Balance, calm, therapy, mental health

Help! I Need Therapy!

I Need Therapy!

My friend recently confessed that she felt she “must really be unstable because [she’s] starting therapy.” Laughing, I replied, “Not at all! The really unstable thing would be to know you need help and not ask for it.”

I meant it.

But that wasn’t the way I’d always felt.

Growing up, asking for help felt like a weakness to me. Clearly, I’ve evolved. Life is hard; why not get a little help? Interestingly enough, the reason I could say that to her and feel it with my whole heart is because of the role therapy has played in my life recently.

Even When You Aren’t Sure It Will Work.

My doctors and various physical, occupational, and vision therapists all told me that I needed to see a neuropsychologist after my accident. I kept putting it off.

My personal thoughts and feelings are my own, and I do not part with them all willy-nilly.

I grew up hating therapy because I was forced to go to family therapy as a child, and I despised every moment. Nearly forty years later, I can vividly remember the waiting room’s layout, the office, the therapist, the bronze coat rack, and the small collection of books in the waiting area. The thought of it makes my nauseous – really – actually nauseous. It wasn’t that I felt overlooked or dismissed. On the contrary, the therapist often asked me to assess the situation after having my divorced/divorcing parents and troubled brother speak. She liked what I had to say, but I felt stripped, naked, and vulnerable. When I was told I needed to see a therapist to help me with my concussion symptoms, I was loathed to go.

A Rough Start

“I hate therapists. I hate therapy, and I really don’t want to be here, but they told me I should, and I want to get better.” Yeah, that’s exactly what I said. I know, I’m an adult, but I figured it was best to put it right out there at the start. He laughed, so I figured he couldn’t be that bad. Reluctantly, I told him a little about why I had such a negative attitude, and he told me that I didn’t seem like the type of person who wanted to deal with nonsense, so he’d just like to help me with some tools. I was O.K. with that.

Two long years since my accident, and I still couldn’t get past certain problems, all I wanted was tools and a little direction. I had never had such a long recovery from anything, including multiple surgeries and reconstructed ankles. I was so done with not being myself.

Therapy Grew On Me

The concussion had done a number on my brain – everything was still scrambled, my temper was short, my vocabulary had changed for the worse, and I was emotional. I HATED being emotional. I even cried in front of him on more than one occasion – disgusting. But it wasn’t. Session after session, I started to take in what he had to say. I learned to give myself a break. I learned to work around my struggles instead of being tripped up by them. I learned to accept who I was now, mourn the loss of who/what I had been, and redefine who I was becoming. It worked. Not saying I don’t still feel a little crazy at times or that all my issues went away – but now I have a way to cope with my changed brain to empower me instead of crippling me.

What The Bible Says About Therapy

Therapy is a new word, so the bible doesn’t directly state anything about “therapy.” However, it does say an awful lot about counsel, good counselors, and taking advice. Proverbs repeatedly discusses good counsel and advice. Proverbs 19:20 Listen to advice and receive discipline that you may become wise by the end of your life. While we may be tempted to eschew therapy for God’s word alone, it’s important to recognize that the bible is replete with examples of those seeking counsel. Finding someone who respects your beliefs, encourages you to be your best self, and gives you the tools to help lessen our burdens and frees us to become all that God wants us to be.

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