Therapy Is One Of The Best Things I've Done For Myself Because I Know Myself Better

Therapy Is One Of The Best Things I've Done For Myself Because I Know Myself Better

It was hard at first, but I am glad I kept going.
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I started seeing a therapist almost three years ago. At that time I was ashamed to tell anyone because seeing a therapist comes with the idea that you have to have something wrong with you. You have to be crazy or you have had to lose your ability to function as a normal human being to see a therapist. But now, three years and three therapists later, I strongly believe everyone should see a therapist.

I have been told, many many times, by a few people that they have tried to see a therapist and that it didn't work out. That they did not feel comfortable, that it wasn't for them, or that they cannot open up. It doesn't always work out the first time you go, especially when the therapist is unfit for you or vice versa, and you are going in with the mindset that you can be or need to be "fixed". My first time seeing a therapist was an absolute joke. I left wondering, "why the hell did I even go?" She was completely unfit for me. She didn't take anything I said seriously, she even made me question if I actually struggled with anything. So a friend of mine recommended I see her therapist, who was also unfit for me. And now, I have been seeing a therapist, who is a man, for a little over two years. The idea of seeing a therapist that is a man is the same "no" your gynecologist is a man. But experiencing them both, I prefer a man. So, I saw it like possibly having a male gynecologist - scary, unsympathetic, and incapable of relating to me in any way. But I was completely wrong.

We already have learned to vent to those around us. We seek advice and comfort from those closest to us and those we assume know us best. We look for others to make decisions for us or to tell us what we should and should not do. We already subconsciously "see" a therapist, but in this case, our friends and family know our personal lives. This causes many problems with relationships. Sometimes when you vent to someone that cares about you or that you trust, their bias opinion about you and what you have been through can seem unfair to you. Understand your friends and family want what is best for you, but they will allow their opinions to come before helpful advice.

And before you see a therapist, you need to keep in mind that it isn't their job to give you advice. That is one thing I struggled with for the first year is understanding that I am not going in there for advice, I am going in their for guidance. That is what a therapist is there for, guidance. To ask you what you think is right and wrong and to show you in ways that you have progressed or regressed. Things your friends and family cannot do for you.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love venting to my friends and family. I love that there are people that I am close to that have been where I am or understand what I am going through, but no matter how much comfort in that I try to look for, nothing compares than sitting in a room with my therapist for an hour and talking about what has been going on in my life since the last session. There is nothing I look forward to more, as sad as that is.

My therapist knows what I need him to know and sometimes I withhold things I shouldn't, but he doesn't ask anything extra of me. When I tell him that I kept something from him he doesn't react in any kind of way that makes me feel like a bad person. I can sit in front of him and cry for a whole hour and not feel judged. Not that I feel judged by my friends, but I feel comfortable. Comfortable that someone is listening to me and not expecting anything else from me. Not only that, but I trust him. Besides it being unethical if he shared my information with anyone outside of his practice, I trust him as an individual. I trust that my information isn't going anywhere and I am not being looked at any differently when telling him anything that is going on.

Although your therapist isn't your friend or doesn't need to be your friend, they are needed. They aren't there to pick sides or give you advice. They aren't there to tell you what to do and they're not there to fix you or your problems. They are simply there to guide you. It is easily one of the best things I have done for myself.

I have something to look forward to and someone I know I can talk to about any and everything. He doesn't make me feel small, he doesn't instill worry in my mind that I am wrong or silly to be upset, and he doesn't make me feel bad about the things I have done. He helps me stay rational when I am being irrational. And although I don't believe that you have to be struggling with anything to see a therapist, I think everyone would benefit from seeing one.

Cover Image Credit: Naomi Hebert

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Customer Service Expert, Gary Brewster of Oneida Provides Tips for Displaying Appreciation to Your Customers

By taking a more direct and proactive approach to managing your customers, you can open up a new avenue of success for your business.

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Customer relationships are a core part of your business success. Many businesses that outperform their competitors are just more responsive in this area. By taking a more direct and proactive approach to managing your customers, you can open up a new avenue of success for your business. How can you display genuine appreciation to them? Here are tips and practices from customer service expert and accomplished entrepreneur, Gary Brewster in Oneida, Tennessee that you can adopt.

Event Sponsorship

There are many small signs of appreciation you can show to customers, but hosting an event provides significant evidence to customers that your business genuinely acknowledges and cares for their support. With these events, you can treat customers as guests - which can be a great way to elevate your relationship with them. After these events, you can follow-up with your customers, build upon that relationship, and gain additional insights into their expectations.

