Why I’m No Longer Skeptical About Therapy

Since I’ve started therapy 12 weeks ago, my therapist has been helping me chip away at the tall, cold stone walls I’ve built around myself to keep others — and even my own emotions — out.

It’s so much easier to keep everyone out.

I was a skeptic before I began therapy. I thought sitting down and talking about deep rooted emotional problems for an hour a week was silly. It seemed absolutely ridiculous, and although I kept an open mind I was apprehensive. Who wouldn’t be? I mean, I was about to open up to a complete stranger. I’m supposed to trust this person with my deepest and darkest secrets? I’d rather pass.

But my first session was an interesting experience. Not only did I feel immediately comfortable with the therapist, I felt like he was genuinely trying to help me. In my first session, my therapist listened intently and asked clarifying questions to make sure he understood what I was telling him. For once, someone was actually listening to me without interrupting or pre-judging me. I could see from his demeanor that he was listening and not thinking of what to say next or how to respond as many people typically do to me. Throughout our sessions, he also repeats information I’ve presented him in a different light, which almost always makes me see my problems clearer. He also gives me suggestions of things I could do between sessions to help me. He makes me believe that people do care and that together, we can reach the goal of recovery.

It was this experience that inspired me to draw two cartoons exploring how therapy has helped.

With each session my therapist is chipping away at more and more of my defensive walls. This drawing portrays that:

thereapy drawing2

In my mind, I had imagined myself as a lost person trying to find my way to recovery. My therapist was my guide to help me get there. This was how this little comic came to be:

Screen shot 2015-07-16 at 7.10.31 PM

It illustrates the struggle and subsequently the help I received. It’s my hope people who see this comic find comfort knowing there’s someone out there who’s trained to help you through your crisis. Together, you and your therapist can reach recovery. I believe that now. I know with lots of hard work, my dedicated therapist and I will reach that goal.

Since attending therapy, I’m finding I’m able to express myself more. I’m also learning more about myself and why I put up those walls in the first place. It’s been 12 weeks now, and although there have been good weeks and bad weeks, my therapist is there with me on my journey to recovery. And with his help, I’m optimistic I’ll survive all the beat-downs life is throwing at me.

For those who are also struggling with their thoughts and emotions, or who are finding life just too much to handle, I’d encourage you to seek professional help, if possible. Or, finding someone you trust who will listen without judgment can help tremendously.

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