Did you know there are therapists on Instagram who have tens of thousands or millions of followers? I am not one of them. But that is OK. I am doing my own little Insta-memes and videos with a small but loyal following. It is a good sign that people are more open to therapeutic guidance, Insta-therapy, you might call it. Apparently, they are benefitting from the short, concise reminders. It may be serving a need. Therapists are quite busy these days because so many folks are experiencing more anxiety and depression than ever, likely due to events here on planet earth. Pandemics. Wars. Climate crisis. Hate. Poverty. Injustices… So, new ways people might gain insight and growth is a plus in my mind.
But if you are choosing to go beyond Insta-therapy to do the deeper dive into slow-therapy, attachment-therapy, trauma-therapy, I applaud your courage and want to help you understand some of the mixed experiences you may be having, particularly in the beginning.
As you know, it is important to find the right therapist. The therapeutic relationship is at the center of the process. If you experienced relationship injuries, then, they are best addressed in a safe and reliable relationship; so that trust with humans can be rebuilt. Trust. Safety. These are basic to our well-being and are damaged in a family where there was abandonment, abuse, or neglect. If the injuries and losses happened early and often, the remedy will take time. Feeling safe in the therapy relationship takes time. Your counselor’s understanding of your experiences and complexities takes time.
The time needed to heal may be one of the frustrations you are feeling. You may not recognize the depth of the trauma you experienced. It is typical that we minimize and discount our childhood abuse. When it happens to us, it feels normal, so we blame ourselves for feeling so unable to resolve our anxiety or depression on our own. We tell ourselves it wasn’t so bad, others had it so much worse, it happened in the past, just stop complaining. But if we were to imagine a child we know now, being raised by our parents, we are usually horrified by that thought. There is your evidence.
Because you have a rainforest mind, you are used to fast problem solving and control of situations that are intellectually oriented. You may expect the same with therapy. When you do not feel relief or gain insight after a few meetings, you may feel frustrated or like you are “too damaged to fix.” And, of course, there is the financial stress that comes with therapy. You may feel financial pressure, then, to find answers quickly.
(Note: In my opinion, this is why therapists ought to keep their rates lower than other medical professionals, including offering sliding scale rates. Therapy, unlike your family practice doc, requires weekly visits for some length of time. The money adds up. There are agencies with low fee options and insurance options but more private therapists need to address this inequity.)
(Another note: Typical counseling is one hour a week. If you go weekly for a year, that is 52 hours. 52 hours is about 2 full days. When you have been in therapy for a “year,” it is really only 2 days. Healing from childhood trauma will take more than 2 days.)
It might also help to understand the benefits of therapy so you give yourself permission to stick with it in the early stages. I am quoting myself:
“…if you give it enough time, if you dive deep enough, it will transform the fear and shame. The self-hatred. It will slowly, tenderly, turn it into love. Self-compassion. You will pick healthier friends and partners. Set better boundaries with toxic people. Be more confident. Be a better parent. Your future life paths will become clearer. Your intuition stronger. Your health will improve. You will feel more peaceful. You will stop the legacy of abuse in your family line. You will find your voice.
…you will be more of your true self. The person you were born to be. Curious. Enthusiastic. Creative. Insightful. Quirky. Empowered. Intuitive. And you will love that self. Less fear and shame. More love and light. You will understand what you are here to do. You will feel safe to expand into your full rainforestness!
If you are still not convinced, here is another post where I talk about the crazy soup of our families, the impact, and how we heal. Plus this collection of posts that include how to find a therapist and what your therapist needs to know.
And, in case you need a little more convincing, there is this, from an earlier post:
It can be scary and frustrating to start the psychotherapy journey. But I promise you, it’s so worth it. I’ve been in and out of therapies for many years, working with different folks as my needs changed. I started in my 30’s. And, if you must know, I was a mess back then. And I am so much less of a mess now. Ask my sister. She’ll corroborate my story. And, hey. If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for the children in your life, in your community, and in your world. Stopping your family’s dysfunctional legacy will heal future and past generations. It just might make the world much less of a mess. You never know.
To my bloggEEs: Are you in therapy? What have you learned? Are you following any therapists on Instagram? Has this post helped you? I should add that this type of therapy is not right for everyone. Sending you much love and gratitude, as always.
We are still working on the revised blog/website. It has taken longer than I thought. Could it be my particular perfectionism or my persnickety aesthetic??