Until recently I’d assumed that we all go to therapy because we simply want to feel better. But I think there are a multitude of reasons people go – and keep going even when it is really tough. I’m interested to hear about how others experience this; what motivates you to keep going to sessions and keep working at it?
A few weeks ago, J asked me why I come to therapy and I couldn’t think of a sensible response. After several weeks of pondering this, I wrote the following to her:
What does therapy mean to me?
Therapy means I have one place where I don’t have to be alone with my feelings. I know I can say anything and be as honest as I want to about how I feel. A lot of the time, I don’t feel like I can do that with other people. I get scared of how they will see me, how I will impact them and ultimately of them rejecting me.
It’s important to me to know that I have the option of being honest in a safe place, even if I don’t want to. That helps me feel as though I can breathe. I also come to my sessions because I want things to make sense. I want to make sense. I want to feel less irrational and melodramatic. Talking to you enables me to feel less crazy.
And there are some days when I believe things will change for me. I’d be lying if I said there were none at all. Plus, I remember occasions when our sessions have given me some clarity or helped me feel better about something. So even if I can’t see a broader future for myself, I think I can see that sometimes small things can improve or I can get relief from it.
In our therapy, I also find enormous support. That sounds vague, but I guess it is a vague feeling. I know for certain that a lot of the time life feels more manageable because I have someone who will listen and be on my side and not bring their own motives into it. I do believe that you really want what is best for me and also that you can manage what I tell you. That’s something unique in my life and something I value a great deal.
Why did you start therapy? What makes you stay committed to it? What does it mean to you?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
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My first session last week was a bit of a let down to be honest! I will be going again next week to give it another shot – I’m hoping to just be able to relax a little more and talk things through rather than have a Q&A type thing like last time. I want to stick with it because I think my social anxiety has become much bigger over this past year, and I owe it to myself to try and get better without just taking a pill.
Great post by the way!
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Having done a fair few first sessions with a variety of therapists, I can say from experience that you can’t tell much from that first hour. See how it feels in a few weeks. And yes, it’s good to try and do something more wholesome than taking meds. Also a lot more effective x
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