I got extremely lucky on my therapy journey. I will admit, I am probably the exception and not the rule here.
Here’s quick background. I never thought I’d be in therapy. In fact, when I was told I NEEDED therapy, I was offended. Now, I say proudly that therapy has been MY best decision.
A few things I heard when I decided to start therapy was, “most people go through multiple therapist before finding the RIGHT one”. You’ll get homework. Couples therapy is needed to save your marriage. It won’t be as effective since it’s not in person.
I can say I debunked all of those!
- I have only ever seen one therapist and I’ve seen them for almost a year. My Type A personality did some research and found a good match from the start. I really considered the following:
- Man v. Woman
- Older v. Young
- Allotted time per session
- Man v. Woman
- No homework! The first meeting I was actually asked if there was final things I wanted to talk about. I asked what my assignment would be and the response I got was “life isn’t what you see in the movies and on tv” (I’ve been told this quite a few times since I started sessions)
- I am not given homework – in fact, I often assign myself “things to do” before the next session. My therapist made it clear that they won’t add any additional stress in my life. “Why give homework and stress you out if you don’t get around to doing it”
- Couples therapy. I think I would shut down and not communicate effectively if I had to do therapy with my ex husband. I see that this could work for people who want to save their marriage. It just wasn’t the case for me at the time.
- I’ve only ever known Zoom therapy. Would it be helpful to see someone in person, maybe? I like not having to commute to an office and have to take in the vibe of their office space. I am comfortable in my home. In fact, I share my most vulnerable safe spots.
- I considered doing one of those TeleHealth/Better Help type of services and ultimately opted not to. For one, they didn’t take my insurance (or it was a complicated reimbursement option). Second, I am not a big texter. I knew that would cause me to overthink. I need that face with a name connection.
I can’t say that therapy saved my life. I know I would have survived my situations. The only difference is, I was able to navigate my situation better because I had a neutral party listen to my complaints. Early on in therapy I felt like once I got this negative feeling or commentary out to this person then I stopped harping on it.
I will never tell someone they need therapy. That’s not nice. I have suggested it to friends, but I have taken the approach of “have you considered seeing a therapist”.
For me, therapy has been great. For others, I wish them the best. What do you truly have to lose? If you don’t mesh with someone, it’s not the end of the world.