Talk Therapy Tuesday
Taking the time to pop in here and talk a bit about what talk therapy is and isn't. We all grow up with an idea of what psychotherapy or counselling looks like and what it involves. This perception is influenced often by the tv shows, movies, and cartoons watched, as well as other people's opinions and experiences.
Common myths about counselling sessions are therapists being advice givers and are there to tell you what to do and fix your problems. Counsellors, therapists, and psychotherapists aren't there to solve your problems, their role is to teach you the tools, skills and find your inner wisdom to address what you're experiencing on your own. This can be done through questions, skills training, mindfulness and more. Therapy is talking to your therapist while they smile and nod along. While this belief isn't entirely wrong it also isn't correct. Sessions are collaborative and involve active listening, reflecting, and resilience building. All therapists are the same is another prevalent viewpoint, this often arises after repeated negative experiences with counsellors. Therapists are like the perfect pair of jeans - most won't be the perfect fit. But when you find that fit breakthroughs happen. It's okay and even encouraged to shop around, any therapist worth their weight will be understanding and appreciate of you deciding they aren't a good fit. It's also ok to change your mind after you've done sessions with a therapist. Only weak or mentally unwell people go to counselling. This in some ways is almost the opposite, it takes a great deal of determination and courage to reach out and attend counselling, it's also true that pretty much anyone could learn new skills and gain greater awareness of themselves by attending. I've gone to therapy before and it didn't help. This can happen for quite a few reasons, the most common reason being you and the therapist didn't really click. It's hard to be forthcoming or comfortable in session if you're not sure about the person sitting across from you.
This isn't meant as an exhaustive lis, more so as an intro to some of the common misconceptions. It's important to be able to be yourself and find a counsellor who will meet you in who you are and what you stand for.