to feel ashamed for seeing a therapist. It is part of our normal journey through life, and some people choose to get a little extra support because they want to make themselves the best they can be.
*There are some limitations to confidentiality. Please speak with your mental health provider to get further details on this.
Image via http://www.all-about-psychology.com/psychotherapy.html