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Taking the First Steps to Therapy

The most important step to therapy.

The hardest part about reaching out for help is admitting that you need to do so. We have built up a society full of thoughts and stigmas around mental health and wellness. There are these preconceived ideas about reaching out that leave us feeling less than for doing so ourselves. It takes self-reflection, honesty, openness, vulnerability and courage to acknowledge that we can’t do something alone and that we need to share the weight of our situation with someone else. We need to acknowledge that there is something about yourself or in your life that you would like to work or make better.

Some see this as a weakness, but it takes such strength to display vulnerability. It takes such strength to be 100% honest with yourself and your feelings. It is far easier to shove emotions in a box than to face them head-on. It takes such strength to share a story and a part of you that causes tremendous heartache or pain. It takes bravery to stand up against a society that has built up these unnecessary notions about mental health and mental healthcare. The best part, though, is that once you have done it once and FELT the freedom and power this gives you, you will never doubt the process again. Therapy is liberating; it sheds the heaviness; it lightens the load.

Once you have made the decision to seek therapy, you may still feel a range of emotions. You may feel relieved that you are finally doing so; you may also feel fearful and afraid of the unknown. Maybe you feel defeat because you are going to therapy for a second, third, or fourth time and wonder if it will ever be the last time. Remind yourself that just by making the decision to receive help, you have already accomplished something huge. You have put yourself, your health and your happiness under the spotlight and you are DOING something about it; fears and all.

Your story matters

The truth is, we all have a story. Some may be bigger, but that doesn’t make yours any less important. Sometimes people avoid therapy thinking that their problems are silly compared to others. Therapy does not just have to be for people who have experienced extreme trauma. Think of therapy as time dedicated just to you and your growth and improvement. If you have experienced something traumatic, also don’t feel or think that your problem is too big to share. Another common reason people do not commit to therapy is because the moment of distress passes… until the next one. When we feel under attack, we are more likely to accept the help. So, it is in these moments that we admit to needing therapy and want to book. But then we wake up feeling okay the next morning and think that we will be alright because we ‘got through it’. Make the appointment anyway. We look for all the excuses to avoid therapy, until we REALLY cannot cope anymore. The bottom line? The biggest thing that is standing in the way of us and our true happiness is ourselves. There is so much help out there!

Maybe this brings us to the second issue. We know we are unhappy; we have acknowledged that we need help. But now what? THERE IS SO MUCH HELP OUT THERE. This can be overwhelming. Everyone you speak to has a different opinion. There are so many types and forms of therapies. What are all these specialists and what do they do? Therapy is such a personal journey; you need to find a path that works for you. Heads up! It may not be the first path you take. Therapy is not linear and does not work overnight: but it sure is worth it. What’s the alternative? Carrying the pain around with you for the rest of your life? Unfortunately, the good old ‘heals over time’ mantra doesn’t ring true for mental illness.

Although you need to find a path that is best suited to you and your needs; some guidance can help you get started and point you in the right direction. From there on out, you may feel more confident and knowledgeable in your own choices. This is also where we, as an online platform offering a range of therapies, come in: we can offer you a free discovery call to help you figure out the first step. We also have a range of questionnaires for you to complete so that we may learn a little more about what you are experiencing, and again, point you in your first direction.

Points to consider when taking the steps to therapy

Other aspects to research and consider are what benefits you may have available from your insurance/medical aid provider, what your budget is, whether you prefer online or in-person counselling and if there are any forms of therapy you resonate with. Once you have found this out, you will then be able to search for counsellors that meet this criteria.

The effectiveness of therapy is largely dependent on your relationship with your therapist. It’s important that you and your counsellor establish a good relationship that allows you to be completely honest about your thoughts and feelings. Often, this requires an environment and relationship in which you feel comfortable with your counsellor’s personality, approach, and style. Therefore, we ask our specialists to upload their photo, a bio about themselves as well as a short video clip. We feel that this will allow the client to browse through and find someone that is best suited to them and what they need. This should, in essence, already make the process more successful as you will have made an informed decision and have a sense of who it is you are going to be journeying with. You will have a feel for their personality, approach, and style.

Basic steps to follow

  1. Self-reflect and acknowledge you may need some guidance.
  2. Ignore all excuse-making and COMMIT to making an appointment no matter what.
  3. Research your options: ask friends/ family that have been to therapy; ask your medical aid if you have any benefits and research different counselling techniques.
  4. Decide on whether you would like online or in-person counselling.
  5. Find someone that meets the criteria above.

OR

  1. Self-reflect and acknowledge you may need some guidance.
  2. Ignore all excuse-making and COMMIT to making an appointment no matter what.
  3. CONTACT US. https://api.whatsapp.com/send?phone=270848294542

OR

  1. Self-reflect and acknowledge you may need some guidance.
  2. Ignore all excuse-making and COMMIT to making an appointment no matter what.
  3. Complete our questionnaire. 

 

So, whether you have been through a major life trauma, are struggling with day-to-day struggles, need a bit of direction or simply want to work towards being the best version of yourself, get in touch and we will help you to take those first but ALL IMPORTANT first steps to therapy.

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