We've been talking a lot about therapy lately: why working with an adoption-competent therapist matters, and what you can do if your therapist isn't adoption-competent. But how do you know when talking to a therapist might be helpful for you, and what to expect once you get there?
Therapy is a good idea when:
- When you’ve experienced a major life event like a loss or a trauma, recently, or ever.
- When you keep replaying a past loss or traumatic event in your head.
- When you sound like your own worst enemy in your self-talk.
- When you are unusually short-tempered, tearful, or avoidant of others.
- When you are questioning a major life decision or trying to make one.
- When you or your life feels out-of-control, unsafe, or just too overwhelming.
- When you are trying to quiet your thoughts & memories with alcohol or substances.
- When you keep making the same unhealthy decisions and don’t understand why.
- When you are experiencing guilt & shame and don’t know how to move past it.
- When you have toxic relationships, and you want help fixing them.
You can expect some (or all) of this to happen (and it's completely normal):
- Expect to talk more than your therapist.
- Expect to hear yourself talking about a topic you had not planned to bring up.
- Expect to feel nervous before your appointment and think about canceling.
- Expect to hear yourself laughing nervously, or cry, or both.
- Expect to keep checking the time and feel unsure where to look when talking.
- Expect you may forget to do what your therapist asked you to do last week.
- Expect your therapist to take notes.
- Expect to feel drained after a session but then much lighter after multiple sessions.
- Expect to dive right into what brought you there with little or no small talk first.
Still not sure how therapy might help? We've got a quick round-up of links for more information: