If at First You Don't Succeed....
**Welcome to our first post in a series of 'Client Stories' blogs, where clients tell stories of therapy, recovery, and healing, with all its challenges and triumphs**
I had my first counseling session just before my senior year of high school. I’ll be totally honest with you – it was a dud of an experience for me. I came out feeling like I was the root of all of my problems AND a bad person to boot. Rule #1 to me is feeling zero judgement when you open up to your counselor. Needless to say, we didn’t vibe together. Two therapists later, I met my match and never looked back. For those of you who found it easy to reach out and schedule that initial appointment: you are amazing! Personally, I found this very difficult, especially to try again after my first experience. Sometimes getting there can be the hardest part, but the effort is worth it for the benefits that follow.
I gained a whole new outlook on life in the first few months I spent attending counseling sessions. I credit my emotional and mental well-being largely to my therapist, in her showing me ways to help myself and improve in daily life outside of the sessions. I regained control of my thoughts and emotions. I have incorporated the phrase ‘going with the flow’ into my lifestyle. Meditation was also introduced to me as a means to stay calm and open my mind to thinking about things. I have changed my mindset and strive to look for the positive side of everything and have set goals that keep me motivated and excited for the future.
Counseling opened a new world around mental health for me. I believe that it is an overlooked aspect of our health and that it deserves much more attention and care than it gets. Growing up, I was made to believe that psychologist and psychiatrists were just scamming you for money. How wrong my family was! It’s indescribable how good it feels to have someone to open up to and update on your progress, someone that actually helps you improve the quality of your life and makes you feel listened to. I am forever grateful to my friends who pushed me to go and to my therapist, who helped me grow into the better version of myself that I am today. It’s reassuring to not only be held accountable by yourself and have someone else be proud of your accomplishments, even if they may seem small.
Now, at the age of 21, I am passionate about helping others to find their own balanced and peaceful state of mind. I would absolutely recommend attending therapy sessions to anyone who feels they may benefit from it. The myriad of areas that mental health professionals can help you with is incredible! I personally suffer from anxiety and a mood disorder, so getting these in check with the help of a psychologist and a psychiatrist was life changing. I was able to get my life back and feel ‘normal’, which I had begun to think wasn’t a possibility. I no longer have random and frequent panic attacks or extreme mood swings that dictate my life. I can credit this to the wonderful world of psychology and mental health professionals. It all starts with a little bit of faith in yourself to take the first step.
*Name has been changed to protect the identity of this client.