Combating the Therapy Scaries...
Are you thinking about seeing a therapist for the first time? Does it creep you out to end that you'll be telling a total stranger all of your deepest, most shameful thoughts? Take a breath and calm yourself! It's all going to be ok. I talk to people every day who are scared to death to make that first phone call for an appointment. Here are 3 tips to help calm those nerves and START FEELING BETTER
1. You get to decide what to talk about and how deep you want to go into those events or feelings when you're with a therapist. Your thoughts are your own, and no one (not even a trained professional) gets the right to reach inside your head and root around until it hurts. You set the pace of your own work. A therapist might challenge you from time to time, but a good therapist will not make unreasonable demands on your willingness to share.
2. You don't necessarily have to talk about your childhood. Many clients don't remember their childhood or would rather talk about a problem they are experiencing in the here and now. Discussing your family of origin cant be helpful in many instances, but if you'd really rather keep your work in the present, there is a clinician who can accommodate you.
3. You can always stop working with your therapist if they are not a good fit for you. There is no law that says you have to stick with a therapist for years. Even someone who comes very highly recommended by your sister/friend/dog walker, might not be right for you. Chances are you aren't the first or the last person to say, "I don't feel like this is working out for me." Use your voice and speak up for what you want. You may find someone who works better or decide to take a break from treatment for awhile.
Bonus Tip: There are TONS of different types of therapists out there. Some have a specialty such as grief and loss, depression, eating disorders, anxiety, overcoming trauma, etc. Others specialize in treating a specific populations such as kids struggling with anger, women with low self esteem, or the LGBTQ community. No one therapist can specialize in everything, so it pays to do a little research when trying to find the best clinician for your unique needs.