Lately, it seems the news is plagued with so many sad and negative stories that show the amount of pain around us. School shootings, celebrity suicides, hate motivated crimes... We, as a people, are hurting. And it seems more and more we don’t have outlets to express our pain. As it gets easier to not interact with each other, there is a stronger sense of isolation: we have online “friends”, we order our groceries online, we stare at a computer vs working in person…. Society is encouraging us in the loudest of terms to isolate ourselves. But to what end?
At our core, human beings wish to connect. We are made to connect. And not connecting is when our frustration of not having an outlet becomes louder. People – and connection – is vital to the human experience. When hearing about school shooters, celebrity suicides, social media “battles”, etc. the eventual answer is a person’s lack of connection to someone else.
In high school I was very active in the English Department. I wrote for the school newspaper, was involved in the yearbook, and was part of a special group that were focused on journalism as a college track. As I enrolled in college I found that journalism and English seemed to call me and my first year was spent enrolled in these programs. It wasn't until my first Introduction to Psychology class that I realized the value of mental wellness and eventually changed my academic journey to focus on the science of the mind.
I read a great quote today.... What comes easy won't always last. And what will last won't always come easy. Can't the same be said for therapy?
I hate to be the one to tell you this but therapy is HARD! It takes hard work and it takes commitment! It takes a willingness to change how you see things and who you may believe you are. Now, I am not saying that its painful but you have to come in to therapy knowing that just like anything else worth having, it's going to take work.
All too often clients will come in and we get through the first 1 or 2 sessions and it's somewhat easy because we are getting to know each other. But once a challenge arrives or a homework assignment that takes the family out of their comfort zone, some start to believe that therapy may not be for them. If you come to therapy with one finger on the eject button be ready to get frustrated and be ready to feel like therapy just doesn't work.
I will be the first to say... being open to hearing critiques or commentary on how you have lived life can be a tough pill to swallow. But I always encourage my clients to remember that something dramatic has brought them to therapy and if that dramatic event is something you truly want to address, give your therapist a chance! Just like if your doctor told you you need to cut out red meat to lower your cholesterol don't you think taking the observations of your therapist to heart could be good for you in the long run?
No one can ever tell you what to do but if you are looking for true change, what can it hurt to approach therapy with an open mind?
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