Even more than your best friend, a therapist will tell you like it is — and you'll love him for it.
"But, I'm not crazy. How can you help me if you're a therapist?"
I get asked this question all the time. I don't know where the idea started that you have to be losing your mind to go to therapy (although you can be), but you don't have to be.
Here are three reasons why a therapist, or what some call a personal development coach, can help you in your day-to-day life and why it's even better to see someone when there isn't a crisis going on.
1. A therapist can help solve your problems without bias.
Many times, we can't see outside our own problems. Things that are small seem big and things that could have bigger implications seem small.
When we go to a friend, they either tell us what we want to hear or give advice that's bias, based on their own experiences or what they know of your experiences.
For example, that friend who has been burned by too many men and hates all men may tell you to "just ditch him," during a small argument.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, there's that friend who always tells you to stick things out because when she was little, that's what her parents told her.
A therapist has no bias. A therapist helps you dissect your problem and figure out how to solve it without judgment. A therapist wants what is best for you. A therapist will help you look at all parts of the problem and figure out the best solution for you, not anyone else.
2. A therapist can hold you accountable for your goals.
When a client decides on a goal, I bring it up every single week.
Ultimately, no one knows what you do on a day-to-day basis besides you. However, having a weekly meeting with a therapist can help hold you accountable to the things that you want to accomplish.
This is one of the areas where I believe that a therapist is responsible to kick your ass. Yes, I said it. A therapist or coach or whatever you want to call the person you see on a weekly basis can kick your ass.
A therapist can help you handle emotions from relationships, work, oror school, even if they aren't life changing.
We all go through stuff. It's just part of life. There is always going to be that one person at work that drives you insane, the boss that is breathing down your throat, the friend you can't get rid of, the partner that is making you nuts, the mom that won't stop asking you when the grandkids are coming ... these things suck.
They are annoying. Sometimes all of those emotions we feel from these seemingly insignificant things add up and it makes us boil over.
It may not be a life-changing event or a trauma, but it still matters. A therapist can help you work through this.
3. A therapist can provide you with a safe space without judgment.
During the first session I have with any new client, I explain that my office is a big trash can for them to word vomit into and leave it for me to clean up. I usually get a laugh, sometimes a tear, but always a head nod.
Sometimes we just need to get stuff out of our system. Shit happens. We want to vent about it without feeling judged. That's what a therapy office can be used for. I had one client that came in every week and talked for the entire 50-minute session. I barely got a word in.
After seeing her for eight months, she thanked me. I felt like I had not done anything to help her. So, I asked her, "Can I ask what you've been getting out of coming here every week?" She answered, "You listen. Thank you."
I hope to see all of you in my therapy office soon. OK, not all of you. But, I hope you find a therapist that allows you these freedoms and a sanctuary to be yourself, and work through your own shit. Therapy on.