It is time to begin therapy


Today I write unequivocally in favour of the work of the practice of psychotherapy. I encourage you to give yourself a chance. To step into a therapist's office and give yourself the chance to talk to someone. To talk about everything that is on your mind - what the holidays were really like, how you feel emotionally, physically, what life is like with your spouse, your kids, your work, your boss. What you are worried about. Your life’s purpose. Your life’s meaning. What you really want. What you hate. The things you think you can’t tell anyone.

Give yourself a chance to open up to someone who is trained to receive in a different way than our culture usually receives. A good therapist won’t reflexively ‘take your side’ or offer you over sweet sentiments. A good therapist won’t be quick to judge. A good therapist will receive your humanity with their own.

Give yourself a chance to break your patterns. To emerge from the ties that bind you. We all have such incredible potential. It’s hard to see when you’re not living it. But it’s there. Give yourself a chance to work with someone who can see it even when you can’t.

Therapy makes a difference. Every hour when a human being is heard. When a human being is allowed to be who they are. And their therapist doesn’t jump right in and tell them what they should do or what they are like but listens and receives and allows themselves to be impacted, to be moved by their patient - every hour this happens, the world opens up just a little bit.

Perhaps it is a bit like massage therapy for the soul. It’s intense. And you feel it afterwards - sometimes for days. But what comes out didn’t come from nowhere - you were already carrying it. You had been carrying it for a long long time. And through therapy it has come out. You need to rest and drink lots of water but it is most certainly coming out and you are being cleaned out and you are healing a bit, becoming a little more whole. A little more directly aware of yourself and what you have experienced, good and bad.

So why not? There may be many good reasons. And you have to work with those reasons. And therapy may not be your path and that is how it is. But what you cannot change is that you are on a path - from bottom to top, tail to head. And you live this tension everyday. And the question is how.

I don’t mean this in a rah-rah kind of way. The kind of way that says “Live your passion!”, or “Go for it!" Although there is certainly a place for this. I mean to say something more like this: every day you make active choices. So you're on a path. You’re in something. We’re in something. And reckoning with this is something. It’s something you do - you have no choice. And I am prodding that point of awareness about your situation and wondering what happens for you when I do? That’s the gold. What happens for you when this part is prodded - that is the part that when explored will open up into something new.

Alison Crosthwait