When clients come to me and say I've left it so long because I feel like a failure needing therapy, I should be able to handle my business on my own
I understand it is hard, very hard sometimes.
I also know exactly how they feel.
As a therapist, I am always in therapy. when I was told by my university, I had to have 100 hours of therapy, I didn't know what to expect or what I would talk about, after all, there was nothing I had to talk about.
How wrong I was, I began to talk in general terms about my family, my children, my childhood.
My therapist was so gentle, she slowly guided me through different parts of myself I hadn’t recognised as holding me back.
During these first 100 hours I learned, I was important, I wasn’t just mum or wife, or daughter but that I had value in my own right.
To learn I did have a right to voice my opinion or the right to say, you don’t get to talk to me that way or treat me that way was extremely powerful.
Did I dig into my past and childhood? Yes. Was it hard? Yes, but as hard as the journey was it has been the best journey of my life.
I chose to talk about my failed relationships, I chose to share the hard parts of my life.
I chose because understanding these relationships and why I was in them helped to prevent the same kind of relationships in my future.
Recognising I had a choice and was responsible for my choices was the biggest learning curve for me, having choice and responsibility is so powerful.
As a Therapist I knew I wanted my clients to feel safe enough to be in therapy with me.
I also wanted them to be able to put down the armour of protection they have carried with them, probably all their lives.
This armour can be anger, refusal to commit to another, using people or things to get through difficult times, being a right fighter, having to defend yourself all the time, even people pleasing just so people like you.
I wanted to create a strong safe place for my clients to be, that’s not to say I won't challenge my clients because I do, but I do it lovingly with integrity, and kindness .
I now write articles about all things relationship. I want my clients to know, if they come to me about infidelity I know what I'm talking about and they are safe with me.
if it is about addictive behaviours or any kind of relationship behaviours they can trust that I am non judgemental and will work with them to understand their behaviours and choices.
I can now say with confidence I love who I am, I don’t look for my validation through my work or my siblings or my kids or partner, I get it from knowing I am a nice person, a kind and loving person.
So, is it courageous to do therapy?
I would say it is courageous to do therapy because it might be the first time in your life you have decided you are important and you are standing up for your right to take care of yourself, that takes courage and bravery.
ask yourself these questions.
-Have I struggled to be myself lately? …
-Does life just feel harder lately? …
-do i have someone i can talk to who would be impartial? …
-Is something going on that I have been avoiding?
If you answer yes to any of the questions you likely need to talk to someone, if you still feel therapy is a step too far, a great way of getting to know yourself is to start writing a feelings journal or diary, it helps you to keep a check on how your feeling in the moment.