A lot of people see therapy as a “do or die” endeavor. If you say you are seeing a therapist, friends may worry about you or wonder just how bad things are in your life. And, unfortunately, shame for needing “do or die” help keeps many people from either not seeing a therapist at all or from waiting far too long to start working with someone.
Having worked with multiple different therapists over the course of several years, I’ve come to a new perspective on therapy that may be helpful if you’re feeling ashamed or unsure or worried about a friend who used the T word.
Therapy is like a photography class.
If you have a camera and like taking pictures but don’t yet have the skill set you desire, you research, find YouTube videos, or sign up for a photography class to hone those skills.
Therapy is like that. Therapy is a chance to hone a skill set, gain knowledge, and find new techniques to help you level up in a desired skill. A lot of us were never taught about mental health growing up, whether at home or at school, so *of course* we struggle now and need a mentor to teach us their ways.
Sitting at the feet of a skilled therapist is akin to speaking with a master of photography, picking their brains, and putting new techniques into practice.
And, yes, sometimes therapy *is* a “do or die” thing. And, no, no one should judge you for it if it is. I’ve been there. But I also know I’ve often refrained from seeing a therapist for far too long because I viewed it as a “last resort” and as akin to setting up an appointment for a complex surgical procedure. You don’t do it unless you absolutely have to.
But therapy isn’t just for those who “absolutely have to.” Therapy is for anyone who wants to grow the ability to of tending your inner world and working closely with your mind, heart, and emotions.
So instead of feeling guilty or ashamed or alarmed when you sense the desire or the need to see a therapist, see it as an opportunity to hone a skill at the feet of someone who has much wisdom in that area, just as someday others will sit at your feet to learn what you have to pass on.
Best wishes, my friends, on your journey to wholeness!
What about you?: How do you feel about therapy? What is your perspective?