It’s “Thriving in Therapy” Thursday. I tried to keep all of this short and contained into one Instagram caption, but shocker, that didn’t work out. I’m long-winded, chatty, and didn’t have enough room to tell you ALL the things! So I decided to make it a blog post about it. The good thing about that is, it will stay up for anyone to refer back to should they need/want to.
How I Knew Therapy Was A Good & Right Decision For Me
Since opening up and talking about my journey through therapy, I have had a handful of friends ask me how I got started. How did I know I needed therapy? How did I find the right fit? These are all great questions, but before I answer them I want to first acknowledge that this is just MY journey. Everyone’s will look different! But this is a little bit about how I got to where I am at this moment in time.
It may come as a shock to most of you, since photography is the furthest thing from what I studied in school, but I actually studied psychology at BYU. I didn’t continue on after college or pursue that interest to actually become a licensed therapist (I hate school, but love learning). The study of the human mind, condition, behavior, etc., however, has always piqued my interest. So, when I was at school and had to declare a major, for me it was a no-brainer!
Therapy Has Never Had a Negative Connotation For Me
Back up to a few years before college, and I actually went to a therapist while in high school. There were so many changes in high school. Honestly, having someone to talk to that wasn’t my mom (#sorrynotsorry mom) was so good for me. At first, my mom forced me to go when my parents were going through a divorce, but then I actually felt better after going and it became a must for me. We talked about divorce, death of friends, death of loved ones, really a lot of heavy stuff for a teenager. My therapist at the time single-handedly kept my teenage head above water.
So, long story short, therapy for me has never been a negative word in my world.
Therapy is good. It is healthy. It helps you heal and helps you grow! ALL GOOD THINGS!
The Beauty of Therapy
Fast forward to now, I’m 37, I own two businesses, I’m a mom, a wife, and life just seems to FEEL so freaking heavy. I’m worn out. I feel undervalued and underappreciated. It’s so hard for me to set clear boundaries. I’m terrible at saying no. I’m constantly trying to people please and yet no one is trying to see how I am doing. Sure, you get the “Hey how ya doin?” from friends, but when does anyone ever reply, “I’m feeling overwhelmed and I can’t seem to stop crying when I’m by myself!?” No one really wants to hear this response, but it’s true. I could cry at the most random things.
A song on the radio, a freaking commercial, a certain playlist while riding the Peloton sent me into my very first panic attack where I had to physically leave my house to catch my breath at 7 in the morning. Am I making my point?
Doing the Work
At this point, conversations with my friends were not a good substitute for what an actual licensed therapist could do for me. I knew this deep down; that I was the only one who would be able to change and see growth. In order for growth to happen, though, I had to do the work and seek help.
I view therapy as an opportunity to seek help, but really I feel like mine is a rock star coach. My therapist sees things in my life through a different lens. She sheds light on things I don’t even see. She brings a new, outsider’s perspective that I truly love and appreciate. I never feel judged (even when I’m ugly crying and use up half the box of tissues). Rather, I feel supported, seen, and validated. She is insightful and sometimes (ok, most times), I end up doing all the talking. It’s nice to have a safe space for me to go and freely talk to someone and have a place to leave all that crap there and then go home to my family and continue to have a smile on my face and in my heart. Plus, professional athletes still have coaches and they are professionals!!! So, there is little ol’ me, not a professional anything….but I found myself a wonderful “coach”.
5 Ways to Help You Find a Therapist You Love
So, how did I actually go about finding my therapist? There are lots of avenues to find one, should you feel like you also need a safe space to talk to someone. Here are just a few of them:
- If you have insurance, start with your provider directory to see if they have therapists in your network that would be covered. Some take insurance, others don’t, BUT don’t let $$ scare you away from going. It is well worth every single penny that you invest into yourself and your mental health.
- Ask your friends! Ask people you trust for recommendations. People may not actually talk about therapy, but I think you would be surprised about how many people actually see one! #maketherapynormal
- Social media. I follow plenty of accounts that talk about mental health and I would be willing to bet they could point you in the direction of someone to talk to.
- Google Magic (you can google therapists in your area) But be specific with your needs. Most therapists specialize or “niche” down their practice to be as helpful as possible.
- Try an online therapy app if you are short on time or want to just start somewhere!
I personally did a combination of 2 & 3. I compiled a list of therapists that were recommended to me and then set up 30-minute “discovery” calls with each of them to see their style and if we would be a good fit.
Stay tuned, because I will post more on how to know if your therapist is the right fit for you next week!
There are so many out there, but know not every therapist will be the right fit for you- and that’s OKAY!