Have you ever undertaken the process of psychotherapy? If so, is this something you would openly share with your friends? Mental well-being and psychotherapy are both topics of conversation that have been quietly hushed about behind bedroom doors for too long now.
While there does seem to be a slow and hopeful change starting to unfold in modern society, more conversations about mental wellness need to be had out loud and in the open. We need to quickly lose any remaining stigma about seeing a therapist and openly embrace this powerful process as a life necessity for each and every one of us.
Therapy is too often a reactive afterthought to a crisis. There needs to be a collective shift to accepting and promoting therapy as a proactive tool for personal growth. Imagine the spirit and productivity of the workforce and the harmony of families in their homes if society had gotten to a place where going through psychotherapy was as routine as seeing a dentist.
Routine Care For Our Greatest Gift
The importance of taking care of our teeth is drilled into our consciousness with repetitiveness starting at a very young age. Everyone is in agreement and supportive of daily care at home for our teeth with scheduled trips to a paid professional, the dentist.
The dentist provides the work and care extending beyond the scope of our daily brushing and flossing. None of these proactive and extensive activities surrounding our teeth are ever looked at with shame or pity. Getting a cavity fixed is never a sign of weakness or a sign of someone lacking in some sort of capacity.
All of this care and attentiveness for our teeth is wholeheartedly agreed upon as a proactive and healthy routine by just about everyone in society. We need to tend to our minds with the same level of proactive and unquestioned care. This is our minds we are talking about, the greatest asset we have been given in life.
We somehow as a society have attached shame and weakness to taking care of our greatest gift from life, but that has to be stopped now. We have to speak up about the life changing and empowering benefits of therapy. Seeing a therapist needs to become as mundane and pedestrian as seeing a dentist.
A Shift From Reactivity To Proactivity
With the hopes that we can erase any negative stigma about seeing a therapist, we should also be working to shift our collective approaches to how and when we get involved with the process of therapy. We need to begin viewing therapy as a proactive tool for empowerment instead of a reactive measure to a crisis.
Too many times, myself fully included, initially seeing a therapist is the end result of compounded emotional damage that has been left unchecked for too long. We wait and wait and play out the string of an unbearable situation until we are emotionally drowning. Only then, mired in crisis, do we submit to the thought that we need help beyond the scope of our friends and family.
It can be a painful process to not only recognize, but embrace the thought that you need help for your mental well-being, but it should not have to be. Those thoughts of shame and discomfort are from years of wrongful conditioning through society in regards to mental well-being and therapy.
It is up to us, right now, to not only completely reject and discard any negative stigma surrounding psychotherapy but to shift the process from a reactive life preserver to a proactive tool of empowerment. Therapy needs to become embraced as a powerful, proactively chosen tool for maximizing the most fulfillment imaginable from life.
Therapy helps create the very best possible version of you, to go out into the professional world and in the privacy of your homes to achieve, succeed, and live life to the fullest extent possible. Therapy as a proactive tool needs to be championed, promoted, and openly touted in society as something to be involved in early and often throughout the various stages of life. In addition to shifting away from therapy as a reactive last hope towards a proactive tool, we need to also demystify the process itself.
What Happens In Therapy
Talking to a therapist allows for the unburdening of emotional weight that has been compounding on your being since the day you were a young kid. Yes, there can be unease from the time you pick up the phone to make the initial call to a therapist, and there can certainly be discomfort and awkwardness the moment you first walk into their office, but then something truly magical starts to happen.
You get a dedicated audience of one who is there to be the most attentive, supportive, objective, and non-judgmental set of ears you have ever had the opportunity to engage with. You will begin to talk and things will come pouring, finally, out of your headspace and into a conversation with a stoic paid professional.
Seeing a therapist can be messy and uncomfortable but you will work through those emotions and come out the other side of them. You may experience some angst in anticipation of every single appointment the entire time you do it, but that angst tends to fade within the first few minutes of each session as you begin to talk.
I have literally felt bottled up emotions physically being released through my body in the middle of therapy sessions. It felt like ginger ale was fizzing through my entire body, which was the welcomed processing of unchecked emotions. Emotions that had been stashed and tucked deep away in my guts for far too long. It is such a moving and welcomed feeling to have years of unprocessed junk getting released for good.
Your therapist will listen, guide, affirm, and if needed gently and compassionately nudge you further down the path of self-exploration. I rightfully call this process self-exploration, because you truly are doing the bulk of the work here. I think that concept may possibly concern or potentially alienate people from the process, but it should actually excite and encourage you.
Your therapist will guide and offer advisement and solutions, but you truly are the one driving the change, and you should want that. You will pick up life skills in therapy that will stick with you for the rest of your life. You will also find yourself makings connections between current feelings and situations from your past. Those enlightening correlations between past and present are truly powerful. There does not always need to be a resolution to a conflict or unresolved baggage from the past either, just gaining the awareness that you carry it around in the present day can be cathartic.
Therapy Rescued My Life
Going to see a therapist was probably the single most important decision I have ever made for life. I would not have a wife, child, career, nor the close connection I enjoy now with my surrounding family if not for my multiple bouts of therapy. I have been to two different therapists, in three different stints, over the past 12 years. No matter how old you are, what your situation in life is, or how happy you may be, you can and will benefit from seeing a therapist.
If you have been, or are currently going, I implore you to share this experience with your immediate friends and family. I know that may be a frightening admission to endure, but those fears are only there because of years of societal conditioning in regards to mental well-being. Nothing about why you are going or what you are addressing ever needs to be discussed, but the positive decision you made to empower your life should be proudly and loudly proclaimed.
Break The Stigma Of Seeing A Therapist
Seeing a therapist is a life empowering decision and anything that improves our lives and gives us the best possible chance of fulfillment should be celebrated and revered. If everyone breaks the stigma surrounding therapy within their own circle of influence we can ultimately drive the needed change for society as a whole.
Choose to improve your life through the empowering process of therapy.