Give yourself the gift of therapy this Christmas
By: Emma Doyle
Updated: 16 December 2016
As we approach New Year’s Eve it’s natural to find yourself reflecting on the goals you set for yourself at the start of the year, and it’s even more natural to discover that you may not be where you want to be in life. You may notice feelings of failure and dread surfacing before you even make your resolutions.
This year why not abolish the resolutions to lose unrealistic amounts of weight or to learn five new languages, and instead focus your energy on looking after your mental wellbeing.
We all want to be the best version of ourselves, but this can be difficult if we don’t know who we really are.
Many people find themselves stuck in a rut but are unaware of the blockages in their way, or how to overcome these barriers. It can be very tempting to dismiss your feelings and carry on,but before you know it you are ringing in another new year and nothing has changed. If this sounds familiar it’s worthwhile considering how a therapist can help you get to the root of your issues and guide you towards living a fuller life.
Here are some reasons to give therapy a try;
Therapy is for everyone
It’s a common misconception that therapy is only for “crazy” people in crisis. This is simply not true. People that attend therapy come from all walks of life for a wide range of reasons. You can rest assured that a therapist will work with you to understand your unique needs and partner with you by tailoring the approach to therapy for you to help you meet your goals.
Clarity: Therapy provides a space where a therapist is trained to focus entirely on you. Having this undivided attention will help you to come into contact with your inner thoughts and feelings so that you can get to know who you really are. Talking out loud to somebody that will actively listen can help you to understand things that may be worrying you, and help you to gain a deeper understanding as to why you are the way you are in the world.
Safety: We often hold back on divulging our deepest fears to our friends or family. This could be for a variety of reasons, for example, we may not want to be a burden or we may feel that we will not be listened to. Those closest to us can sometimes offer advice to help fix a problem but are unable to help us understand the root cause of our issues. Therapy can offer you the freedom to talk about whatever is on your mind without judgement or the fear of impacting your personal relationships. Your therapist will stay with you and is trained to give you the support you need so that you will be heard.
Empowerment: A therapist will help you to discover your own answers to whatever questions you have. You will retain your autonomy as your therapist will help you to make your own decisions rather than make them for you. You can develop your problem solving skills in therapy and apply these skills to situations in your everyday life.
Movement: Engaging in therapy can bring positive change by increasing your awareness of yourself, your awareness of those around you, and of the environment that surrounds you. Therapy can provide you with the opportunity to move from a position of insecurity and uncertainty to a new place where you have more options available to you, and the self-esteem to exercise new options that can enrich your life.
If you feel that you would like to give therapy a try, here are some tips to help you find a suitable therapist;
Your commitment: It’s vital that you commit to attending sessions regularly in order to reap the rewards. Find an hour in the week that you will be able to keep for your therapy and be mindful of your availability when you make contact with a therapist.
Check credentials: Your therapist should be appropriately qualified to work with you. Enquire about the therapist’s qualifications and ask for a history of their experience to date regarding the types of issues they have worked with. Check if your therapist is accredited or working towards accreditation, and find out which accreditation body they are associated with.
Consider your options: Provide the therapist with a brief summary of your issues and your goals for therapy. Ask to hear about the approach used by the therapist to help determine if the therapist is the right fit for you. Remember, you are hiring somebody to work with you so it can pay to shop around.
Review: Once you have picked a therapist it’s worthwhile to arrange a review after 4 – 6 sessions so you can evaluate together if the partnership and the approach is right for you. So even if everything is going well for you right now consider giving therapy a go, this time next year you might just be thankful for it.
About the Author
Emma Doyle is a psychotherapist with MyMind. Emma draws on a variety of therapeutic frameworks and concepts in her work with clients which include integrative, humanistic, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), transactional analysis, internal family systems (IFS) and gestalt approaches. Emma believes in tailoring the approach to suit the specific needs of each individual client. Emma provides a safe, non-judgemental environment where clients can explore their issues in confidence.
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