For many of us, the idea of talking freely to another person without fear of judgement is non existent.
If our heartache involves a friend or relative, we don’t believe we can talk to them about it.
If we are ashamed of our worry or we fear that our story is dumb, we won’t seek out a friend.
For all those folks out there who don’t have the safety of a quiet place where you can speak freely, therapy may be a good option.
One of the myths about therapy is that it is a place to get advice. Not so.
Certainly where safety is an issue, a good therapist will be more directive. Yet most often the therapy process is one of creating safety and building trust. None of us can spill our guts to just anyone nor should we. I often say everyone doesn’t deserve to know our secrets. We need to feel safe to share our hearts.
After safety is established, the therapy process involves sharing, examining, challenging, listening, uncovering.
There is something miraculous about hearing ourselves think aloud. So often clients will exclaim,“ I didn’t realize I felt that way after a new insight emerges.”
As a therapist of many years, I am known for my questions. Asking the right question at the right time and within the trusting relationship can be life changing. But the right question can only come after acceptance, intentional listening, empathy for the client’s frame of reference.
So I would urge any readers out there who have thought about counseling but are unsure, give it a try. Find a safe place with a safe person. If you are worried that you won’t find a good one, ask a trusted friend if they have a recommendation. Your pastor or your doctor probably have names. Insurance companies have lists.
Then you have to be brave and call a few. Leave a message. Most therapists in Ventura are solo practitioners and are their own secretary. Be patient. See how it feels to talk to them.
Unless it’s a good fit, the time spent won’t be therapeutic. Ask your self this question,” Could I eventually tell this person what is bothering me?” “Do I feel accepted or judged?” If the answer is no, move on. Call another. It is very important that you find the right one for you.
I am happy to take your call and will give you excellent referrals if I am not the one for you.
Be brave. Make the decision to self examine with a trustworthy therapist. You will grow from it.