When I mention the word therapy, what goes through your mind? For many, a person laying on a couch (which tends to be leather for some reason) talking, while another person with glasses is writing vigorously, nodding their head, and asking “How does that make you feel?” every 5 minutes tends to be the most popular expectation of therapy and one of the biggest misconceptions.
What if I told you, therapy is way more than that?
Many people are afraid to go to therapy because they think it makes them seem weak. Therapists have this stigma attached to them for some reason. Instead of looking at it as a way to relieve stress or hear an unbiased opinion, therapy is viewed as this place you go to when you are mentally ill or in the middle of some mid-life crisis.
So, What Can You Expect From Therapy?
There is one thing that everyone gets right when they think about therapy, and that is talking. There is a lot of talking. You can expect a judgement -free environment and someone to help you navigate whatever you are currently going through in life.
One session is not going to cure you. Therapy is a continuous (but not endless) cycle. You will barely scratch the surface within the first few sessions. For some, it could take a month or two and for others, it could take years to understand what they have went, or are going, through.
You can expect to set goals and learn healthier ways to handle your stressors in life. This is important, we are here to help you, help yourself.
Misconceptions about Therapy
So, we already addressed one of the biggest misconceptions of what people’s expectations of therapy are. It doesn’t help that most of these misconceptions are perpetuated by movies, TV shows, or social media. The other thing that is important to understand is that therapy has evolved so much over the last several decades. There are continuously new discoveries in this field, so one practice that was highly recommended can quickly be replaced by something else that is improving on what was done before.
The next misconception about therapy is that it’s all the same. However, with Mindful Therapy Group specifically, you can expect an individualized session and plan. There is no one formula cure-all when it comes to the mind. In America, we like to compartmentalize everything into pretty little packages, but therapy needs to be as unique as a person’s fingerprint. What worked for someone you know, may not work for you.
There is this misunderstanding that therapy is too expensive and that you have to commit to it for the rest of your life. This is not true at all. Many insurances help pay for therapy because they see the importance and value in it, and although I believe people tend to end their sessions prematurely, therapy is not a life sentence. We work on what you are going through until you don’t need us anymore. Then if something else happens, we are still here.
The last misconception I want to touch on is this idea that going to therapy is stigmatized as weakness and by going you are admitting that there is something wrong with you. Or that only those with mental illnesses should see a therapist. This simply is not true. Everyone could stand to speak with a therapist at least once in their life. Most people are pleasantly surprised at what therapy can offer them in the way of comfort.
At Mindful Therapy Group, the number one aspect that we take a lot of pride in, is our individualized treatment. During our sessions, it is important that we help each person create their own plan of action. Therapy can be a very colorful experience. There are so many different types available. Sometimes just talking things out can help, for others, having some type of meditation can really help them clear their mind.
Discovering what path is going to work the best for each person is our way of helping them cope or get through something. Everything from grieving a loss of a loved one, to helping them discover their career path, no matter what brings a person to come see us, it is the way in which we create their experience that helps them in the end.
Don’t be afraid to collaborate with your therapist to figure out what is going to be more healing or helpful for you. At the end of the day, the therapist wants to work with you and build trust. Sometimes the hardest part of therapy can be to come and be open about everything to someone you don’t know. This is completely understandable and why it may take time to get to that trust phase. Don’t give up after a couple visits.
You may have heard about the mindful trend that took off in 2017. But, what does it mean to be truly mindful? That is what we help you discover. It’s a type of self-reflection while remaining in a peaceful state. To really tune in to our feelings so we can process them and communicate from that place.
You will find that different therapists stress different ideologies to help a person heal. We believe in the importance of mindfulness and finding another way to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, etc. This can be done with or without the use of medication, depending on what is best for the person. Helping someone learn how to focus on themselves can cause a lot of positive healing in a session. That focus can be used to reflect on and understand your own unique situation.
We use this as a tool to create an individualized plan for each client. What we are looking to do as therapists is to partner with you to make sure your needs come first and that everything we do during our sessions aides in the betterment of your personal growth. Utilizing mindfulness exercises for this has worked very well and, in conjunction with traditional therapy, a person can really get to understand themselves and their past, which can start them down the right path of healing.
Don’t Be Afraid to Take the First Step
Have you ever heard the saying “you never know unless you try?” Well, you will never really understand therapy, what it’s like to see a therapist, or how weightless it can feel getting stress off your shoulders if you don’t give it a try. You cannot let the fear of something or a stigma keep you from experiencing something that could potentially be life changing in the most positive way.
The first step in almost anything is the hardest part. It’s going into the unknown, unsure of what the outcome will be, and fearing failure, but if we stay perfectly comfortable for the rest of our lives, we will miss out on great opportunities and personal growth.
Take a chance, find a therapist that you feel a connection or partnership with, and let them help guide you as you tackle your questions, thoughts, inner demons, who you are, or your needs and wants. If you are interested in us at Mindful Therapy Group, you can visit one of our three facilities and find someone to talk to today.