After spending 2020 and 2021 predominately alone, 2022 is the year of working on ourselves and getting back out there. Going to therapy is a safe and stable way to work on your emotions, traumas, and anything else that might be holding you back from living a happy life.
For many, starting therapy is the hardest part. Here are a few things to do to kickstart your mental health journey and get the help you deserve.
Acknowledge Any Stigma
There is a lot of stigma behind asking for help when it comes to mental health. Some communities are more suspicious of therapy than others, so you may have grown up in a household that didn’t prioritize mental health.
What stigmas do you have about therapy and mental health? Figuring this out will clarify what’s holding you back from therapy.
A few ways to fight mental health stigma include talking about how you feel, listening and being compassionate towards people struggling with their mental health, and being honest about seeking treatment or going to therapy.
Figure Out What You Want to Work On
Everyone has different reasons for going to therapy. Outlining what you want to work on will make your sessions more focused and productive. You may also decide that you want to see a therapist that specializes in a certain type of trauma.
Therapy is work and in order to do that work, it’s helpful to figure out what it is you’re trying to achieve.
With that being said, it is perfectly acceptable to go to therapy just because you aren’t feeling quite right. You may also just need an unbiased person to confide in. Sometimes we know we aren’t feeling like ourselves but don’t have the vocabulary to put those emotions into words. That’s valid, too.
Consider the Type of Person You Want to Confide in
Not everyone wants the same kind of therapist, which is why there are so many to choose from!
You may want a therapist from a specific background, especially if you’re a first-generation immigrant or come from a multi-cultural family. Being able to talk to someone you know understands the culture you grew up in is very helpful. Remember, it’s not just about finding a therapist but finding the right therapist.
You may also want someone who has had experiences with specific traumas or themes. Don’t be hesitant to ask what your therapist specializes in and if they feel confident working you through certain past experiences.
Starting therapy may be a little daunting, especially if you aren’t used to talking about your emotions to a mental health professional. Don’t worry though, it gets easier.
Preparing for therapy is a great way to make the experience less nerve-wracking. So do some research and feel confident you’re doing the right thing for your mind, body, and soul!
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