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13 People Who've Gone to Therapy Share Their Unexpected Results

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If you haven’t been to therapy before, seeking help can seem like a daunting task. Sharing your innermost thoughts and feelings with a stranger might be scary, and, at first, it might be difficult to see how doing so would even make a difference. But therapy can have some amazing benefits. Verbally expressing how you feel can be cathartic, and getting another person’s perspective — especially someone trained to listen to you as well as provide support and guidance — can be enlightening.

But these are the generalized, well-publicized benefits you can read about on a pamphlet in the waiting room at the doctor’s office. We wanted to hear about some of the less publicized outcomes of therapy from people who experience it. The Mighty and Mental Health America asked our readers to share an unexpected result of going to therapy. If you’ve been on the fence about seeing a therapist, maybe these responses will help you decide if it’s right for you.

Here are some of the responses we received:

1. “[I’ve felt] empowered by therapists who talk about my behavior like I’m a person and not like I’m a case study.” — Anna Williams

2. “[I finally understand] that it’s not my fault because for so long I didn’t understand that.” — Melissa Cote

3. “Prolonged exposure has turned my nightmares back to memories that don’t have power over me.” — Shari Brown


4. “[I’m] finally really hearing that I’m a good person and that I have worth.” — Joy Sexton

5. “It gets much worse before it gets better, but it’s worth it.” — Riley McLane

6. “A good therapist can help you think about how to help fix a problem yourself, and if you can’t, to cope with the situation in a healthy way.” — April Power

7. “I didn’t expect to learn so much. I didn’t just learn what to do and how to do it, I learned why the techniques I learned were so helpful. I feel like I understand so much more about people in general, not just those who share my challenges. It was so eye-opening for me and one of the most constructive experiences of my life.” — Teri Todd


8. “[I gained] confidence in myself that I didn’t know I’d lost. After therapy, I gained back the ‘I can do this’ attitude.” — Alisha Babypandabear

9. “I look forward to it every week!” — Mary Naso

10. “Unconditional acceptance.” — John Goodman

11. “I have a greater understanding of a variety of mental illnesses and a deeper compassion for those who live with them.” — Lana Koch Schultz


12. “I learned that no one therapist is right or has all the right responses. It takes time. It takes learning and then applying what you’ve learned to what you know about yourself.” — Kathy Sheridan

13. “My therapist doesn’t think I’m crazy or too young to be feeling the way I feel. And my family and friends have encouraged me to continue going instead of making fun of me for it!” — Niki Lohr


Please visit Mental Health America for more information on various mental health treatments, including therapy.

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Originally published: June 3, 2015
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