28 Nov What actually happens at therapy?
For some, there is an air of mystery to therapy. There can be confusion about what the process is and the expected outcomes of therapy. What will the room be like? What will the therapist expect from me? Will they sit me down and demand to know the ins and the outs of my year in kindy? It can be daunting and enough to put some people off the process altogether.
Whilst I can’t tell you exactly what your personal journey will be, I can help offer you some insights into what will and won’t happen.
So, how about I shine some light on it for you? At least in relation to what will happen if you come to see me!
What we will do;
- We will meet in my office and you will sit wherever you want (including on the lovely green rocking chair). We will connect and converse for 60 minutes. The first few minutes of which will be completing the necessary paperwork.
- We will explore what you say is challenging you right now. I will give you space to feel and speak freely without judgement in a safe place. At times I may reflect on what I have heard. You are not connected to me outside of this relationship and I have no expectations of you. That alone can be extremely therapeutic.
- We will explore your emotional connections to what is happening for you right now. How does it feel for you to be going through what you are going through?
- We will explore how your beliefs and attitudes have come to be. This can often be through exploring your past experiences and relationships.
- We will acknowledge and give space for you to truly feel and experience all your internal world. Including the ‘stuff’ you want to ignore or marginalize.
- We will then integrate what you discover about yourself and your attitudes and feelings into your life using strategies that I will work through with you.
What we won’t do;
- We won’t go further than you feel you can. You will always be in control of where our conversation goes and when. That said, I may sometimes encourage you to explore things that are uncomfortable, but only with your permission.
- We won’t relive traumatic experiences in detail, unless you express that this is what you want. And if we do this, it will be after we have worked on strategies and techniques for how to keep you feeling safe and supported in doing so.
- I won’t constantly repeat back to you what you have just said. I may often reframe or reflect but I promise I won’t be a parrot 😉
Everyone’s experience of therapy is so unique, no one can really tell you what to expect. There are likely to be times when what is being explored brings big emotions and sometimes, they may not be welcome or timely. You may end up thinking, it was better left under the rug. But, processing life events and how you feel about them, and recognizing how they have shaped your attitudes and relationships is, in the long term, going to be helpful to you and those around you.