Today's Thought: “A medicine cat has no time for doubt. Put your energy into today and stop worrying about the past.” -Erin Hunter, Rising Storm

Why Would I Want Therapy?

jessica jack

When I talk to friends and acquaintances about therapy, I often hear these comments. Do any of them sound familiar to you?

“I can talk to my friends about my problems.”
“Why would I talk to a stranger about my problems ?!”
“I am not crazy.”
“Therapy is great for others, but not for me.”
“The therapist is going to ‘psychoanalyze’ me.” (here ‘psychoanalyze’ means to discover something that I am ashamed of)
“The therapist is going to think I’m crazy.”
“I am not in crisis.”
“I don’t need therapy … It’s my husband / wife / boss / coworker / fill in the blanks who needs to change!”
“I’m not going to pay anyone to listen to my problems!”
“I can deal with my problems on my own.”

With each of these statements, I want to generate some reflection, but before I do iv therapy Scottsdale, I want to acknowledge that therapy is still highly stigmatized in our culture of independence, autonomy, and self-direction. Especially among some African American and immigrant populations, the idea of ​​talking to a therapist is similar to standing in front of a rifle squad unarmed and naked. Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch, but hooray for the creative license!

“I can talk to my friends about my problems.”

Well yes, you can. And if you’re lucky, your friends will be very tolerant, empathetic, and insightful. But for many people, talking to friends can be a frustrating experience. Some friends can relate everything to themselves; some may tell you to get over it; some may withdraw because they don’t want to or don’t know how to deal with their problem. At the very least, most friends expect some reciprocity when they have a problem. A therapist is someone who is trained and able to listen, and is someone who has agreed to focus on your concerns together.

“Why would I talk to a stranger about my problems ?!”

Yes, I listen to this a lot. This often comes from people from cultures where problems are dealt with exclusively in the family or not at all. From a historical and social perspective, telling a stranger that it’s his business to open up to attack or vulnerability, so it makes sense that he doesn’t want to talk to someone he doesn’t know. For that reason, there are strict confidentiality laws that protect clients. For example, if I receive a phone call from someone asking about a client of mine, I cannot acknowledge that I do not even know who that person is, much less discuss their personal information. But if you’re wondering what are the benefits of talking to someone you don’t initially know, check out the section on friends above.

“I am not crazy.”

Of course you are not. This idea that only the seriously mentally ill receive therapy is a stereotype founded in the past. In the 19th century, psychiatric hospitals (called lunatic asylums!) Consisted of patients with severe mental illness who were often involuntarily admitted and poorly cared for. The many abuses that took place in these institutions were finally exposed in the 1940s. It is not the same therapy as institutionalization, although psychiatric hospitals include psychotherapy in their treatment plans. We all have their problems, patterns and concerns and if they become a problem that affects your quality of life, therapy is a good option. Besides, having a serious mental illness is just that: having an illness. Equating illness with insanity is old-fashioned and, for lack of a better word, ill-informed.

“Therapy is great for others, but not for me.”

Usually this comes from those who intellectually understand the benefits of therapy, but have a block against going themselves. Reasons could include a resistance to having to feel emotions; a strong self-identification of being “together”; Or feeling overwhelmed by all the things they’ve buried to survive so far without wanting to open that can of worms, so to speak. Yes, therapy can be scary at first, but over time it can improve relationships with others and with yourself.

“The therapist is going to ‘psychoanalyze’ me.” (here ‘psychoanalyze’ means to discover something shameful)

I love this one for many reasons. The first is that therapists are not magicians, they do not know black magic, they are not psychic or have X-ray vision. We know as much or as little as you share with us. We may see patterns or behaviors that are blind spots for you and that we can help with, but we cannot read your minds. The second reason I love this one is because it comes from the premise that you have to hide the things that you are ashamed of in therapy. Therapy is a place where you can explore your supposed flaws without judgment. You have the opportunity to talk about episodes of the present or

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