Should You Visit a Therapist? (If So, Why?)
Every single experience we faced since we were born is stored in our subconscious mind. That means that the way we react to the world around us is processed through a lens that we are barely aware of.
At times we find it hard to understand why we behave in a certain way, but we can't help but keeping on making the same mistakes and falling in the same thought patterns. Sometimes, these reactions are harmless, but occasionally these unresolved issues can resurface and create a lot of pain and discomfort.
A classic example is my fear of being left alone. I am an only child. My parents were very loving and nurturing, but since when I was a little boy, I always hated having no friends to play with at home. All my school mates had at least one sibling so, every day after school, I'd see them going home to play with their brothers and sisters, and I'd feel an extreme sense of boredom. I felt different, less lucky and left out.
As I grew up, I started leaving my house more and more often. I'd make up any excuse to take the car and drive away. That was my way of coping with loneliness and the feeling of not being good enough.
Over the years, I coped with isolation and lack of confidence by walking away from home. When I was 19 years old, my best friend passed away, and I picked up my bags and left Rome for Toronto. That was the ultimate way for me to deal with the lack of connection.
I could see a pattern, but I never spent too much time analyzing it and giving it importance. As time went on, I opened my own business and got engaged, but my subconscious programming was still operating at age eight. I still had the same fear of being alone, and although that wasn't the case, I couldn't find a way to control my automatic reactions.
As my business started growing and my relationship required me to be more present, I realized that I needed to understand myself better. I needed a new way to react to the world around me, and that's when I started therapy.
My Therapy Experience
Going in for the first time, I had no idea what to expect. I felt vulnerable and uncovered at first, but the feeling quickly shifted to a sense of euphoria. For the first time in my life, I was open about my feelings and my choices. I could talk for hours on end about my struggles, not to complain about them, but to finally find a solution.
I learned that my coping mechanisms were only a bandaid. What I needed was to reframe my situation. To put an end to those vicious cycles, I needed to take back control of the stories I was telling myself. I was not that lonely child anymore. I was loved; I was connected. I had everything I needed, and even if something was missing, I could look for it in a better way.
My 2-Cents On The Matter
I firmly believe that everyone can benefit from therapy. If you are in the process of starting your own business and changing your career path, a therapist can help you find out why you are stuck where you are. Most of us think we are in control of our decisions, but we are merely responding to the environment around us with predetermined reactions. If you can change those reactions, you will find new strengths within yourself and what seemed out of reach will become accessible.
What I also love about therapy is that you have the chance to be who you truly are. You get to put down your mask and analyze your raw self. No gimmicks. If you are afraid, stressed, anxious or depressed, you get to open up, and something magical happens when you do. The negative charge of your feelings starts to lose the weight it carried before. You start feeling better as soon as you acknowledge the discomfort. You will start noticing this within your first couple of sessions, and when you get it, you'll be hooked! There were so many unresolved issues in my subconscious mind that I was able to address. Every week I'd go back with another story I had told myself over the years: "I have always been lazy so I can't open a business", "I was never the athletic type, so I am ok with being skinny", "My friends don't take me seriously because I like to joke a lot". The list goes on because therapy is not about solving one problem. It's about getting to know yourself better than you ever have.
Of course, therapy is not cheap, so if you are happy and you have no particular issue that's slowing you down in your personal and work life, that's awesome. However, if you feel stuck and you feel like you have reached a peak, find a therapist or at the very least, a life-coach. We like to believe that we can do everything on our own, but sometime, we can't see our own blind spots.
If you are serious about visiting a therapist, remember that they are all different. A good therapist-patient match is crucial because you must feel comfortable during the session. When I visited my first therapist, I thought he was great, but for some reason, I didn't resonate with him too much. Although I was opening up, he could tell that I still was holding myself back. He was kind enough to let me know, and we both decided that I needed to move on. That's when I came across another great practitioner. My first session with the second therapist was perfect. I loved his studio, his voice was soothing, and his technique was very effective for my personality type. I am saying this because I don't want you to get discouraged if your first experience happens not to meet your expectations. Keep on looking until you find the right one!
I am on a mission to get better, mentally physically and spiritually. Therapy is one of the most effective tools in my arsenal, and I hope you can find the same benefits that I did!
Deniero is an e-commerce and digital marketing entrepreneur, content creator and speaker. Follow him on Instagram @denierob and subscribe to his podcast Up Your Game.