I am of the opinion that just about everyone needs therapy. Why? Primarily because we can’t see into our own issues! We see ourselves and our decisions the way we WANT to see them or in extremes and a lot of times that view is skewed because of our own distorted thinking.
Good therapy provides:
- Insight – A counselor should be able to give you insight into your life. From their very neutral vantage point, they look beyond emotional extremes and see things that you can’t. Even counselors need therapy because they are too emotionally entangled in their own stuff to be able to see clearly!
- Sound Guidance – A counselor has (hopefully!) gone through a lot of the recovery and growth process themselves and should be able to provide consistent, sound guidance as you navigate through things in your life. If they take extreme positions or give you directive advice, you might want to find a new one!
- Truth – I did a recent blog talking about ‘if I could give everyone just one gift’ it would be to see themselves the way others see them. We all eventually need to hear the truth about ourselves. We need to look at the ugly truth – our unhealthy, unpretty, primitive, and unpolished sides in order to grow. A counselor can also help you to see the pretty truth – the good side of you that you can’t see because you are blinded by your own shame. You can’t fix what you can’t see!
- Safe, Non-Judgmental Environment – A counseling office provides a place where you can just be yourself and allow free-flowing feelings and thoughts. None of it is “wrong”. Until you allow yourself to feel & think whatever comes up, however, you can’t gain anything from it. Sometimes people gain their own insights just by having the freedom to express themselves out loud in a safe place.
- Healthy Modeling – A therapist should have their own life pretty much in order. Not that they won’t go through things, but if you watch how they respond to the hardships in their lives, you will see their true character revealed. Hopefully they practice what they preach and model what healthy is supposed to look like!
- Encouragement – Sometimes we might be on the right track to a healthier life, but our old systems make us question it. A quality therapist will provide you encouragement when you take positive steps in your life and help you break free of your old, unhealthy patterns.
Counseling usually begins to fix one or two “problems”. If you are lucky enough to get good, quality therapy, however, you will quickly discover that it turns into a journey of continuous self-improvement and lays a long-term, healthy foundation for life!