I’m going to therapy

I’ve decided to see a therapist again.

I saw a therapist a few years ago (maybe 6-7 years ago?) when I was feeling unhappy and frustrated and needed some help navigating out of that. Now I’m feeling … well, like I’m not doing what I need to be my happiest … and I’m not quite feeling frustrated, but I feel like I need help navigating through my own head to find my path to … living my best life. To be really trite.

So why see a therapist instead of just talking to my partners, friends, family, etc? Well, for one thing … I have been talking to them. And I feel like I need someone else to talk to.

Someone who is objective. Who has no personal bias and no opinion when it comes to my life. Someone who will listen without distraction, and without expecting something in return. (Well, other than payment.) And someone who is equipped with the training and tools to help me navigate through my thoughts.

I’ve been telling myself for awhile to make an appointment and see someone, and I kept putting it off. So I definitely had to encourage myself to even get this far again.  I’ve only gotten through the initial getting-to-know-me first session (I’m seeing a different therapist than who I saw years ago), but already, I feel like this is going to be helpful. I think this will help me get some perspective, and some direction, and help me sort through what’s going through my head. I told my therapist that I don’t feel aimless, rather, I feel like I’m aiming at a lot of different things. Maybe that’s good, or maybe it’s too much.

Anyway, going to therapy isn’t some bold new idea, tons of people go to therapy every day. But, I wanted to share to bring a little bit of normalcy to it. If you’ve been thinking of going to therapy, whether you’ve gone before or not, I encourage you to go! Also, speaking from experience, if you want to go to therapy to work through relationship issues but your partner(s) won’t go, consider going to therapy on your own anyway.

Finding the right therapist can be challenging, but thankfully, the internet has provided us with lots of options. If you have insurance, you can start with the Find a Doctor tool on your provider’s website. Additionally, Yelp and Google Reviews can be helpful, and many practices have therapist bios on their websites. You can also reach out to a larger therapy practice and explain what you are looking for and they can recommend someone from their practice. If there is a part of your identity that you want to explore in therapy, or you want to talk to someone who is familiar with your situation (LGBTQ, non-traditional relationships, kink, specific mental diagnoses, etc), there are many resources online that list therapists who are friendly to those communities.

Have you been to therapy? Anything you’d like to share about the experience? How did you find your therapist? 

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6 Comments on “I’m going to therapy”

  1. Yay therapy! I think therapy is great, and honestly don’t know what I would do without it. I’ve been seeing my therapist on a weekly basis for four years now. Even though we rarely spend the entire hour talking about my anxiety (the initial reason I started going) or things that make me anxious specifically, I notice a HUGE difference in how I’m feeling mentally when I skip a week of therapy vs. when I stick to my usual routine and go every week. Just having that hour to whine about all my petty problems in a judgment-free environment has been so helpful to me. I can be open and honest with people in my life, of course, but I don’t think there’s anyone I can be 100% open with like I can be with my therapist just by virtue of the fact that she’s a disinterested third party who (presumably…hopefully, haha) doesn’t know any of the people or situations I’m talking about. No matter how solid your relationship is with your friends, family, significant other, or even yourself, I really think everyone can benefit from having direct access to someone who isn’t involved with your life to talk through anything and/or everything that’s going on in your life. I’ve been able to realize some important things about myself and my relationships by having that space to talk through things, and I don’t regret a single penny I’ve spent on it. Plus, one of the other therapists at my therapist’s practice has a therapy dog who is the fluffiest, friendliest creature you’ve ever met, and even though he doesn’t come to my sessions, getting to see him every now and again when I’m there is basically just as good for my mood and mental well-being as my therapy session itself, haha.

    All that being said, it did take a long time for me to go from thinking about going to therapy to *actually* going to therapy – probably five or six months. I actually found the person who ended up being my therapist when I initially thought about going, but I didn’t reach out for months. It’s been a good fit and I feel very fortunate for that, because I have had bad therapists before, and it just made a lousy situation worse. Finding one that works for your needs is really important!

  2. I’ve been going to therapy for about five years. The first few I went every week and the last couple years it’s been every two weeks. I found my therapist through my insurance website; randomly picked a female and listed LBGTQ issues as a specialist. Thankfully it’s worked out so well. I started going for my issues with social anxiety but it turns out there was lots of other stuff to work on too! I sought out and got a promotion at work that involves managing another staff person, built a wide network of friends, and got divorced from a person who it turns out was isolating me from healthy relationships. There are lots of sessions where it seems like nothing productive happened, but each session builds on the others and eventually things click. It’s magical. I appreciate you trying to normalize therapy; at first I told no one, then just a few people, but now since the divorce I’m pretty open about it. It shouldn’t be a shameful thing. I’m super strong now because of therapy!

    1. I definitely appreciate that I go into therapy with a certain goal and come out of it answering a bunch of questions I didn’t know I had.

  3. I’ve never been to therapy but have thought about going. I don’t think there is anything wrong with it and can be very beneficial! My problem is figuring how to and where to. I have HMO so I think I need a referral to go (?). And then which therapist to pick! There are so many! Great job in going and hope it helps you sort things out.

    1. It can be really overwhelming to try and find a therapist. One easy way to narrow it down is to check which therapists accept your insurance (via your provider’s website), and from there, look at which ones are in a convenient location for you (near home? near the office?) because if they aren’t convenient, that’s just another barrier to going. If you can find a convenient practice with a few therapists, you can just reach out to the practice (I did this via the intake email address on their website) and explain your background and what you are hoping to get out of therapy, and they can suggest a few therapists from their practice who might be a good fit and also are accepting new patients. And then … pick one, make an appointment and see if it is a good fit 🙂 If it isn’t, they can help recommend someone else.

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