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Starting therapy is a daunting process and it’s tough to know how it’s supposed to feel.

Here are some things I wish I had known when I started therapy.

[ongoing THREAD]
💬 The first session can feel strange because it’s hard to summarize your life in 50 minutes. There’s no right way to start and it’s ok if it feels a bit awkward. Don’t worry if your therapist doesn’t talk much or ask endless questions - they’re creating space to get to know you.
⛅️ Sometimes you’ll feel worse before you feel better. This is because you’re unearthing pain that you’ve turned away from. Trust that you’re feeling through to something better.
🔁 You will get out of therapy what you put into it. One of the first lessons that therapists learn is not to work harder than the patient. Show up, challenge yourself to be vulnerable, do the work.
🤷🏻‍♀️ Not every session will feel productive. Sometimes it will feel like nothing is happening and you will wonder why you’re there. Stick with it. The really productive sessions are a result of all the seemingly unproductive ones that came before.
😡 The first time you can tell your therapist that you’re mad at them or that they’ve let you down, a new and important kind of work has begun.*

*A good therapist will be able to explore your frustration with them without being defensive or overly apologetic.
🌀 Therapy is meta. The things you are going there to understand will start to happen in the therapy itself. Ex: if you tend to pull away from people when they get close, at some point you will pull away from your therapist too. These moments, if explored, will be transformative.
💕 You will worry that your relationship with your therapist is one-sided because they know more about you than you do about them. It isn’t. Your therapist spends more time with you than they do with most of their own friends & family. They will grow to care deeply about you.
⏳ Change takes time. It took you x number of years to become the imperfect but deeply resilient human you are. It will take more than a few months to shift things. Honor your complexity by being patient and self-compassionate.
🤐 Everyone lies to and hides things from their therapist sometimes. It’s ok. And, if there’s something you really don’t want to tell them, there’s probably a good reason why you should. Therapy is a place where you can think and feel and say ANYTHING. Lean into it.
🕳 When you feel like you have run out of things to talk about, you haven’t. You have hit the bottom of a comfort layer. If you‘re able to tolerate the discomfort & dig underneath, you will discover a whole new realm of things you didn’t even realize you needed to talk about.
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