One of the benefits of therapy is being able to ‘tell your story.’ Significant events that have shaped your life linger in our minds and over time become burdensome. For some clients these events create anxiety, depression, anger, or other emotions. As they linger in the back of your mind it is difficult to see what impact the thoughts have had. Thus, being able to tell your story relieves this stress or burden and at the same time helps me, as your therapist, to understand these significant events.
I often tell clients, “If you bring the monster -- IE the thoughts or memories from the past -- into the light of day, they lose their horns.” The longer these thoughts and emotions linger, the more intense they become. Gradually over time they can grow and it is impossible to remain objective about them. These thoughts can take on a life of their own and over time become more intense and irrational. Receiving objective feedback helps you in gaining clarity and objectivity. More often than not the telling of the story can be an act of healing and the process of being heard is likewise healing. Thoughts and memories that remain in our head become distorted and create stress and pain. My job is to help you formulate goals about how you want to improve your life.
Father's Day with my daughter 2014
Another benefit involves gaining knowledge about what is or has happened in your life. This knowledge involves giving your problem a name or diagnosis. Understanding the common signs and symptoms of your diagnosis also helps you understand what is going on. Not knowing or understanding can be a major source of anxiety or fear. Along wi th this comes the knowledge of what can be done. There is hope and a variety of treatments are available.
Common circumstances that lead clients to therapy include the death of a family member, divorce, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, the loss of a job, witnessing violence, the impact of drugs or alcohol whether it be self or a loved one, or numerous other situations. It is normal to feel depressed, anger, and/or anxiety; these emotions can impact your sleep, appetite, concentration, and the ability to trust others.
A common response to loss or tragedy is struggling to see what the future holds. After facing difficult times fear and anxiety cloud the dreams of your future. As a result, plaguing questions arise such as, ‘will I ever be happy again’, ‘is there something wrong with me,’ ‘is it my fault,’ or ‘will anyone understand what I’m feeling?’ Truth be known, being preoccupied with such questions can become part of the problem. Thinking about such questions too much leads to irrational thoughts that fuel the fear and anxiety.
The main thing in life is to not be afraid to be human.