So, I’m going to talk about a touchy issue with a lot of people. I have seen this subject cause a lot of fights and a lot of silent treatment. It’s a subject where most people say “well just don’t talk about it in public (or in private)”. This subject is *drum roll please…*
Doesn’t sound so bad right? Wrong.
You’d be surprised how many people will give you a disgusted look,awkwardly shift in their chair, or just try to change the subject when you mention it. Maybe I just tend to notice the slight glances and clenched jaw aspect a little bit more than others, but this subject area seems to be a very uncomfortable one with many people (at least the ones that I know).
First let’s start with a break down of what therapy actually is.There are many definitions to therapy, but the three I have provided below seem to cover the bases. These are from Dictionary.com:
1.the treatment of disease or disorders, as by some remedial, rehabilitating, or curative process: speech therapy.
2.a curative power or quality.
3. any act, hobby, task, program, etc., that relieves tension.
Now, out of all three of these definitions only one matches what most people think of when they think “therapy”. The first definition is the only one out of all three that goes into the “professional” aspect. This is fine and great- we all need to know that there are many cases that fall under that first definition. But, this particular blog is to focus more so on the last two. Based on these last two definitions everyone goes through therapy. Everytime you do anything that relieves some sort of tension you have just done a form of therapy.
So, if you like to draw and it soothes your anger or nervousness- guess what- you just did some art therapy! If you like to garden when you are mad or have just received bad news…you just did therapy. Even drinking a glass of wine to wind down from a hectic day could be considered a form of therapy.
If we all do therapy everyday why does everyone get so uptight or awkward when someone mentions that they see a therapist? What makes this so different than reading a book to relax or blasting your music and going for a drive to the middle of nowhere?
The way I see it- people who see a therapist just need a little extra push or assistance in the right direction. Sometimes wheels get stuck in the mud or you need a stronger person to open the wine bottle. Everyone needs assistance here and there. I’m not saying that sometimes people don’t have some serious issues they need to work through in therapy. I’m just trying to relate the idea of therapy to every day life because to some people it is an everyday thing- even if they only see a therapist once or twice a week.
We all have experiences in our life that we have needed a second opinion on, whether it’s as small as “should I get the red shoes or the blue shoes” or as big as “should we get this house or the other”. We all need a little help in making big decisions that can impact our lives. A therapist just kind of helps push you into the reality of making your own decisions. Part of the definition for a therapist is “a being who helps…” Based off of this section of the definition a therapist could be anyone, including a puppy!
Technically we all see therapists, just for some that therapist is themselves or their pets. For others they need to seek assistance. Even people who see a therapist may not fall under that first definition though. Not everyone who goes to therapy and sees a professional has some deep dark issue or mental disorder. Sometimes they just can’t talk to others without receiving a biased reaction. And that’s the beauty of seeing a professional therapist- they will be real and unbiased. They won’t tell you what you want to hear, but what you need to hear.
I’ll be the first to admit that I see a professional therapist and it took me a LONG time to be able to admit this at all. When I first started I was completely against the idea of therapy. I had been brainwashed into thinking that if I needed to go to someone else for help that I was weak and obviously couldn’t figure out my own life. Well…yeah! I was weak and I couldn’t figure out life-but not because I was seeing a therapist- it was because I was so completely lost and confused at the time that I couldn’t figure out right from left. Once I snapped out of the mentality of “therapist bad- suffering good” things started to actually take a turn for the better.
I won’t go into my wonderfully colorful experiences with therapy and the therapists I went to. But, I will tell you I still see a therapist and she is probably the best one by far. She has challenged me on so many levels and really made me think. And I’m not going to lie- she’s pretty fucking awesome. But, I get that seeing a professional isn’t for everyone. Do I think everyone should give it a try? Yes, not because we are all mental, but because sometimes it’s good to get a reality check from someone who can be 100% real with you.
So, if someone ever comes up to you and tells you they see a therapist or asks if they should go to therapy- don’t stick your nose in the air or walk away disgusted. They may just need that little extra push that playing soccer or singing gives you.