1. What It Feels Like to be Unconditionally Accepted
This is by FAR, inexplicably the most valuable gift a therapist can give you–to be fully accepted for who you are, just as you are. This is a concept few are fortunate enough to experience, but could spend a lifetime searching for. Its impact on our emotional well-being has been intensively researched and is actually one of the greatest reasons people heal in therapy.
Every other relationship in your life includes another human who comes with their own agenda, needs, and past hurt that requires you to adjust and bend in countless ways. Typically what we receive in our relationships is “I love you, BUT.” I love you, BUT you’re not pleasing me in this way. I love you, BUT I wish you were more this and less that. I love you, BUT here is the list of things I would like you change about yourself to better suit me.
No where else in the world will you experience this type of relationship. And for legitimate reasons. Non-therapeutic relationships, meaning all of the ones you have out in the “real world” must be a 2-way street in order to survive. They require you to give as much as your receive. However, your therapist is specifically designed to be in your life for the purpose of serving you. They are not there to ask anything of you in return.
2. How to Care for Yourself
Boundaries, saying no, putting yourself first…these are all things we are conditioned from a very young age to believe are selfish. We are taught that we must please and we must give.
While these concepts greatly align with the beautiful component of empathy, we can take them to such an extreme that they actually become detrimental to the self.And this leaves us with a world of depleted, emotional self-harmers. Your therapist will help you understand that caring for yourself is the most important task in your day, every day. You will learn what healthy boundaries look like and how to execute them. How incredible your life can be when you begin caring for yourself properly. You will learn what it really means to be “selfish.”
3. Ways to Manage Emotions….ALL the Emotions.
We don’t like to be still. We don’t like the silence. We don’t like to be present. Because that would mean we would have to feel. And we have collectively become a species that doesn’t know how to do that very well. Our modern society consumes us with endless distractions, endless drugs, endless addictions, that can numb us. We will go to great lengths to avoid feeling….anything. Even the emotions that are generally considered positive– passion, excitement, love, for example– can be overwhelming.
Therapy teaches you how to feel again. It will teach you that ALL emotions are on a spectrum and they are not to be labeled as “good” or “bad.” They are all worth experiencing once we realize that we are their creators and that it is truly a privilege to feel. If we can’t feel, we are just zombies in a body passing time. Through sitting, breathing, and experiencing the support of someone else who is not afraid of your emotions, you will eventually learn not to be afraid of them either.
If you’re wondering what other benefits therapy has to offer, learn more about Torus’s approach here.
Written by: Aubrey Koel, LPC