I’ve been going to therapy once per week for about a year now. It’s the first time I’ve been consistent about it, and the first time I’ve developed a real connection with a therapist.
The other day, my dad asked me if my anxiety was better. I told him that’s not really how it works. “So, what’s the point?” He asked.
I admittedly thought that therapy would be more of a “cure,” too. It turns out I still have anxiety—a lot of it.
But, I truly believe that I’ve become a more mature, introspective person. My problem-solving skills have improved, as has my ability to view things from different perspectives. That means I’m better equipped to understand others, too.
It hasn’t been easy. Therapy takes time, effort and energy. It can be emotionally draining at times. But has it been worth it? Absolutely.
Here are the top three things I’ve learned in therapy:
- Self Awareness
The biggest benefit consistent therapy has given me is self awareness. I’ve learned how to recognize patterns in my thoughts and behavior—and, at times, to question them. Over the past year, I’ve discovered where pieces of my personality have originated from.
- Feelings Are Not Facts
It may sound obvious, but just because you feel something doesn’t mean it’s the truth. Your feelings are valid, of course, but they don’t always paint a picture of reality. I’ve gotten better at stopping myself and saying, “this is how you feel, not how things are.”
- Acceptance—Self and Otherwise
I’ve learned that while my original goal was to change, I don’t necessarily need to. I should stay open-minded and curious, but the goal doesn’t need to be to get rid of the things that make me…me. I’m also learning that I can’t change other people—and I should stop exerting so much energy to try to.
Are you in therapy? What has it taught you? I’d love to hear!