This Article Was Authored by Cassie Whitfield
1. Trust– If you can find a therapist that you feel comfortable with, you will develop a level of trust with this person that feels good. It isn’t often that we have a person that we can completely trust to keep our deepest darkest secrets.
2. Skills – Research shows that people learn skills for dealing with hardships that offer benefits in life that last even after therapy ends.
3. Avoidance – You will realize some of the things you have been avoiding out of fear, the ways fears have been holding you back, and learn how to confront things in an effective way.
4. Discomfort – You will find yourself outside of your comfort zone. Your therapist won’t let you stay completely comfortable all the time because that doesn’t promote change. But don’t worry, they also won’t let you get too overwhelmed. Staying in that sweet spot is good for your growth.
5. Narrative – You will be able to reshape your narrative about your life, and yourself, in a way that feels more complete and makes more sense.
6. Processing – When something difficult or intense has happened, therapy gives a chance to really integrate that experience into our lives so that we can move past it. It is like having an overstuffed closet that keeps exploding on you, and therapy helps you take the time to fold each piece neatly, so it doesn’t feel as overwhelming when opened.
7. Connections – Therapy can help give you a neutral party to help make important observations and connections about patterns in your life.
8. Perspective – Most people who go to therapy feel that getting a new perspective on things they deal with is very beneficial. We are often too close to our problems to see them in different ways and therapy can help with gaining some new views.
9. Diffusion – Sometimes certain thoughts or events are fused together with very intense emotional reactions. Therapy can separate these a bit, giving you space to choose how to react to things.
10. All about you – In life we never have relationships where we get to have someone listen to us with out them expecting the same in return in some way. A therapist offers you this unique experience to be able to stay completely focused on your own needs.
11. Set your own goals – Your therapist may have suggestions for you, but ultimately you get to set your own goals for therapy. You get a say in what you work on in sessions.
12. Challenge – Your therapist will gently challenge you to make the changes to reach your goals. Challenge is important because if we aren’t challenged, we probably aren’t improving. Kind of like exercise, you won’t get in better shape if your trainer only lets you do the easiest work outs.
13. Education/knowledge – A big part of therapy can be psychoeducation. This is the process of learning about mental health: emotions, mind, body, or behavior. This leads to a better understanding of yourself.
14. Repetition – Change takes time. Therapy works because there is opportunity for struggle and failure. So be patient with the process because the change will come with repetition.
15. Acceptance – You will learn that one of the most powerful ways to feel better is to learn acceptance of yourself and others. This is typically part of what will be worked in addition to the changes desired.