In total I have had 12 months of therapy, 6 months of CBT in 2019 and 6 months of Psychotherapy which finished in March. Both experiences we very helpful and now that I have had some time to reflect I see now what I can take away from both experiences and what things I may want in my next experience in therapy.
CBT felt like I was learning how to organise myself and my life better, which was definitely helpful at the time. I learnt about prioritising my needs, balancing my life, being aware of my healthy and unhealthy habits that can be contributing to negatively impacting my mental health. This experience meant that there was a lot more homework and accountability, and accountability is one of those things that I knew I needed. CBT almost felt like I was in school learning about myself, which was different to what I expected, I expected this therapy experience to be like the one you see on TV.
Psychotherapy was a unique experience for me because my therapist incorporated movement into our sessions, this looked like us doing a body checking, seeing what areas of my body that needed some attention and also using movements to express feelings, emotions, which taught me a lot about trusting my intuition. This experience taught me a lot that I don’t think I would have learned if I was just sitting down talking about myself.
4 Reasons Why I Loved Therapy
Having one hour for myself was definitely top of my list of the things I loved most about therapy. I loved having an hour to myself, an hour to be selfish, because being selfish isn’t a negative thing. I give so much of myself to others, so this hour to myself reminded me that I am allowed and deserving of this time for myself. If you’re someone who finds themselves serving others and often forgetting to serve yourself, spending one focusing on your needs, concerns, worries, health etc. is really beneficial.
Being the one that always seems to have themselves together, the one that nobody has to worry about mean that I often felt like I was just existing, and I definitely internalised the feeling that I cannot ask for help or that my issues weren’t important. I love that I was allowed the space to be seen and heard in therapy, I was being acknowledged and I received that reassurance that I needed. I was reassured that my worries and concerns weren’t all in my head and that I was in fact not crazy. Being unsettled internally is a horrible feeling, so having time to acknowledge that unsettling feeling as a very real feeling was so helpful.
I am constantly overthinking my every move and thought, and the level of clarity I gained from therapy was almost addictive. Being an overthinker and constantly worrying, stressing and feeling anxious about anything and everything took up so much time and energy, so gaining that clarity allowed me to be able to breathe, think clearly, make better decisions for myself and look after myself better. Having someone help you acknowledge your thoughts and help you work through those thoughts allowed me to be faced with facts, like “yes you are tired, and you’re allowed to feel tired regardless of how many hours you have worked“. When you start to know better you are able to do better and be kinder to yourself along the journey.
Lastly I loved having a better understanding of myself, the good and the bad. Knowing myself better helped me build up some more confidence, I am not all the way there yet but I am on the right path, I also feel like I am able to trust myself more. My therapist incorporated a lot of movement into our sessions which meant that I begun to learn what intuition truly was, because for a long time I couldn’t tell the difference between intuition and overthinking. Allowing my body to do what It wants to do allowed me to understand that the first response, the first movement, hand gesture was intuition, everything after that was the overthinking. Trust that first thought, trust yourself.
From both of these experiences I have realised some areas I want to work on more, and some of the areas that worked well and didn’t work so well. Moving forward I would like to see what difference it makes having a black therapist, I would like to continue using movement in my therapy sessions, and I definitely feel like I want to be able to dig a little deeper, I felt myself not wanting to share too much because that Is what I normally do so going forward I want to feel more comfortable to speak on some of the things that are uncomfortable and personal. I know I am not perfect so I want to be able to feel challenged in my therapy sessions, previously I felt like I received a lot of reassurance, and maybe I felt like I wanted some constructive criticism, which might sound weird but I don’t know if it’s realistic to only hear good things about yourself, in order to grow I want to work on the not so cute parts of myself.
Overall I am grateful that I have had a positive experience in therapy and I am glad I have been on this journey. Being out of therapy has been hard, I miss the time to talk about myself lol, and I miss having that reassurance, so at the moment I am learning what it looks like to reassure myself.
Black, African & Asian Therapy Network