So I know some people think therapy is BS and question why you should pay someone to complain about your problems when you can do that for free with your friends. Welp, I’m here to tell you that THE RIGHT therapist can be a godsend and can really help to get you all the way together. It may take some time to get to that point where you feel “delivert” but if you work it, it’ll happen.
(side note: conversion therapies don’t work and are a form of abuse. Seek out a therapist who works w/ lgbtq+ folx)
So I’m gonna give you 7 reasons you, yes YOU, should see a therapist. I’ll preface the list by saying a few things: a) therapy isn’t magic or a miracle, b) therapy isn’t something you have to commit to for the rest of your life, c) don’t waste anyone’s time by going if you’re not at least kinda ready to unpack some of your ish, and d) therapists aren’t mind-readers (though we can be pretty gifted ) so being honest and open is crucial to the process. Ok, now that we got that out of the way, check out the list below:
Because you got issues
- Yep, you have issues! We all do so there’s no shade at all here. We all have some things we could work on, some things in our past, some things in our present, some things we need to work through & unpack. It’s part of being human and it’s definitely part of being in relationships with other people. If you think you don’t have issues, then… that’s an issue & you should see somebody about that
Because your family got issues
- My specific training as a family therapist deals a lot with family of origin baggage. We refer to it sometimes as FOO. All families have issues and sometimes those things are openly discussed while others are hiding in the shadows. You may have some questions from when you were a child, you may have experienced some not-so-good stuff when you were younger, maybe there’s some relationship challenges, maybe you found out after your loss that many of the other women in your family also have lost children but never talked about it. Regardless of what it is, a good therapist (I’m biased towards family therapists) will know how to help you unpack some of that FOO drama and help you sort out what you want to take with you moving forward, and what you may want to leave behind.
(leave it to Mary to help us all through the pain…)
Because you experienced one hell of a trauma
- I personally believe that all loss is a form of trauma. Sometimes it feels like little-t trauma and sometimes it feels like big-T Trauma. I count perinatal loss as big-T Trauma because, well it just is IMO. You experienced something really, really challenging and whether you found my blog through google or bing, or through an online support group, you felt the need to seek out help for how you were feeling. You needed to find someone talking about your story or something similar so you didn’t feel so alone. Finding a therapist who specializes in grief & loss as well as infertility or fertility challenges could be extremely beneficial as you go through this healing journey. Support groups are great, blogs are great, but there’s nothing like 1:1 therapy to really centralize your healing.
Because there are some ways you’re aware of, that you are getting in your own way
- Seriously ask yourself, “am I getting in my own way?” If your answer is yes, ask yourself how. Again, there’s no shade thrown at all by this call out. I’m really just keeping it real about the ways in which we all can get in our own way. Sometimes it’s in the way of our healing or our growth or our independence or our success. There are things we all do that support our stated goals, and things we do to sabotage it. Usually, you know of at least 1-3 things you’re doing that are keeping you stuck.
Because there are some ways you have no idea about, where you are getting in your own way
- Related to the last point, there may be some things you’re doing that you have no idea about. These are usually unconscious patterns of behavior in relation to others or within self but they’re there. Working with a good therapist can really help you identify where some of those blind spots might be and when that happens
Because you could benefit from some unbiased, unaffiliated, unrelated support (aka not your family & friends)
- Family and friends who are supportive are a gift. We all need people who love us to be around and help us through life’s trials and tribulations. Having said that, family & friends will always be a little bit biased because they know you. They are connected to you in some way and they also have their own relationships to grieve while supporting your grief. Let me give you an example: your parents can support you in your grief after losing a child. They see your hurt and just want to help to minimize it in any way they can. They may cry because you’re crying and they don’t want you to be sad. At the same time, they may also be crying because you lost your child and they lost their hopes for that grandchild. Therapists have feelings too and something you may share, may elicit some emotion from them but the boundary here is that it will all still be about you. They are there to help you work through your grief in a way that is the most helpful for you and that promotes wellness.
Because you need a space where you can be the focus of care w/o the need to reciprocate
- This one relates to the item above too. With family & friends, even when they tell you not too, you’re often worried about them and how they’re affected by the loss too. They prioritize you and you receive that. You’re sad for yourself AND you’re sad for them too. Therapy can help you work through some of these feelings (which are often the breeding grounds for feelings of guilt) in effort to keep them from spiraling out of control. Therapy can be one of those sacred spaces where you don’t have to have it all together. It’s a space where there’s room created to hold you and all your stuff as you sort through it without necessarily having to make room for anyone else’s.
In conclusion (ha! I’ve always kind of wanted to say that but felt like it was corny), I’m an advocate for therapy and if you’re even thinking about it at all, go try it. There are many different specialties so figure out what your needs are and search for someone specifically advertising that kind of treatment. Depending on your insurance, you can see someone for the cost of a copay or even for free if you have government provided coverage. Some therapists are private pay and many of them have sliding scale options. A lot of jobs also have EAP (Employee Assistance Program) options where you can see someone for a set amount of sessions per year, per issue or identified problem. Those sessions don’t cost you anything out-of-pocket except whatever you’re paying out of your check for all your insurance coverage. There are options out here y’all. Don’t suffer alone or in silence. You may have to shop around and that’s ok. Finding someone you feel comfortable with and whom you feel is qualified to meet your needs is important. It’s your money, your psyche and your well-being so invest it wisely. Sending <3 & healing as usual.