For years I reluctantly took expensive medication and tried my best to cope with life. And this while I actually was quite aware of how valuable theraphy can be in a situation like mine. But while I hated taking the pills, the idea of being in therapy was worse for me. That was a good twenty years ago. I have come a long way since then. But I still suspect that people (in my country at least) still find it easier to take medication than to go for counselling. We live in a society where there is a pill for every pain, and we have been conditioned to expect healing of every ailment by simply taking medication.
The result (remember, this is my personal opinion!) is lots op people living like I have done – take the pills, try to cope with life – without experiencing any emotional growth, without learning anything about their condition or about life.
When at last I saw a therapist, I went with my dear husband. Mistake. Not his fault in any way, but simply because I found it extremely difficult to talk freely in his presence. The second problem was that I did not connect with the therapist at all. From this I learnt two lessons. Firstly: Find out which way works for you – alone or with your spouse. Secondly: Search till you find a therapist with whom you have a connection. Somebody with whom you feel comfortable and who makes you feel accepted and understood. Personally I cannot connect with a male therapist. For you it might be different.
The big danger (in my opinion!) is that people often expect the therapist to make everything right, to tell you exactly what you must do to solve all your problems. In other words, people see therapy just as another quick fix. THERAPY DOES NOT WORK LIKE THIS. Therapists do not have solutions to all our problems. They have been trained to help you open up in an atmosphere of acceptance and the talking is which make you better. They are NOT trained to give you a quick fix. THERE IS NO QUICK FIX FOR MOST HUMAN PROBLEMS. A therapist can lead you to discovering what you can work at and how you can change your way of living. Later in the process they would maybe give you a few practical pointers, but the person who must do the hard work, is the client. This can only work once the client have realized what he himself can do to make his life (and thus the depression) better.
And this brings me to the point I keep hammering on: The taking of responsibility for yourself. Only when we recognoze the opportunities to learn and to grow, things can start getting better for us. And even then it will take time. The hard thing is that problems which have taken years and years to develop, cannot be fixed in a week or two.
When we accept these facts, we can take the first step on a wonderful road to emotional growth, a road to adulthood (yes, although we may not be young anymore), of learning to know and understand ourselves, of developing empathy and acceptance for yourself, getting to know our own strong and weak points.
For me the first visit to a therapist with whom I could connect, was the first (painful) step on the (very long) road to recovery. With time it became easier to go back when I had trouble in a specific situation or found it difficult to learn a new emotional skill. Of course now going for therapy is much more accepted than twenty years ago. Fewer people find it strange that you may want to consult a specialist when you have trouble in a certain area of your life.
Yes, of course therapist don’t come cheap. But for me it has been more than worth the money.
My fist session with a therapist was a breakthrough, the start of a new, positive road to a better life. It can be the same for you.