I absolutely love therapy and have no problem in the least bit talking about the fact that I regularly attend. Therapy was a decision that I made for myself, because it’s not healthy for me to keep certain things bottled up. There were periods of my life where I felt stagnant or stuck, and I wanted help moving forward.
My first experience with therapy was in college. I had gone through some upsetting situations while I was in a sorority, and I was feeling extremely depressed. I reached out to the program at my university that connected you with a counselor on campus, and I attended weekly sessions for one semester. My therapist was an older gentleman who was extremely kind and open-minded. I had a great experience with him, but after one semester, he unfortunately had to move on to other students.
Last year, I decided therapy was something I wanted to do again. I was feeling extremely anxious for a variety of reasons and I recognized patterns in my behavior that resembled when I felt depressed before. I want to be someone that takes my mental health seriously, and knowing that I am someone who likes to talk, I knew therapy was something I had serious interest in.
So, to begin my search for a therapist, I went to PsychologyToday.com. It only took a few quick google searches to end up there, since they have a “find a therapist” tool. You can put in your location as well as other preferences such as gender, certifications, insurance, and other filters. Using this search, I came up with a list of 8 or so counselors that seemed decent enough based on their websites/descriptions/pictures. I sent them all emails, and based on who had availability and took my insurance, I set up some phone screenings to talk to them. I had heard that finding a therapist you like could take a while, so I thought this extra step might help. I talked to maybe 3 or 4 therapists on the phone and based on those conversations, found the woman I wanted to move forward with.
My experience with my therapist has been amazing, as she is very focused on what I want and how I would like to use my time. I am not someone who likes being tied to a set schedule, so at the end of each session is when I book the next one. I typically try to go every week, but depending on what is going on it may be more like every other. My therapist is also wonderful about allowing me to talk about what I would like, so the time truly feels like “mine”. In my first session, she let me know that I am the driver of all conversation and that we can use the time however I would like. When I was going through a break-up, that took up a lot of our discussion time because it was topical in my life at that moment. After a couple of weeks, I told her, “I think I’m done using my time to talk about him, I want to start talking about me.” And that was that, which was exactly what I needed. There’s always things she has for me to talk about if I don’t come in with something to discuss, but it’s nice to know that I am in control.
There are a lot of benefits of going to therapy when you have the right therapist. It really is time that is focused completely on you, and it’s important to take that time for yourself. Your therapist, in theory, is a non-biased person in your life that you don’t have to see everyday, so it’s different than talking with your friends or family. You can be completely honest and know that everything in confidential. It’s healthy for me to speak about what is going on in my life and in my head, and I’ve had a really wonderful experience overall.
A lot of the people who know I go to therapy also currently or previously attend therapy sessions, and some have asked me how they could start the process. Basically, we all need a little help to get by and no one should be afraid to reach out. Take care of yourself!
Thanks for reading.