Making the decision to see a therapist isn’t always an easy one. From choosing a therapist, to the feelings of fear and anticipation that build-up prior to your first session, to the uncertainty that exists about the journey you’re about to take, you may find you have so many different emotions popping up that you don’t actually know how you feel!
However, most of those fears and uncertainties are answered within 15-minutes of your first counseling session. And once you begin to connect with your counselor—once you start identifying and addressing the sources of your stress, sadness, anxiety or depression—life can change in the most beautiful ways.
Here are 6 unexpected ways your life may change after you begin counseling:
You’ll begin to “see beyond” the surface.
Counseling challenges you to dig deep into your psyche and spend time talking about you, your fears, your anxieties, and your struggles. You’ll begin to recognize patterns of behavior, and define the stories that have shaped you into the person you are. As you get deeper into the therapeutic process, chances are you’ll begin looking deeper into the events of your everyday life, examining the impact they may have on your personal development or identifying your own role in the way your day-to-day life unfolds.
You might start “zoning out.”
Therapy has a tendency to make people more reflective about their lives, and everything in them. Your therapist will ask a lot of open-ended questions to catalyze self-curiosity and awareness…and you may begin to ask yourself those very same questions about the relationships you engage in, the conversations you have, and the choices you make. Don’t be alarmed if you get lost in a reflective conversation with yourself from time to time—it’s normal!
The way you “fit in” with other people may change.
Before beginning therapy, chances are you made yourself think, speak and act a certain way in order to fit in with those around you. However, therapy works to reshape you in ways that serve your life…not anybody else’s. If your family, friends, and colleagues are emotionally mature and intelligent, your transformation will likely be well-received. However, you’ll soon find that some people will resist the changes within you—and that’s okay. It’s not your job to make sure everyone likes you. It is your job to make sure you’re the best version of yourself.
Destructive behavioral patterns will be easier to identify…in others.
Let us preface this by saying (1) you cannot control the behaviors of others and (2) being in therapy in no way entitles you to cast judgement on others. That being said, so many of the destructive behaviors we adopt have been passed down to us by previous generations of family members. Once you identify those behaviors in yourself with the support of a therapist, you’ll undoubtedly begin to see those behaviors as they manifest in your family members. But here’s the amazing thing: you can be the person who stops that behavior from begin passed down to future generations!
You’ll begin to label your emotions.
Working with a therapist will teach you a lot about your feelings—for example, not every feeling is simply sadness or anger or happiness or fear. There are dozens of emotional nuances, and coming to understand those nuances will give you a stronger grasp on how to navigate your emotions in your everyday life.
You’ll have a lot of questions…and possibly fewer answers.
Diving into your past and figuring out why you act the way you do under certain circumstances will, of course, answer a lot of the questions. It makes sense that the more you learn about yourself, the more curious you’ll become, and the more questions you’ll have. Some of those questions you’ll be able to answer while other questions you either can’t answer or aren’t ready to explore. And that’s okay. Self-curiosity is still a healthy part of the therapeutic process!
Working with a qualified therapist can reap huge rewards in your life. Sometimes, just exploring and talking about the circumstances in your life can be enlightening enough, not the mention the fact that your therapist will ask questions to guide you along a path of vibrant self-discovery. Your inner thought patterns will begin the change, as will your outer behaviors. In the end, therapy helps people discover and develop their greatest self, substituting destructive patterns for productive ones, and tackling life with a healthier emotional and mental capacity.
Contact Creative Counseling Center
Whether you are in the process of finding a therapist, or already have a therapist but feel you’re not connecting and making progress, Creative Counseling Center is happy to offer a free phone consultation to all new patients. Let us know what you’re struggling with, and what your goals are. We can partner you with a member of our therapeutic team best equipped to support you and get you started on your journey towards self-discovery and transformation.