Therapy in all its forms is available to just about anybody. From Free Clinics to private practice, there are good therapists to be found in both. It takes courage to reach out when you need help. It takes time and tenacity to find the “right” therapist (more on this later.) It also takes a willingness on your part to bare your soul to a stranger! Therapy as a rule will require a commitment of time anywhere from three to eight months, depending on your specific need.
The following could be reasons for you to seek out a therapist:
So, lets say you’ve become aware of a pattern of behavior in yourself that you’re not particularly proud of. Your parents (if you’ve shared this with them) have said
“Don’t worry so much. We love you.” This is well-meaning advice, but it didn’t work when you were a teen, and it doesn’t work now. You go to a good friend and they might respond:
“You always feel this way after a breakup. It’ll all change when you meet someone new.” Possibly true, but these feelings that come in between relationships never seem to change, and always keep you doubting if you made the right decisions to begin with.
Nothing is going to change in what you’re feeling, because you may be choosing poor behavior to avoid feeling worse. These behaviors could be drinking to excess, not sleeping or sleeping to much, over eating etc.. What needs to happen, is for you to process these feelings in a different way, before you begin to notice any difference in your situation.
Your whole young adult life you’ve never been without a job/career. In fact working has “been your life!” Somewhere you forgot to have any kind of meaningful personal life. Your social life consisted of who you were working with, and when that job was over you fell in with the people on your new job. The cast of your social life could be scripted as if its from a reality show. This may have worked fine for you in the past, but now its all becoming too overwhelming and empty.
You’re in your twenties. Your parents loved you, but they never instilled any worldly wisdom, barring their own mistakes, in you. You’ve been drifting perhaps for years now. You notice that your peers are doing exciting things with their lives, such as going after a particular career, or enrolling in school, or traveling to some other county to work. You’ve never left your birthplace and right about now, you feel like your the only one who feels like they’ve reached a plateau and are stuck!
You desperately want to change, so you start asking around for recommendations of therapists that others might suggest. Initially, everyone seems expensive or the places that offer free to sliding scale fees have long waiting lists. Your back to where you started. Don’t be discouraged. Save a little money, or ask for a loan from someone who knows your situation, then if that is secure, start calling and leaving messages (short) on therapists answering machines asking if you could see them for an initial visit. The term “initial visit”, is using therapy language that communicates to the therapists that you are a bit more savvy in your search. For some it’s considered the first meeting, for others it’s a meet and greet that requires no commitment from either of the parties. After you’ve left more than a few of these messages on therapists machines, you’ll find that several will return your call.
Most of the therapists that I know have good hearts. Most of them, not all, but most of them will see one or two clients if not for free, then at a sliding scale. It all depends on their work load, and if they’re able to manage working with possible clients who cannot afford their full fee. If they agree to see you for that initial first visit, then show up on time, and know what it is that you want to see them about. Understand, it is possible that they will hear you and take you on for a limited amount of sessions.
In the beginning of this blog I mentioned working with the “right” therapist. This means finding a therapist that works in a style that your comfortable with. Some therapists work in the here and now, while others will concentrate more on your past, in other words, what brought you to this point in your life. Some will give homework, while others will just listen to you and say very little. These are all correct therapeutic modalities, but not everyone of them is going to feel like a fit for you.
In the end, its going to be about the relationship that you have with your therapist that will provide the trust to provide the corrective experience for you to heal.
John J. Shinavier, MA, RYT, Life Coach