I Wish I Knew Seeing A Therapist Didn’t Have To Suck

therapist, therapy, psychology, psychologist, depression, anxiety, counseling, counselor

Sometimes it feels like our emotions drown us; talking to someone could pull you to safety. | Source: Shutterstock

When I was 14, my parents sent me to see a therapist, and I was PISSED. “I’m not crazy,” I insisted, “and only crazy people go to therapy.” They told me that that wasn’t true and I still had to go. It wasn’t a good therapeutic experience for a variety of reasons, although not because therapy wasn’t right for me at that point in my life; I really could have used a good therapist, and I think my life would have improved had I had someone I felt comfortable talking to. But due to the poor experience, I decided I never wanted to see a therapist again.

Cut to a few years later, when I realized I was having problems and needed someone to talk to, someone who wasn’t a friend or family member, who wouldn’t judge me, and who I wouldn’t feel I was burdening with my problems. Turns out that’s exactly what a therapist is for, so I went to one. You absolutely don’t have to be “crazy” to see a therapist, and the VAST majority of people who go to therapy aren’t wearing tinfoil hats or convinced that traffic lights talk to them. They’re average people, like you and me, only something’s happened in their lives that they can’t quite handle on their own, and they need someone to talk to.

There are about a billion situations in which therapy can be helpful, including ones many of us go through: depression, anxiety, the death of a loved one, moving, school stress, rough relationships with family members, sexual identity issues, dealing with parents’ divorce or remarriage, and also things like eating disorders, self harm, sexual assault, chronic illness, or experiencing something traumatic. Some people think it’s weird to go and talk to someone you don’t know, but I think in some ways, it’s almost easier: this is someone you go to just to talk, and they’re 100% there to listen to and support YOU. You don’t see this person in class or at family gatherings, and due to therapist-client confidentiality, even if you’re a minor and your parent takes you to every appointment, your therapist still can’t repeat what you’ve said, unless you or someone else is in danger (so stuff like you and your sweetie fooling around or your ditching class isn’t gonna make it outside the therapist’s door. Your therapist might tell your parent or guardian something – or have you do it in session – if there’s a concern you may be in serious trouble, like if you’re about to run away, or you’ve started drinking a LOT).

anxiety, depression, therapy, therapist, psychology, psychologist, counselor, counseling

Going to therapy can help you feel a lot better. | Source: Shutterstock

It’s totally okay to come to the conclusion on your own that yeah, going to a therapist might be a good idea; it shows you value yourself enough to ask for help, and that’s a brave thing to do. Even if you don’t have health insurance, there are still programs where young people can see a therapist for free, or very inexpensively (ask your school counselor; for those of you in college/university, your school should have a counseling center). It’s really important to find someone you feel comfortable opening up to, so think about if you might feel better with one gender or race than another, and if the age of the therapist matters to you. Make sure you find one who specializes in your age group and/or problem.

Getting help is a great thing, and I wish I’d known to ask for a different therapist when I was 14; it might’ve made a big difference. I’m glad I know the benefits of therapy now and I’m not afraid to get help if I need it.

Have you ever thought about seeing a therapist? If you’ve seen a therapist, was it helpful? Tell us about it in the comments!

Feeling Down? You’re NOT Alone

Catch Us On The Tweet Side

Posted in: Health Facts
Tags: , , , , , , ,
  • Mimi Donohye

    When I didn’t connect with my theripist at all and I always felt judged and uncomfortable
    and I was afraid to change but don’t feel scared cause this is your problem your dealing with

  • 1has2shop

    I have therapy, I felt bad at the beginning but as it progressed I did feel a lot better

  • misslmh11

    I was sexually assualted when I was 16, but I didn’t really except what happened until I was a freshman in college. I usually don’t like asking people for help, but my mom suggested that I talk to someone about what happened and I decided that seeing a therapist was the right thing to do. I will admit, sometimes it was really hard. I didn’t like having all of my feelings being put out on the table and having to face them once a week, but I had to work through them. My therapist is so knowledgeable and trained that she picks out my behaviors and evaluates them in a way that I could never do for myself! Going to therapy was one of the best things that I’ve ever done for myself. Without it I probably wouldn’t be on the road to recovery right now.

  • SpontaneousGurl

    School councillor count? i had one of those and i wanted to be there.Theyre not so bad. i thank my councillor she helped me lots.

    • Leigh

      Thats not a therapist. Its a concilour.

      • Amy Kaufman

        School counselors sometimes take a therapist role, though, and take some classes in performing therapy. You got help, and that’s the only thing that matters.