I terminated my personal therapy yesterday (after a total of 17 sessions across 7 months). Therapy/Counselling is a very emerging field and source of help in our country at the moemnt and I truly believe that sharing more of our personal experiences about it can help clear so many stigmas about it and give rise to a much more informed awareness. So here’s me, yours truly, doing her bit.
Here’s how I benefited from seeing a therapist:
1. I can now identify my emotions (both positive and negative), acknowledge them & their importance in my life (yes, it’s negative one that taught me the most), accept them, stay with them and then work on them.
I no longer suppress my emotions with my thoughts. I let them flow.
For instance, whenever I experience emotions like hurt or sadness or loneliness, I imagine them to be my square pillow. I hug them tight, care for them and go off to sleep. This means that I love and respect them as much (now, probably even more) than my more comfortable feelings of joy, excitement and pride. I let them teach me something instead of running away from them!
2. I acknowledged and accepted my extreme childhood trauma. I worked on recovering from it, making it no longer the defining principle of my life but only a part of it. Most of us go through trauma in our lives (situations where our resources to deal with it, were not enough) and it is extremely important to attend to this trauma. Gestalt school of psychology believes that just like in the case of our stomach, when the digestive system is unable to process the food, we turn ill; similarly, in the case of our mind, when we refuse to process or digest an event or series of it, our mental health goes down.
3. I learned to drop taking responsibility for others, no matter what. It’s their journey, afterall. They get to fall and learn and then rise!
4. I learned that suffering is a creative force of life. You create poignant learnings when you suffer. I was able to change my perspective immensely towards suffering and pain.
5. I understood my core beliefs that led me to have faulty automatic thoughts about myself. One of them was that there is inherently something wrong about me. Such beliefs are formed over lifetime, based on our experiences. The thoughts they give rise to, have no logic to themselves. Like the term suggests, they are automatic.
6. I now can create healthy boundaries, to protect myself in a relationship. Boundaries are important and efficient, as long as they don’t become rigid because in that case, they become chains.
7. I understood the role of fantasy as a coping mechanism (unhealthy, in my case).
I did not go into the first session with a problem, and yet I am here post 17 sessions much more aware about myself.
Putting this out there for people to see the many ways in which one can benefit from a great therapist!