It took me many years to even admit that I was seeing a therapist. And why therapy helped me for many years. I saw it as a sign of weakness and my inability to be able to deal with life’s events and traumas on my own. In addition, I couldn’t comprehend how much they had and were still affecting my life, in particular my business life.
Therapy has helped me understand me
Now I can see how not only going into therapy helped me but how it was a major step towards my path of independence, self-care, and self-love physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
It is such a taboo subject, and it still feels stigmatizing. What you don’t realise is how much it can support you in your life when you have experienced trauma, a crisis, emotional difficulties, life challenges, and mental health concerns.
It can assist you in learning about what you are feeling, why you are feeling the way you are, and how to cope. For me it has been a lifesaver. I now attend therapy sessions as a booster and maintenance, because invariably something will happen in my life where I need another point of view to get clarity and understanding of what is going on when I drop back into my default setting.
However, for therapy to be beneficial you need to make the decision for yourself and know there is no quick or easy fix. It is normal to feel resistant to seeking help, even though you desperately want change. Because you fear what will come up, how will you be, how will you cope, how will those around you cope as you go through change.
It takes courage to keep going.
It is the unknown that is just as scary because once you start there is no going back. You can always stop, but it may leave you hanging and still unsettled. In fact, more so as you know have some awareness.
It does take courage and faith when you are standing in the abyss of the unknown and all you can see is darkness with possibly a spark of light. It is like dangling in midair with no footholds and no grounding. Again, everything you knew has gone. Like the experience itself. You feel lost and confused. All over the place. Upside down and inside out.
You don’t know who you are and who you will become.
In addition, it is part of human nature to want things to be fixed quickly. However, this expectation can sabotage the reality of your recovery as it is unrealistic.
Not everyone will be supportive as it might trigger fear and anxiety in themselves that they are unaware of and worry about the relationship changing. What it boils down to is how important is it for you to no longer feel the way you are?
Because you want to improve yourself but don’t know how or where to start. It helps you reintegrate back into your life and become fully functional again.
Stepping into therapy requires you to be honest with yourself, as well as the therapist to get the best possible outcomes for you. You must want to go, otherwise, you will resist and block any improvements.
Therapy is incredibly supportive even when you are out of crisis because aspects can still linger dictating your life on a subliminal level.
It offers a safe space where you can talk through your experience knowing you are being heard and listened to without judgement. Because when you talk with family and friends, they can still judge you, give you platitudes and simply not understand why you are feeling the way you do. They aren’t impartial and often say what they think you want to hear as they have their own agenda based on their belief systems and stories.
Why family and friends aren’t the best solutions
Friends are unable to help you connect the threads as their judgment is clouded by the fact, they know you. A therapist offers you guidance or recommendations when you are feeling lost. But they don’t give you advice or tell you what to do which family or a friend are more inclined to do not realize that they are and that it may not be helpful. In fact, it could be harmful by exacerbating the situation and how you are feeling.
It is important to have someone who respects your autonomy, individuality, values, and beliefs. A therapist who demonstrates empathy, honesty and genuineness when communicating with you. You need to feel that you are accepted, respected, and cared for as their client.
Seeing a therapist helps you create space between you and the issue at hand. It gives you the chance to become an observer and as objective as possible when you are in the thick of it all and not able to see the wood for the trees. Consequently, this gives you breathing space to be able to step back and separate yourself from the intensity of emotion.
How therapy has helped me is to self-regulate and self-determine. What I mean by that is now I have tools in place to support myself when I get upset or have a strong reaction to something that has happened and trigger back into my default way of being.
It has taught me to how to manage these reactions, so I can stabilize quickly again, particularly when I feel angry, overwhelmed, resentful, upset, hurt, jealous, minimized, hopeless, helpless, shut down or put down.
Seeing a therapist is only part of the solution to healing from trauma. I found I also had massages, Reiki sessions, and learnt how to meditate and tap, and be mindful in my daily life to keep me present and grounded. Over a period of time, my life changed. I had more sunshine in my life than darkness. The light within is now shining brightly so I can support other women in finding theirs to shine too.
You will begin to connect with a part of you that you have been missing without even realising it. Therapy shows how you have been so busy doing, striving, building a facade, and achieving to hide your painful emotions that you have lost sight of being, feeling, and fully living.
In my next blog, I will be talking about what I love about therapy and the multitude of benefits I have experienced.
Love you to share this with anyone you think would benefit from these ideas. And leave a comment with your thoughts as there is always more we can learn from each other.
If you would like to know more about how I can support you in getting that wonderful sense of belonging, click here to book a 15-minute clarity call to find the best way I can walk alongside you.
Chantal Vanderhaeghen is an intuitive guide, small business owner, creator of an international skincare brand, passionate philanthropist and meditation, reiki, tapping and mindfulness teacher. She works with women ready to make changes, shatters perceptions of beauty and perfection, and inspires people ready to become mindful entrepreneurs. She lives with her talented man in the Perth Hills and can be found online at www.unfoldyoufreedom.com.au
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