Your girl graduated from therapy* today. Honestly, I’m much better off today than I was when I started with this therapist a year ago. A few reasons why:
My therapist challenged me, she didn’t validate every thought. Some thoughts aren’t worth reinforcing and don’t stand up to scrutiny. If it’s not serving you, reframe it, challenge it, let it dissipate. Don’t let bad guests stay.
My therapist and I connected over our love of our sports and our faith. I wouldn’t have been able to open up to a therapist who doesn’t strive for constant improvement, or who doesn’t connect with a higher power.
She had compassion for me when I experienced the challenges that come with growth. She just trusted that I’d come around when I was ready to. When I did, there was no gloating or “I told you so.” Just acceptance that growth is uncomfortable sometimes and I’m not my best self when I’m confused and doing something I don’t get just yet.
Some changes I made:
I put up some new boundaries in my relationships to stop spiraling, obsessing, and beating myself up for things outside of my control. “I’m not curious about that anymore” is my new favorite way to cut off a train of thought that goes nowhere.
I accepted some of the things that make me plain ol’ different. This work in therapy wasn’t focused on my neurodivergence, but we talked about it.
I sought a TON of expert help on my physical health alongside my mental health. Bloodwork. Training. Testing. My hormones are seriously messed up – of course that contributes to feeling crappy mentally.
It takes work on both sides to make therapy productive. Show up and do your part. Be aware that not every challenge in your therapeutic relationship means you’re doing something wrong. See it as an opportunity to navigate conflict – something we could all use more practice with.
* I’ve been in and out of therapy at various points in life. That’s normal and good. Being able to recognize when you need help is a strength, not a weakness.