Therapy Sessions | The Relationship in Therapy.

Therapy Sessions | The Relationship in Therapy.
*Trigger Warning: there may be distressing content.*

Let’s begin The Session.

In this particular session, I was expressing my concerns about a huge life-change that occurred. I told N* that part of me wanted to halt my study plans. I was overwhelmed and anxious about how the year would pan out. 

She said half-urgently that she had to stop me right there. I was curious. What did she think?

“When you’re sitting in that chair, in this room, I fight for you.”

I was shocked. After a few moments I concluded that this statement spoke to me in a way that nothing has spoken to me before. In all sense of the word, I felt completely supported. I felt heard. I felt cared for. It was like a weight I’d been carrying immediately halved. I am not carrying this burden alone.

This is what being understood feels like as a client. This is what sessions are aimed to do. This is why I am studying in this field.

My psychologist went on to say that no one has to stop their life because of someone else’s mistakes. Time is needed to cope with big life-changes but that doesn’t mean to also give up on life goals.

By the end of this session, I felt lighter. I could breathe without as much labour and I didn’t feel like I might crumble at any second. There are good days and bad days yes, but I wasn’t a ticking-time-bomb anymore.

What I learned

1. Shit happens.

From this session, I learned to find motivation during the difficult times. Shit happens. Sometimes, frequently, surprisingly and without fault of our own. Of course, I’ve always known this. Part of starting this blog is to share my personal experiences of “shit happening”. Reminders are always handy though!

2. There are good and bad times when living in community with others.

Living in community, big or small, we may find ourselves affected by another person’s actions – both positively and negatively. It is up to us to fight tooth-and-nail through the brick walls and get back to the light. To do our best, with what we have in those moments.

3. Speak up.

Like a fellow blogger @sickocean wrote about, speak up. Both in situations where you need to stand up for yourself but also in situations where you feel heavily burdened by life’s issues. Open up to people or a person you trust. Yes, we are all different beings with different life-stories and therefore, may not respond in the way another would ‘want’, but, expressing ourselves is still massively helpful and beneficial for our mental health.

Even if speaking to a professional isn’t in the cards right now, remember to FIGHT FOR YOU.

Even through the pain.

Even through the darkness.

Fight for you.

Live the life you deserve.

Make choices freely without guilt.

Put yourself first this time.

Welcome back to my regular readers and thank you for joining me if you are new! This blog is about mental-health wellness as well as lifestyle topics like fashion, food, decluttering and travel adventures.
You can stay connected for updates, quotes and general life-happenings on my Facebook pageInstagramEbay and Twitter!

Thank you for being here.
Let’s keep working towards mental-health awareness and wellbeing. x

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Therapy Sessions | How to Change A Belief.

Therapy Sessions | How to Change A Belief.
*Trigger Warning: there may be distressing content.*

Let’s begin The Session.

What is a belief? A belief is something considered to be fact.

Where do beliefs come from? Beliefs come from the environment around us (external). It can also be formed by our own thoughts and sensory experience (internal).

The thought, “I’m not good enough” can be experienced by most of us at some point in our lives. For some, it is more prevalent if we have had past experiences that ingrain this kind of thinking. It can affect our self-esteem, confidence and progress in self-improvement.

The good news is, beliefs can be changed!

My psychologist drew up a table of two lists on her whiteboard. She asked me to list evidence for why I was good enough and why I wasn’t.

Listing evidence for why I wasn’t good enough was easy. My psychologist and I then spent about five minutes expanding each piece of evidence – what was the circumstance? How did that lead to the belief? Was this evidence substantial enough? I realised: instead of moving forward, I forced myself to take fear with me from my childhood and adolescence and used the events of my past as justification.

Listing evidence for being good enough was not as easy. Slowly though, achievements came to the surface. It affirmed that there were positive things I have accomplished. For example, I moved out at 18, I learned how to save money and I learned how to budget. I realised that many things I have done in the past, required skills and sometimes, strategic thinking!

What I learned.

I learned that if I didn’t achieve things to a ‘perfect standard’ or made a mistake, I was automatically ‘not good’. As well as an avalanche of other negative thoughts/beliefs toward myself.

Some may wonder, “Well Angela, if it did you harm, why couldn’t you just forget this belief?” Let’s go back to the beginning. There’s this thing called egocentrism. As children, we are unable to process situations or events from another person’s perspective. As a result, we attribute another’s hurtful actions to ourselves, thinking, “I must be bad/stupid/dumb” (which is what happened to me).

So, how can we change our beliefs?

1. First, we need to know what our beliefs are. 
Self-work is not an easy journey but it is absolutely worth it.  To know what beliefs we have, we could take inventory of thoughts that come up. Whether it’s a positive one like “I can do anything I set my mind to!” or “I never do anything good…” – it could be worth identifying and changing if it does not serve you.

2. Make a list of accomplishments.
I love utilising lists to get a clear sense of tasks, goals or ideas. My strategy for changing this belief will be writing a list of all my life’s achievements. As time goes on, my list will evolve and grow. So whenever this belief creeps back in (which I have been guaranteed that it will) I can look at this list and remind myself, “You know what? Yes, I have made mistakes but I am good enough!”.

3. Remember that we all make mistakes.
There is a difference between taking responsibility and acknowledging a mistake and punishing ourselves over everything. Sometimes, we are our own worst critic! You don’t necessarily have to experience disturbing trauma to be hard on yourself. We all have a drive that pushes us forward. Just remind yourself of positive motivators too!

4. Be patient with yourself. 
Changing a belief is not easy. Same goes for mastering a talent, technique or academic topic. All of these have something in common: TIME. It takes time to change or learn something new. It takes time to improve a skill. So be patient.

Beliefs once formed, are ingrained and can be difficult/confronting to change – as you saw with my struggle. However, with support, patience and strategies, it is possible to live a life based on positive truth rather than self-deprecating lies.

That concludes our session today.
Thank you for being here.
Stay well! x

Image by Thu.

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