So Why do people “go to therapy?” “Why are you interested in seeing a mental health professional?” This is usually the first question I ask any client or prospective client…
Therapy is a journey, an opportunity for you to set goals, gain tools, provide perspective you can’t offer yourself, allowing you to critically think and emotionally process “the why” behind so much of our lives. We have hundreds, yes hundreds of decisions we make a day in addition to the daily grind of life with T1D, that seeing a professional can be so helpful we often don’t realize it until after the fact.
It’s an investment. One of the best you can make in my opinion. And it takes time. I saw a therapist for 3 years. I didn’t like her. It was too formal. I kept going because I was too lazy to find someone else. I should have kept looking. Just like a diabetes healthcare team, a mental healthcare team should 100% be driven by you, the patient. You’re paying for it-you want it to be worth it.
But are you seeing the right person for you? How do you know if it’s a good fit? It’s like a date. You can date as many as you want. Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to mental health help.
You’re absolutely not seeing the right therapist if….
You’re going to therapy because you’ve always been going and it’s on your calendar. You’re just not motivated to go.
All your friends are seeing the same therapist. There is no one-size-fits-all here.
You leave a session or appointment not feeling heard, or feel uncomfortable in any way. A good therapist should make space for you to feel comfortable sharing your most vulnerable thoughts and feelings.
You’re no longer gaining the tools you need to get to your goals, or the tools just aren’t clicking or working for you. You don’t feel empowered at the end of the call, and your gut is telling you to not make another appointment.
You don’t feel challenged in any way. A therapist’s job isn’t to necessarily give you advice, it’s to help you form your own solutions and unpack your own advice underneath.
You feel like it’s become more of a friendship, and you should not be paying your friend to listen to you.
They just don’t “get it.” This is a toughie, because many of us who live with diabetes are craving a mental health connection with a professional who just “Gets it;” someone who’s been there, who speaks the diabetes lingo. Although sometimes it is critical to supplement therapy with additional help or find that amazing unicorn therapist who also takes insulin, at the end of the day it is more important that you click overall person to person.