Just Do You

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    December 2010
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The Case for Therapy

Posted by georgiannasaysjustdoyou on December 15, 2010

‘Tis the season…for many folks, it is the season that brings on a lot of sadness.  I am going to share my own case for why therapy can be good for you.  You don’t have to wait until you are in a sad place.  There is still some stigma attached to therapy, though thankfully, it is not what it used to be.  I have no problem saying that I have a therapist.

Still, periodically, I will hear, “why do you need a therapist?”  Do I need to have a specific reason?  And if I did, would I just randomly share it with everyone?  It’s one thing to say I have a therapist, it’s another to discuss the details.  But ultimately the purpose is good mental health, better coping skills.

I was explaining to my young daughter about therapy.  That discussion prompted me to share with you.  I periodically put a plug in for therapy, but I haven’t really said why.  So this is the story I told her:

Imagine you are swimming in the ocean.  Before you know it, you are out further than you planned.  The water is very deep and there is no one around.  You are not tired yet, and you can probably make it back to shore, but you start to get stressed.  The more you think about it, the more stressed you get.  You know you need to get to shore, but your panic is taking over rational thought.  You can’t think clearly.  So your options?  Well, sinking and drowning just doesn’t sound like a feasible option. You are not tired yet, so potentially you could just stay where you are until you figure it out…but cross your fingers that you don’t get so tired that you won’t be able to swim back if that is what you want to do.  [Here my daughter inserts…”and the sharks could come to get you”] – indeed they could.  So you need a plan.  You need to figure out how to deal with the stress.  In other words, you need to get a grip.

This is where your therapist comes in.  If you have no real swimming history and no knowledge of the ocean currents, then you are really just guessing.  Could you make it on your own?  Sure.  But why are you going sideways as you are trying to swim in a straight line?

Why risk it?  A therapist can tell you that you can float with the current, or doggy paddle, or swim under water, or swim doing the back stroke.  A therapist can advise you how often you might want to break so that you have the strength to swim the distance.  No one says you have to make it all the way in one try.

So if doing nothing is not an option and you have to get to shore, it’s nice to know your options so you can get there.  And the next time you take that swim, your therapist will know and might even be around to throw you a life preserver.

Therapy may not be for everybody, but I would rather not wait for a crisis to decide I need the tools to manage difficult situations.  Life is hard.  You are not alone.

I don’t have the answers, but I always have thoughts.  Won’t you share yours?



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