Investing in yourself by starting therapy can be a great way to support your intentions for this upcoming year and beyond.
If you have never been to therapy it can be hard to know what to expect. I want to give you an inside scoop and share my thoughts on how to set yourself up for maximum growth and change.
- Be gentle. Yup, it's rule #1. The majority of the work I do with my clients is helping them become gentle with themselves; to get curious about their inner world and the way they are organized. You can't bully yourself into becoming Whole. You need to love yourself Whole. There is no way around this one.
- Transition. When we are working with material that is not yet conscious, it requires a certain mindful positioning. When you arrive to your session, find your feet on the floor, your pelvis in your seat, elongate your spine and find your breath. We are going inside to wander into non-ordinary places. This kind of work is greatly supported by transitioning out of the busy work day and becoming present so we can hear the whisperings of the soul.
- Challenge yourself. Take risks. Stretch for the uncomfortable material. Admit the inadmissible, speak the unspeakable. What you put in is what you will get out.
- Challenge your therapist. I love when my clients challenge me. My clients come to work on something, but they also come to teach me something about myself. Say the thing you are afraid to say. Ask questions you think you're not allowed to ask.
- Make a commitment. The therapeutic relationship is the foundation of therapy. It supports all of the work that we do together. By using our relationship as a guide, we come to more deeply understand the other important relationships in your life. The better I understand you and the safer you feel with me, the more deeply and effectively we can work together. Like any valuable relationship, it takes time and commitment to develop.
- Be consistent. Therapy is not like a doctor's visit where you only show up when you're not feeling well. Think of it like the gym: You don't build a muscle by picking up a set of weights once in a while. Consistency is the best way to get the most out of your time and money. All you have to do is show up.
- Keep a therapy journal. Journaling creates continuity between sessions. It is a way to keep the material alive. Write down thoughts, questions, themes, feelings, or something you want to meditate on over the course of the week.
- Stop thinking you're crazy. I hear some clients initially half-joke that they must be "crazy" to be in therapy. You are not crazy, ok? Therapy is hygienic. Inner exploration is an adventure and one that requires pretty important and mature faculties. Personal evolution and movement toward growth is sexy. Let's face it, the world needs more people who are willing to do the hard work of looking closely at themselves. This isn't a selfish or narcissistic endeavor. Healing, loving and accepting yourself is a gift you give to yourself and to the world around you.
If you are in therapy now, you can accelerate the change process by incorporating even one of these ideas. If things are getting stale with your therapist, shake things up and see what happens.
If you're not in therapy, maybe this is the year to finally get cracking on the work you have been meaning to do on yourself for ages but have put off. The work is waiting for you. It's not a matter of getting around it. You can choose whether to do the work now or later in life, but you might as well do it now.
I think you are so very worth it.
I hope this feels helpful. I would love to hear from you- What is something that helped you deepen the work you were doing in therapy?