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Is therapy for you, even when life is good?




Most often, people go to therapy when they experience some sort of distress, and usually we associate the distress with a specific issue in life, such as work stress, relationship conflicts, social anxiety, etc. However, most people tend to stay in therapy even after the initial distress has decreased. What people gain from therapy is often not just relieve from one specific issue, but more so a general personal growth and different way of being. From my observation and experience, that is one of the most important reasons to go to therapy even if you feel you don’t need it.

 

To further elaborate--as human beings, we walk in this world with our own unique lived experiences, with our unique ways of experiencing external events, with our own internalized narrative about ourselves and others. I often say that everyone has their own story about themselves and their relationship with the external world. If you observe your life closely and with curiosity, you may find certain patterns, such as "I am a people pleaser", "I am too needed", “I can’t make friends.” These stories you tell about yourself may have caused blocks, struggles and pain in life that you were not aware of—“I feel frustrated and even resentful at times when I continue to prioritize others’ preferences, but it is so hard for me to speak up for myself”, “I try to hide my needs and my feelings around people who are important to me, over time I feel more and more isolated”, “I feel anxious in social situations, so I either avoid people or I develop this persona that I think others would like better to avoid being seen as truly who I am.”

 

The stories you told yourself may not have caused immerse pain; however, it may have led to thousand papercuts in your day-to-day life—not painful enough to do something about it, but hindering you from living your life fully.

 

Therapy is a place where you have another human being who holds strong curiosity about you and the stories you told yourself. Therapists can help you listen to these stories that you were not even aware of before. They help you listen closely, reveal the emotions within these stories, and trace it back to how you learned these stories about yourself. For example: "I am a people pleaser—I don't believe my needs and wants matter as much as others’", "I am too needed—I am afraid that my needs are too much for others", “I can’t make friends—I am afraid that my true self is not good enough for anybody to like me.”

 

If you want to, and when you are ready, therapists can also help you to unlearn these old stories and create new ones that suit you better. By going back to where you have internalized these stories, you recognize what happened back then from a new perspective. By having a clear picture of your story, you start noticing them when they show up in your mind, and practicing how to not let them get into the way. By choosing and creating new stories about yourself, you learn to allow yourself to take more risks in life and live your life to the fullest.

 

You may feel stuck in a repeated fight with your romantic partner, therapy can help you find a way forward that meets your needs. You may feel isolated, therapy can help you open up to possibilities and allow others to meet your authentic self. You may feel anxious about promotion, therapy can help you find out why and move forward in your career with confidence and self-assurance. You may feel lost in life and not sure which direction to go, therapy can help you get to know your authentic wants and true passion.

 

Whether you are going through emotional turmoil, or you are just riding the small waves life throws at you, therapy is a safe place for you to get to know yourself, listen to your stories, and find a different way of being and live your life more freely. Whenever you are ready for a change, we are here ready to support you every step of the way.




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