Therapy is a safe space to talk about your problems. Your therapist, whether they’re an online therapist or an in-person one, is there to unconditionally support you no matter what’s going on in your life. They care about you, and they want to be well. Your friends and family also want these things for you. But, the difference is that your loved ones are not objective. When you have a wacky idea, even though they might think it’s counterproductive, they may support it because they love you and want you to be happy.
Your therapist is there to support you too, but their job is different than a friend or family member. Your therapist’s job is to help you to find balance in your life and make emotionally healthy decisions. But when you first start therapy, that’s not going to be an instant result. It takes time to get to your emotional goals and understand what you need to work on to get better.
In the interim, there is a lot of emotional foundation to work on. When a person starts seeing a therapist, they often feel a sense of relief. If they’re open to how therapy can help them get better, they will be more likely to be truthful and vulnerable with their feelings. If you start therapy as an adult, you’ve had a lifetime of memories, both joyful and traumatic, to work through. When a person is actively suffering, they’re more motivated to work on their issues.
People do not like to be in pain, and so when they want relief from their pain, they often seek it in therapy. When a person has a solid relationship with their counselor or therapist, they are candid with them. They can even get to the point where they reveal deep dark secrets to their therapist. There are certain mental illnesses that have shame associated with them. One of them is OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). A person with OCD struggles with intrusive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. They might feel shame with their behaviors, such as compulsive text messaging a boyfriend or girlfriend, or obsessively washing their hands. Some compulsions can feel embarrassing and hard to admit to their friends or family members. However, in therapy those secret compulsions could be more easily revealed if the person feels safe with their therapist.
Therapy is one of the ways that people can make life feel easier. If you’ve been hiding something for the majority of your life, it can feel freeing or cathartic to reveal that secret to an impartial person who also truly cares about you. A good therapist demonstrates their care for you. They want to show you that therapy is a safe space to share the things that you’ve been reluctant to share in “real life.” By revealing secrets in therapy, you become better at self-actualization and are better able to be honest about your experiences with your loved ones. Therapy is a great way to practice being honest and translates that skill outside of the therapeutic relationship into your life.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.