On The Couch: What To Expect From Individual Therapy
If you have never been to individual therapy, you might feel nervous about what to expect during your first session. Will you need to reveal your whole life story? What kind of changes should you expect to happen? And, finally, what exactly are you supposed to talk about?
Therapy can be a profound launchpad for long-lasting change and growth. It’s reasonable to feel scared before you begin. Let’s get into what benefits you can expect!
Do you feel alone and misunderstood? Is it hard for you to open up to people about your feelings or struggles? Therapists understand how challenging vulnerable can be. That’s why they take client confidentiality and safety so seriously.
Your therapist will work hard to build positive rapport and connection with you. They will spend the time needed to help you feel secure and validated. Therapy isn’t a place for judgment- it’s a place for warmth, compassion, and unconditional positive regard.
Learning New Coping Skills
Stress is inevitable. We will all face difficulties in life. The goal isn’t to avoid all the problematic events; the goal is to learn how to withstand them without falling apart.
Do you struggle with taking care of yourself during these treacherous times? Do you self-medicate with drugs or alcohol? In moderation, most so-called bad habits aren’t inherently bad. However, the more you lean on these actions as a ‘crutch,’ the more they can progress into dangerous cycles that are challenging to break.
In addition to substance use, other concerning habits might include promiscuous sex, shopping, compulsive gambling, and overworking. It can also include withdrawal and isolation tactics (i.e., staying at home all day and zoning out to Netflix).
Therapy can teach you healthier ways to manage triggering moments. By developing healthy coping skills, you give yourself greater opportunities to exercise restraint, moderation, and control over your obstacles. You also learn how to identify what you’re feeling- and how to manage those seemingly paralyzing feelings when they arise.
Of course, it takes consistency and routine practice. You’ll need to identify reasonable skills and actually integrate them into your daily routine for them to be effective.
When you think about yourself, what images and thoughts come to mind? Are they positive and compassionate? Or are they pessimistic and critical? Do you move through your day feeling like your own friend- or your mortal enemy?
We tend to be our worst critics, but low self-esteem can hold us back in so many areas of life: our relationships, work opportunities, and our overall confidence. When we don’t believe in ourselves, the self-doubt and internal loathing make it feel insurmountable to take needed risks or make significant changes.
Self-esteem requires cultivation. That means you need to consciously work to develop and maintain it; you need to engage in positive activities that boost your self-perceptions. Unfortunately, many people have barriers that make this task feel challenging. For example, maybe you’re in a toxic relationship. Perhaps you’ve experienced profound trauma that has impacted your inner psyche.
Therapy can help you process and work through some of these barriers. Your therapist can help you reframe negative thoughts about yourself and give you the tools to engage in a more kind and optimistic perspective.
Whether it’s marital distress or problems with your parents, relational conflict can take a significant toll on our mental health. We want to enjoy the company of our loved ones, but when tension arises, it often leaves us feeling insecure, frustrated, and resentful.
It’s normal to struggle with healthy communication. It’s normal to struggle with a working concept of healthy boundaries. However, these are the necessary components of satisfying relationships. When we don’t nurture ourselves and the people we love, the problems only tend to accumulate.
Therapy will help you with everyday struggles related to your relationships. If your therapist deems it appropriate, they may recommend couples or family therapy. Bringing loved ones into the room provides you all the chance to discuss your emotions and create a reasonable plan for growth and change.
Greater Mental Health
Whether you struggle with depression, anxiety, or another mental health condition, you probably already know the frustrating impact it has on your life. Our mental health is the foundation for everything we do. When we’re not feeling optimal, the rest of our life tends to suffer.
Therapy can help you with specific goals targeted towards your mental health needs. This may mean coordinating necessary referrals for psychiatrists or support groups. It may include developing treatment plans that target reducing particular unwanted symptoms.
There aren’t any brilliant cures for mental health problems. There are no gimmicks or quick fixes for prolonged change. However, there are preventive and management strategies- the more you utilize these, the less severe your problems will likely be.
Starting Individual Therapy
At The Resurface Group, we are passionate about the benefits associated with individual therapy. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to process, explore, and change the parts of themselves they want to improve.
Therapy isn’t a sign of weakness. Asking for help and having the willingness to make necessary changes is a tremendous sign of strength.
We’re here for you throughout your journey. Whether you’re struggling with addiction or mental health, we can help you. Contact us today to get started!