Why Begin the Therapeutic Process?
I’ll go through this for those who are new to therapy so if I’m giving you information you already have, or you’ve Googled it and this comes off as simplistic, just skip ahead. Chances are if you landed on this page you are in some way suffering emotionally, and for that I am truly sorry.
Let me tell you now that I know firsthand that the therapeutic process works and is permanent because I used it myself while going through a divorce and then again after the divorce was final and the other party had moved on.
It was a process. It wasn’t over when I thought it should be, but looking back years later every single event during that time was the best thing that ever happened to me.
This is how I want you to come to feel about everything you’ve experienced in your past that is currently causing you pain or regret.
Therapy is For Our Well-being
Once you decide to start the process, it’s absolutely a time to celebrate even if you don’t know it.
Therapy is one of those things that once you start it (and even while you have no idea where you’re headed), you can rest assured that you’ve taken the best first step to leaving the past behind.
There’s good news: you really do get a lot of do overs that you didn’t know you got.
Therapy will give you the opportunity to redecide (yes that is now a word in your vocabulary) some things.
Therapy Can Seem a Little Frightening
Admittedly those who do the best in Therapy are those who face some fears; some old some new.
Needing to face our fear is more prevalent in life that we’d like to think.
This is where trust in the therapeutic process comes in.
It usually goes something like this:
First you trust the Therapist and the training and experience.
After some visits, you’ll become familiar with the therapeutic process and trust the process.
Eventually, you will be able to move through situations and emotions on your own. You will trust yourself to handle whatever life throws at you.
The good part about this is that you can begin to live on your own and the process is there for you.You become more empowered and independent as you go forward.
The truth is fears are usually based in our own core thoughts. Learn to be more skillful with your thoughts, and you will be able to vanquish your fears.
Why Do I Have to Change My Thinking?
Because that’s where emotion is stimulated—
Here’s a quick story for you:
Once I was in a class that I had been doing well in (I think it was literature and I love literature).
I liked the teacher, I had already read most of the assigned reading during the summer, I was breezing through with an A and sat right down front and actually had to rein myself in not to shoot my hand up to answer every question about the reading or its “deeper” meaning.
The professor came in after the midterm one day and set a definite boundary: “I’m not going to pass out the exam grades until the end of class. And when I do,” she was looking directly at me, “if you aren’t satisfied with your grade we will hold a twenty-four-hour silence… meaning I’m not going to discuss it with you for twenty-four hours.” I started squirming in my seat.
I had probably made too many grammatical errors, or I could’ve actually gotten mixed up on the story and written about the wrong one! That was it – I had gotten the characters mixed up and probably gotten a D or an F.
The class was a grueling hour and a half.
I was miserable. I was embarrassed that I had let her see that I really wasn’t that smart. I felt angry at myself for not having studied and relied on my memory. I just hoped no one else in class saw it.
I didn’t answer a question or offer any input during class. I was angry with the teacher for letting everyone else in the class experience my shame with me.
Finally, the end of class came and the blue booklets (remember those?) were passed out.
I opened mine, and there it was.
My usual A with a smiley face.
I had experienced an F without getting one.
Our Thoughts Are Like Ruts
Did you ever try to drive down a muddy road?
While it’s still wet, you have no choice but to drive down the ruts of another car.
After the road dries, you’d best stay out of them because once you’re in, it’s very difficult to get out.
In fact, you’ll probably need someone to help pull you out of those ruts.
Then, once you get out and drive next to them,it’s really easy to fall back into them.
Our thinking is like those ruts: made during rainy, intense times in our lives and then once they dry it’s hard to get out of them.
It seems too hard to pull out.
Even though we know in our minds that we can choose another road altogether, who knows what will happen when we change our current ways of thinking?
The Thing About Change
The really scary thing to many, many people(and a good indicator that someone’s ready) is: When the pain of remaining the same outweighs the fear of change just a fraction, just one tenth of a gram. At that point, you’re on your way!