Doing The Therapy You Wish Your Parents Did: Why Therapy Can Be So Beneficial
Delve into the transformative power of therapy, understanding why it can be so beneficial for your wellbeing. Explore the depths of self-discovery, healing wounds, and fostering personal growth. Learn how therapy can be a catalyst for positive change, providing the support you may have longed for. Embrace the journey towards emotional resilience and a more fulfilling life. Discover the therapeutic path you've been seeking—because investing in your mental health is a gift to yourself that lasts a lifetime.
By Liv Surtees / Dec 31 2023
The big “T” word - our generation seems to be owning it! We all know we have shit to deal with and we’re actually dealing with it!
Whilst the older generation might think that we’re all a little “too sensitive”, “too deep”, or “too introspective”, we’re actually no different to them. The only difference is that whilst so many of the older generation either didn’t have the ability to open up and speak about the issues they were facing as they grew up, or are still too “stiff upper lip” to admit that they would actually benefit from talking to someone - we are actually speaking about it!
Unfortunately, a lot of the therapy we’re all doing will likely be due to generational trauma that is passed down to us, and this is where we’re taking on all the work - we’re doing the therapy we wish our parents did!
Don’t worry, this piece isn’t a millennial sob story or a “feel sorry for us because we all have feelings” kind of piece. No, I’m fully aware that if we’re in a place where we can not only have access to therapy, but the ability to be open about our mental health in the first place, we are incredibly privileged - the accessibility to therapy isn’t inclusive of all, or universal, at all.
However, if you are able to access therapy and you’re curious to know a bit more about therapy, whether to break the patterns your parents passed onto you or to support your mental health on a regular basis, we’re here for you! We’re going to take a look at whether therapy is right for you and why it has the potential to be so beneficial!
is therapy right for everyone?
Although I truly believe that everyone can benefit from therapy in some way, it’s not always the right thing for everyone!
From my personal experience, I truly think therapy is a “right place, right time” kind of thing, which may sound counterintuitive, but let me explain! In my first therapy session, when discussing my goals for therapy and what I wanted to speak about, I said to my therapist, “I probably should’ve come to therapy about 5 years ago”, and she simply replied, “that clearly wasn’t the right time, you’re here now and that’s all that matters”.
The urge to go to therapy will definitely present itself at the right time, and you’ll find yourself at a place in your life where you will definitely benefit from it. This is why I think therapy is a “right place, right time” situation! If you have been considering therapy for a while and now you find yourself reading this article, it’s probably time for you to find a therapist and book that first session!
On the other hand, if you know that you definitely don’t want to go to therapy and you can’t think of anything worse than speaking to a therapist right now, but you feel as if you should because someone is pushing you in that direction, therapy may not be for you right now and if you jump into it, you might not actually experience the benefits associated with doing so!
Therapy, although an absolute game-changer in my opinion, is hard work and therefore it requires a type of commitment from you - no, you don’t have to sign up to a specific number of sessions and commit with a “6-month plan”, but you do have to commit to being open, honest, and putting in the mental legwork. If you don’t go into therapy with an open mindset, although it could still be impactful, it’s going to be more difficult to actually experience the benefits of it.
The bottom line is, if you think therapy is right for you, go for it. Even if you think therapy is right for everyone and you want someone to go, don’t push it on others. If you don’t think therapy is right for you at the moment, that’s OK too.
mind + spirit
the 5 most common benefits of therapy
Before we dive into this list and take a look at the most common benefits that people experience when they go to therapy, it’s important to say that everyone will benefit from therapy in different ways, especially since everyone’s goals are unique!
it gives you someone to truly open up to
One of the main benefits of therapy I experienced, and I know for a fact a lot of other people have experienced, is that therapy gives you someone that you can truly open up to. A therapist is literally there to listen to and support you, so there’s no need to feel bad about unloading all of what’s in your mind on them, or feel like you’re being inappropriate with how far into detail you talk about your life - it’s their job.
Maybe you feel like you have no one to speak to, you’re hiding your feelings under several layers of your bold personality (been there, done that!), or you feel as if you can’t be 100% honest without being judged.
Therapy allows you to be your truest self, say how you feel, and have your emotions acknowledged without any judgement. Speaking to a therapist for the first time made me feel like a weight had been lifted from my chest - I promise, it feels good!
it makes you feel like someone has your back
Of course, your friends, family, and partner(s) likely have your back, but having a therapist is different! Everyone in your life, whether malicious or not (hopefully not!), will have some kind of intent when it comes to giving you advice.
Whether your partner is giving you advice because it will benefit them, your mum is giving you advice based on personal experience, or a friend is giving you advice because they don’t think what you’re doing is “right”, everyone will likely have their own advice to give that may not be as useful to you as it is to them. Although they may truly want the best for you and be trying their best to support you, it might simply not be what you need.
Doing therapy gives you the opportunity to know that someone truly has your back and is giving you the support you actually need, without any type of alternative intention.
A therapist is there for you - not your partner, your parents, your friends, your work colleagues, - they are there, for you and support you into becoming happier, healthier, and more authentic. A therapist will always support you to think about your own feelings first and come to decisions that will genuinely benefit you and your life, as an independent person.
it helps you to process & heal trauma
It doesn’t matter how big or small you think your trauma is (we’re not doing trauma comparison - that’s a no-no!), therapy can be incredibly beneficial when it comes to both processing and healing any trauma you have experienced.
If you know that you have experienced trauma and you still hold onto it or you know that you have triggers and behavioural patterns that derive from this trauma, therapy can support you to work towards a place of recognition, understanding, and finally, freedom from what happened.
Don’t panic if you know that you have trauma to move forward from but you don’t want to dive straight into processing your trauma with your therapist. You may actually realize that every session with your therapist is helping you understand your trauma and heal bit by bit - this is the beauty of therapy, it really is a process!
it helps you improve self-awareness and understand your patterns
Whether you’re worried about passing on generational trauma and you’re ready to break the cycle (literally doing the therapy you wish your parents did!), or you simply want to develop a greater sense of self-awareness to understand the way that you respond to situations and experiences, therapy can help you understand your behavioural patterns and break them, if they need to be broken.
Working with a therapist, you will get to know yourself better than ever before, and this isn’t just because they will make observations and support you to open up, but because you’re working on your mind with a professional by your side - this in itself is the best way to develop and maintain a level of self-awareness.
Alongside your therapist, whilst developing a level of self-awareness, you will start to be able to recognize and understand your behavioural patterns, and if they’re unhealthy or self-destructive in any way, your therapist can use their expertise to support you in breaking this pattern over time.
it makes you more mentally equipped
Whether you’re eager to learn coping strategies for when you get triggered or you want to understand how you can monitor your mental health and recognise when things aren’t going great, the help of a mental health professional is absolutely essential!
There are only so many generic blogs, vlogs, and free resources out there - sometimes you need to get the advice from someone who is actually professionally trained and can provide you with tailored, expert, and actionable advice to help support your mental health.
With the help of a therapist, you can become more mentally equipped than you’ve ever been - ready to handle anything that comes your way.
eager to do the work?
If you’re keen to go to therapy, whether for the first time or after a therapy hiatus, I would highly encourage you to do it! If you’re open, honest, and genuinely committed to working on yourself with the support of a mental health professional, you will experience the benefits mentioned above (and more), by going to therapy!
Together, let’s end the generational trauma, break behavioural patterns, become more self-aware, and flourish!
Disclaimer: this article is here for educational purposes only and is written from personal experience and opinion we are not giving active advice.
You should always seek the advice and support of mental health professionals if you have queries about your health.