*I am working with BetterHelp to bring you this post.*
What is Therapy?
According to the dictionary, therapy is treatment intended to relieve or heal a disorder. Although I think therapy can be beneficial for everybody. It is a great resource to help take care of your mind. Whether you are starting a new school, had a recent death in the family, or just want someone trusted to talk to, therapy can be a good route to take. Therapy, depending on the type you get, can also help you gain coping skills to help you overcome daily struggles.
(some) Types of Therapy
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
In DBT you can learn skills that will help you with your day-to-day life. It is usually recommended for people with personality disorders but it can be useful if you struggle with self-harm or suicidal thoughts as well.
Here are a couple of skills I took away from my DBT group:
This is when, where ever you are, just make a half-smile. Turn up the corners of your mouth and there you have it. Smiling can tell your brain that you are doing well. Putting on a half-smile is a simple way to feel like you can manage what ever you are dealing with at the moment.
This is when you turn your palms up and open up your chest and body. This allows you to be more accepting of what is happening and lets you establish a relaxed position.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
This type of therapy helps you change dysfunctional thinking and/or behaviors.
Who is a Therapist?
A therapist offers comfort and helps you with your concerns. They are trained to offer guidance. If the right therapist is found, therapists make and care for a trusted relationship with their client.
They are required to have a master’s degree and usually have an undergraduate degree in psychology. They may go on to receive their doctoral degree.
They may have a background in a certain type of therapy (like family therapy) or they can be a general therapist who works with a variety of people.
How does therapy work?
Usually if you are doing in person therapy you check in with the front desk and wait until your therapist comes out and calls your name. You then go in and sit wherever you like. Then the therapist will likely ask you some questions and you will answer and bring up any concerns. Then depending on the type of therapy you are having the therapist will give you techniques to cope or homework that you will practice outside of your appointment. Then you will make another appointment for whenever you and your therapist agree on. Therapy sessions usually last around 50 minutes.
Online therapy is a bit different. You can usually message your therapist at any point in the day and also have scheduled times to speak over messenger, phone, or video.
I have a lot of experience with therapy. I first started with family therapy and individual therapy when I was 13 years old. I don’t remember much though. I then started therapy again when I was a sophomore in college. So I was about 19 years old. I went to my school’s counseling center and just had talk therapy. I didn’t find it very helpful for me at the time but it was beneficial for me because they gave me resources to find other, more long-term forms of therapy. I didn’t start regular therapy again until I was 20. I couldn’t really cope with therapy at this time either. All I would do is cry during sessions and we wouldn’t accomplish much. I didn’t open up until I went into a Partial Hospitalization Program and had DBT and CBT. I think those were the most helpful for me. They helped teach me ways to cope with my illnesses and how to think about things differently. I have also experienced music and art therapy when I was inpatient and I found those really helpful as well. In music therapy, someone would come in with a guitar and sing to us and we’d sing along and dance. In art therapy, you could use any supplies they had. I liked to paint and use clay. They made me feel calm and relaxed at a time when I couldn’t really do that for myself. I am not in therapy now although sometimes I think I need to be but I have learned so many techniques from DBT and CBT that I am able to cope. If you want to learn more about my experience with therapy, click here.
Please take everything I say with a grain of salt. I am not a professional. If you or someone you know is struggling, please seek out help. These are things I have learned from my own experiences and research.