Customized Products and Services

Customers will be pleasantly surprised to see products specifically catered to their preferences. This shows that you do respond to their feedback and are appreciative of the information they provide. Also, you are reinforcing the fact that your business firmly puts a priority on their needs and is committed to elevating their experience. You can personalize your products through a couple of means, including offering them in certain colors, modifications, labels, and more.

Use Handwritten Notes

A handwritten note is one of the best ways to convey authenticity in your messages. When you use this medium for sending messages of appreciation to your customers, it generates a more positive response. In a world saturated with emails, social media messages, and mobile text, a handwritten letter can stand out. You can work with your team in organizing a schedule where customers are sent handwritten notes. These can especially work great for the holiday season as customers are more receptive to goodwill messages during this time.

Develop a Loyalty Program

While your business benefits form loyalty programs, they also make the customer feel more appreciated. For your most consistent customers, you are sending the message to them that their loyalty has not gone unnoticed and that you are truly grateful. When repeat business is rewarded, the long-term benefits will be valuable. Instead of merely creating a loyalty program from scratch, consider doing research and recognize specific purchasing patterns within your customer base. You can then highlight certain products they favor and make that the focal point of your loyalty program.

When it comes to maintaining a high standard of customer service, communication and goodwill are valuable. Showing appreciation to your customers is more than simply communicating with them, but also conveying a general sense of commitment to their needs. Your business stands to gain immensely by developing this unique approach to customer service. Consider adding more of these elements as you build your customer service strategy with your team.


About Gary Brewster:

Gary Brewster in Oneida, Tennessee is an entrepreneur and commercial roofing expert. Driven by building excellent relationships, he takes pride in providing the best customer service possible. As a business owner, his goals include delivering exceptional service, solving complex problems, and giving back to the community. Outside of the office, Gary enjoys spending time on his family farm with his wife, children, and grandchildren.


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My Hometown Just Experienced A Mass Shooting, If We Don't Do Something, Yours Could Be Next

You never think it will happen to you until it does.

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I was on my way out the door to work when I got a panicked call from my mother.

"Can you look at the news online?" she said quickly. "There is a mass shooting somewhere nearby."

My heart stopped. For me, Aurora, Illinois is home. I was born there, I grew up around the area and I attended high school there. My siblings go to school close by and my boyfriend works for a neighboring fire department.

How could my beloved hometown become the victim of the latest tragedy?

After calling my boyfriend, who was at the fire station getting ready to deploy ambulances to the scene, I discovered that it had taken place at a factory nearby. My anxiety hit an all-time high as I watched the updates on all of the local city Facebook pages and groups. Officers down. Gunman at large. Mass casualties.

Hours later, all of the facts came out. A former employee of Henry Pratt's Company, a local industrial warehouse, had recently been let go and decided to get revenge. He entered the warehouse with a gun and began to shoot at random, killing five people and wounding many others, including five police officers. He was killed by local SWAT forces.

I am the kind of person who is pro-gun and pro-gun rights because of the second amendment and all of the freedoms I believe we deserve. But that doesn't make what happened okay and it never will.

While this situation doesn't change my mind, it does change my view of the world.

Why would somebody decide that shooting former coworkers was the way to go? Why would anyone want to hurt others? These are the questions that flooded my mind in the hours after the mass shooting. I don't necessarily think we have a gun issue in America, but issues with mental health and valuing life.

We pass bills to kill unborn children. We repeal bills that take away healthcare from million. We devalue life in its most basic form and respect those around us to still have enough respect for each other's lives. We stigmatize those who need psychiatric care and expect things to still be alright.

This is not alright.

Our country, our system, our values, and morals, they are all broken and backward. We have let mass shootings become normal and violence becomes accepted. It needs to be stopped. There needs to be a change.

One of the people killed was an intern from a local college during his first day on the job. Being a college student applying to internships myself, this hit far too close to home. Nobody deserves to die, least of all in their place of work while trying to further their career.

Five people lost their lives due to someone's disrespect of them. Yes, a gun was the weapon, but a mind was the actor. I pray that someday, our country will return to valuing life and respecting others enough to help them instead of pushing them away. This is not the first mass shooting, but it can be the last. If, and only if, we make sure of it.

If you want to help the victim's families in any way, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help with funeral expenses

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