Finding the perfect therapist is like finding the missing piece of a puzzle. And for that, we may have to go through a few misfitting pieces to find the one that is just right. The number of times I've noticed red flags from peoples’ stories about their therapists is something I cannot even keep tabs on anymore!
For a lot of people, to gain the courage to even start therapy is a huge deal! Therapists hold this kind of privilege where what they say is like a bible for the client. The hurt that a therapist can cause to the client is only so huge because it takes really long for a person to open up to someone and be vulnerable. For example, I’ve heard so many individuals' stories about therapy where they felt invalidated, gaslit, misinformed about a diagnosis, judged for their choices, and even questioned about their identity!
Now, if I was in any of these scenarios, I too would want to run as far (and fast) as I can from therapy. Feeling like that is valid! It takes a lot to open up and try out therapy again. Losing hope on therapy or getting help for your mental health is valid.
So until we feel comfortable again to open up to someone, what can we do?
- Try taking a break! Even if it is an hour from your day or a weekend away. Do something which is purely for you, where you take care of your needs.
- Join a support group! Meet others who may have similar lived experiences as you do, hear their experiences and if you’re comfortable, share how you feel!
Journal! If you’re a person who loves writing, try penning down your feelings about therapy, what you want to look for and what your expectations are when you start again.
- Listen to a podcast about mental health or guided meditations.
Don't feel scared of giving your therapist feedback. They won't know what's working for you and what isn’t. State what hurt you or things you didn't understand.
Don't feel like you always have to listen to them. One thing we always think is ‘oh I'm sure if my therapist said this, it has to make sense’. NO? You have to feel comfortable with the process and accept things only if they make sense to you.
Just know that you’re not alone and it's okay to take a break from therapy.
But when you’re ready - give the next puzzle piece a chance!
Shipra's main areas of focus are the connections between the body and mind. She uses a trauma-informed & needs-based approach to counselling. Shipra believes in always trying to create a healthy balance between work and life.
She also loves sunsets, beaches, kittens, chai and cooking. Growing plants is her form of grounding, and she’s found to resort to Disney or the Mamma Mia soundtrack when everything else is spiralling.