Updated: Sep 3, 2021
You have the power…from within
Therapy is a journey, but rarely is the path to wellness a straight line.
Therapy can be hard work, and the road to reaching mental and emotional well-being can sometimes be frustrating, especially when we feel like our therapists aren’t helping us along the path fast enough.
There is no one-size, fits-all solution and your mental health provider is there to assist you on your specific journey and sometimes that means pushing you beyond your limits even when it’s uncomfortable.
Here are some specific things your therapist may say, all of which are encouraging you to reflect, rethink and reset as you navigate your own path.
“You can’t run away from how you feel.”
Let’s face it, as humans we all have a tendency to avoid what is unpleasant to us, and that means avoiding difficult emotions. Therapy offers an opportunity to take a deep dive into your feelings and really reflect. Bottling up emotions may seem easier in the short term, but it is holding you back. Facing emotions head on, processing them, and gaining an understanding of how you’re feeling can increase your coping skills and resiliency, even when those feelings are uncomfortable. Especially if they’re uncomfortable.
“Replace ‘should’ with ‘want to’”
Our propensity to think of the endless lists of what we “should” do can lead us down a path of self-doubt and self-criticism. Your therapist is there to help you navigate these self-sabotaging thoughts and replace the criticism with self-kindness and compassion. Being kind to ourselves helps keep us motivated to act, whereas being hard on ourselves feeds those feelings of not being good enough. As you start to develop your self-compassion skills, your ability to tap your inner motivation may surprise you.
“What feels right to you?”
Many therapy clients are looking for straight-up answers to all their problems. Your therapist does not to provide you with their answers, but helps you discover your own. Your therapist’s holding back is essential to engaging you in your process of self-discovery and their goal is to ensure that you can independently reach your best decisions for yourself. That’s one of the most crucial parts of the healing process.
“Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real”
Maybe your therapist has said that to you? Or you’ve read it somewhere? What it means is that both fear and anxiety are emotions – not facts. Because you feel something intensely, it does not necessarily mean that the thought driving the emotion it is true. In times of fear and anxiety, it is helpful to remind yourself that these emotional moments are your mind’s way of shouting out to you and so you can take a deep breath and re-evaluate.
The next time your therapist repeats any of these phrases, you can be confident that they are encouraging you to be your own healer and that with their help and some self-reflection, you can overcome what is causing you pain and start thriving.