The Value of Therapy
No, it's not an hour of laying on a comfortable sofa
Good morning ☺️.
Today’s edition of Love to Think is brought to you by a bit of my mind rather than my heart. A very random quote has stuck with me this week and I want to delve into it with you all, so here it is…
“No one knows you better than you. No one spends more time with you than you. The scary thing about that is a lot of people don’t know who they are, why they behave and feel like they do and where it all stems from”.
I appreciate that’s a heavy quote and it may come across as pseudo, wannabe-guru wisdom on my part, so I’ll do my best to explain that train of thought.
Recently, I’ve been presented with a few opportunities for reflection (I’m crossing my fingers they continue to present themselves) and I’ve been particularly conscious of my experience with therapy. I had my first counselling/therapy session at 23 years old. It was at a time where I really didn’t feel like I could turn to anyone in my immediate vicinity with the issues I was experiencing. I was nervous, but fairly open to the idea of what therapy could provide me, mainly conversations with someone who was agenda-free, unbiased and without a preconceived notion of who I was. It felt more like a more objective way to confide in someone.
I’m fairly certain that she immediately saw that I wasn’t there simply to talk, but to work out why I felt the way I did and how I could reframe and fix what was going on. I was extremely fortunate to find a therapist I could connect with and understood me as quickly as she did.
For me, the value wasn’t going to be in talking aimlessly for an hour, but to explain how I’m feeling with the hope of working out why I may feel, think or behave the way that I do in certain situations. Whether it was my fairly intense binge drinking, my lack of self-worth or my aversion to a romantic-love life, I had a burning desire to understand why I was who I was. Across 4 years (on and off), it’s provided me an incredible amount of self-awareness; it made me realise that I was really living life for 23 years with such a limited understanding of why I was the way I was. There’s still a lot that I need to learn, but that internal education wasn’t what I associated with therapy before I started and I believe it could be valuable for lots of people who are still living in a space of reflection.
The greatest lesson I’ve learned through my time with therapy is that there’s no shame in the negative feelings I’m experiencing and I cannot control how others respond, react or engage with me. It’s led to me being less judgemental and more empathetic as a person which are two personality traits I hold fairly dearly now; being a big part of who I am.
The idea of breaking the stigma of therapy has resonated with me greatly recently. I believe our world is about to go through a mental health pandemic which could be as prolific as the physical health pandemic that we’re experiencing. The key difference is that there won’t be government initiatives and protocols to protect us from it, it’s on us as individuals to humble ourselves enough to work out our own paths towards self-preservation. My particular journey involved hitting the therapist jackpot on the first try, someone I can’t wait to see when the time is right in terms of social distancing being lifted (I struggled over the phone/video call).
I’m not able to tell you whether or not therapy will be necessary along your path and it’s perfectly okay if it isn’t. I hope that maybe this newsletter can help you figure out what you need to work through everything and at the very least put mental health and self-awareness in the forefront of your consciousness.
One love, Luca :) x
If you have any feedback about this week’s edition of Love to Think then please feel free to leave a comment below. See you next week!