A common route we may take on our road to mental wellness is talk therapy. Again, the word ‘talk’ sounds like a lot, and to be honest, it can be. However, going through talk therapy can help you learn ways to express your emotions safely while discovering some really important coping techniques that you can use in your everyday life. So, what exactly happens in talk therapy?
First, talk therapy can look a few different ways. Maybe you are one-on-one with someone, or perhaps you are doing this with a group. Regardless of what your talk therapy sessions look like, there are some common things that you can expect.
Talk therapy allows you to reflect and share your feelings and experiences without the fear of judgement. You are with someone who can offer real help and support. Therapists are there to build a strong and trusting relationship with you. It can be challenging because you are being asked to look inside yourself at difficult thoughts, feelings and memories.. But when you do this in a space with a trusted therapist, the outcome is worth it.
In your first appointment, your talk therapist will usually ask you to talk about yourself, what’s going on in your life, and the thoughts and feelings you have been having. They will take some time to get to know you. You may also talk about your goals for talk therapy and what help and support is available to you now. This is a good time to get out all of those burning questions you have about talk therapy and what you should expect. After talk therapy sessions, you may feel relieved or you may have some feelings stirred up. Both of these results are normal.
You can know if your therapy is really helping by whether or not you are learning and using the coping techniques your talk therapist suggests. Remember, you have to do some work, too. Showing up and sticking with it will help you get the most out your sessions.
The goal of talk therapy is for you to learn more about yourself and your feelings, find what behaviors and techniques work to help you manage stress, and to try to develop a sense of acceptance and joy in your life.
Finding the right therapist to talk to is key. Sometimes it may take a few tries to find the right one. That is normal. What matters is finding someone who makes you feel completely comfortable about being open and honest. If you do not feel that way over time, it may mean you need to find someone new.