Let’s be honest; going to therapy for the first time or returning after a while is not easy. Talking to a stranger about the intimate details of your life can feel vulnerable, yet necessary. It is recommended that one visits the doctor at least once a year for physical health. What about your mental health? Consider attending therapy before a crisis as a check-up on your emotional well-being. Many people go to treatment during a life-changing experience or crisis. While coming to therapy anytime is valuable, coming in before struggling is crucial.
Two words: self-care. Being human is hard; from interpersonal conflicts to work-life balance to an ever-evolving self-identity, the day-to-day struggles of life are worth talking to a professional about. Imagine having a dedicated space, either online, via telephone, or in-person, every other week where you can focus solely on yourself. No one else but you. In this space, you get to heal, process, and set goals.
Therapy equips you with life skills. If you are training for a marathon, you don’t go at it on day one. Instead, you practice and build your momentum over time. Similarly, going to therapy before a crisis helps build resilience and makes you better situated to handle a crisis. Reflecting on past and recent experiences enables you to process your emotions and gain valuable self-awareness. As a result, you develop relationship skills, emotional regulation, better communication, and boundary-setting, which can ultimately improve your mental health.
Building a strong connection with your therapist is essential; establishing trust takes time. In personal relationships, the decisions we make have an impact on others and come with obligations and expectations. However, your choices do not affect the therapist’s life in a therapeutic relationship. This creates a connection focused on your needs and dedicated to your self-discovery.
Can therapy be scary? Without a doubt. However, it is enriching from the unique connection with a therapist to self-understanding, gaining new perspectives, having an emotional release, etc.
By, Chioma MHC Intern