I have been in and out of therapy for pretty much the last 10 years of my life. As a teenager, I was temperamental and as an adult, I pretty much use it as my way of staying balanced. Although I used to be pretty hush-hush about seeing a therapist, I am far from that now. I have now come to a place of self-acceptance and a true understanding of who I am, what I want, and where I came from. I have no shame in telling people: “I go to therapy.”
I remember when having a therapist was considered a bit taboo. People called it a “personal” subject because it automatically meant that something was “wrong” with them. Often times when people say they think they’d benefit from seeing a therapist, they’re discouraged. There’s a heavy stigma that surrounds therapy. The truth is yes, most people who are feeling happy and motivated won’t actively go seek out a therapist. A lot of people seek them out when they’re feeling that they’re in a time of emotional stress or trauma or change that seems unmanageable – when something is “wrong.”
Recently I started my masters in a social work program, and I found that a lot of classmates admitted that they see a therapist regularly for the same reason as me. They went in with a purpose and goal, and now they’re using it to keep a balance in a life that is filled with transition. Therapy isn’t taboo anymore and there are more reasons to go than not to.
1. You will learn who you are and why.
As a kid, you go through a lot and, as a teenager, you go through a lot more. Eventually, as a young adult, you realize how much that all affected who you are now. Do you ever wonder why random things trigger you? Looking deep into your past and learning what your thoughts and actions mean is one of the most liberating things about being a person.
2. You can probably afford it.
First of all, there’s this huge myth surrounding therapy that it’s super expensive and unaffordable. The truth is that there are a significant amount of therapists who accept insurance and have copays as low as $15. Its pretty much just like buying lunch, except you walk away feeling fulfilled.
3. You can say what you want without feeling judged.
Your therapist is there to help you make sense of you. We all say things that might be wrong, we all do things that are against our better judgment – but you need to talk about them, you need to get them out. I used to think that I was absolutely batshit crazy for my outbursts of anger over the most minuscule situations. My therapist literally has laughed and told me that what I do is no different from any other 23-year-old girl, most of us just don’t go around flaunting our seemingly crazy antics.
4. Your stress has something to look forward to.
You ever have such a bad day that all you can do is think about going home to your bed later to cry? Yeah, so that’s basically how it feels to have a therapy appointment scheduled. You know that no matter what happens this week or whats going on in general, you WILL get your moment to cry and release any thoughts, stress etc. later.
5. Your therapist is not your friend.
This might sound like a bad thing, but it’s actually not. Your therapist cares about you as much as you care about yourself. Meaning, if you want to put work in, your therapist is going to put that much work in. Where your friends will chase you down and beg you to tell them whats wrong and tell you what you want to hear to make you feel better – your therapist has one hour to give you and they have no time to tell you anything but whats going to help you grow. After all, you’re paying for therapy – not friendship.
6. The hard parts now will make it easier later.
It’s not easy to talk about your low points, to talk about your pain, suffering or any other type of low in your life. But, sometimes wounds don’t heal because we haven’t even acknowledged them yet. You’re not gonna try and cover up a cut that needs stitches, you’re going to go to the doctor and close it so that it heals. The same goes with our struggles, you can’t walk away from them like they never happened, you have to go and find that closure. Learning early on what you need to resolve might be hard, but it’ll help a lot later.
7. Your future lover/friend/partner will thank you for it.
They might not know what you went through or what brought you to be the person that they love and appreciate, but that’s part of it. If you didn’t work through your hardships first hand or just get a better understanding of yourself when you had the chance, there’s a smaller chance that any underlying issues will resurface later. Maybe you had a partner who cheated and now you have trust issues now, or maybe your “friend” spread rumors about you and you can’t trust new friendships. Knowing how to work through those things will only help you grow meaningful, healthy, relationships later.
8. You will become a more understanding person.
I think the best part about going to therapy is that I now understand myself enough that I understand others. I am so much more empathetic to the people I come across on a day-to-day basis because I don’t know who they are and what their life entails. They could be a survivor of addiction or a victim of an assault – you just don’t know the battles others face. But therapy can shed a light on your own self that you realize others may have never realized.
9. It will help you make peace.
I have made decisions that have broken the hearts of people who really love me and I have also burned bridges with people who maybe I didn’t want to necessarily burn bridges with. Regardless, I have had to make peace, and I have had to continue to make peace with the things I cannot change, the things I need to accept for what they are. Fortunately, therapy has helped me with this, realizing what is and what was cannot be compared, they are just what happens with change.
10. You will find what makes you, you.
In the last year and a half, I graduated college, got a big NYC job, quit that job, ended a relationship and moved back home. I am now writing part-time again, working on a masters degree, dating and traveling. You don’t think that these things are that monumental when they happen, but a lot of change can make you question who you are anyway. Finding your passions, re-centering yourself, and focusing on you and your goals is so unbelievable important early on in life because it makes you your own person with your own goals, your own
Finding your passions, re-centering yourself, and focusing on you and your goals is so unbelievable important early on in life because it makes you your own person with your own goals, your own confidence, and your own plan. Once you become sure of yourself, confident in your being – the rest will come – it always does.