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A Simple Truth about Therapy!

(I wish I could say this to everyone considering therapy!):

Therapy is tough work! Phew! Tough work, that is so so worth it.

Therapy-seekers and therapist-friends alike, will tell you that therapy is not always easy, light, happiness-inducing. Yes, the ultimate goal of therapy is to reach there. But in the interim, THERAPY IS TOUGH WORK. We are literally rewiring our brains in some ways!

The tough part of sitting with our difficult feelings, being vulnerable, making changes, identifying unhelpful patterns/systems/ things makes us want to run away from the very thing that is necessary for us to reconcile those parts of us that have been exiled. It makes us want to leave therapy!

I really hope that therapists prime the people they work with in therapy about what they can expect from therapy! Such a vital conversation that can put the process into perspective. Although empathy and validation are part of the process, they are not the only parts! The ‘work’ of therapy involves looking at feelings, experiences and patterns that we may have avoided for a long long time, most likely decades! And yet, it is in that tough work of being with and thinking through things that don’t necessarily feel great, that we find the treasure of feeling better. Of feeling more integrated, more accepting, and more suited to cope with life’s many curveballs.

When we think about thinking, or allow space for our feelings, we are breaking the norm in some way. The ways in which our mind is used to functioning. Things that we would earlier avoid, we are unearthing and exploring!!!

And it feels difficult, God knows I know! But think of it like pushing a rock down a mountain for the first time, an analogy I read somewhere. The first time the rock is pushed down the jagged edges of the hill, it will falter and stop and not go down smoothly. However, the more often we do the same thing, it will form a path for itself and go down the same path smooth as butter by the 20th time.

Similarly with our brains! We are rewiring our brains to do things differently in therapy. To see things differently, to build tolerance, to break patterns.

Sheesh, tough work! But so so worth it. Because it is even tougher to stay as we are, in the things that are not helping us feel better and reach our goals.

So here is hoping you stay with the process and effort of self-reflection in therapy long enough to reach the oasis on the other end! To remind yourself why this work is important for you!



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