- Tara Ferguson, PhD
Client Stories: Laura*
Now that Laura found the right therapist for her, she talks about what she is learning through her experience and how her perspective on therapy is changing.
If you’re anything like me, you grew up with a parent, parents, or even an entire family that didn’t believe in the value of therapy. Maybe you grew up thinking therapy was for the crazies or for the people with really serious problems – nothing you’d ever go through. Or maybe you thought it was a total waste of time and money. I have learned the hard way that you need to put yourself first and take the time for self-care. Everyone is unique and has their own opinions and experiences. Personally, I have learned how important therapy can be for healing at many different points throughout my life. It may not be a continuous process but having a session every so often or scheduling an appointment when you’re particularly struggling is always a nice safety net to have established.
At first, I was a bit wary of going back to therapy because I wasn’t sure if I needed it. In truth, I wasn’t sure that I would really still ‘qualify’ for it, if that makes any sense. I wasn’t going through a traumatic event or a specific issue. In the past I had gone for difficulties that I was able to pinpoint and needed to deal with directly. Now, there were just a lot of little things building up and past emotions coming forward, leading me to feel completely overwhelmed. I was back to feeling stuck in a rut. I had come to a point in my life where I needed to decide the next step, but at the same time I was stuck in a complicated relationship and my closest friend group had dissipated.
After my first session, I was immediately relieved, and I knew I had made the right decision. Despite not going for one issue, I felt validated and realized this is what I had been needing. It’s indescribable how good it feels to just unload your ‘baggage’, tell your story and express your emotions. It takes guts, that’s for sure, but it’s so rewarding. Therapists provide meaningful feedback, help you sort through everything, and create a future plan. My message here is this: You don’t have to have one specific reason for needing therapy. It’s perfectly fine to need to talk to someone and work through reemerging issues, future worries, emotional difficulties– whatever is on your mind. I found that I could spent hours talking through everything I was feeling and was able to laugh some, cry some, and see a light at the end of a tunnel. I’m learning to love myself all over again and starting to feel positive about what’s to come. It’s never easy to face your problems, but not doing it alone helps a bit.
*Names are changed to protect client identity.