What to Know About Beginning Individual Psychotherapy

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What to Know About Beginning Individual Psychotherapy

One-on-one psychotherapy is a powerful way to lean into self-discovery while cultivating self-awareness and self-acceptance. Even though psychotherapy serves as a launchpad for healing and growth, it can also feel intimidating and scary as it requires you to be vulnerable with someone you do not know well. Knowing that this experience is common and normal can be helpful as you begin meeting with your therapist.

Honoring Fear and Resistance

Experiencing fear when you enter a new relationship is normal, especially a relationship that asks you to share parts of yourself that perhaps you are not very familiar with. Because of the fear involved in opening up to someone new, resistance to the idea of starting or continuing therapy may also be present. You may mistake fear and resistance as evidence that you are doing something wrong. However, this phenomenon is part of the stages of change.

Coming as You Are

One common myth that runs rampant regarding mental health and the healing process is that recovery is supposed to “look” a certain way. This myth perpetuates the black and white pattern of thinking that there is a “right” way to heal or experience therapy.

It is important to remember that therapy gets to be a space where you come as you are and are met with compassion and acceptance. Therapy is not about manipulating yourself — or the therapeutic process itself — to look, feel, or be a way you are not. There is no one “right” way but infinite ways in which you can be yourself in your life and on your healing journey.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

It can be tempting to enter any type of mental health treatment wanting to race to the finish line, one where you are “healed,” having made the changes you wanted to make in a way that makes you feel as if you are finally “complete.”

However, the healing journey is a continual process that constantly unfolds. Rather than having a goal of being “recovered,” try thinking of healing as a journey of “recovery,” where you are healing in deeper, more embodied ways as time goes on and you discover yourself.

Psychotherapy is an empowering process that helps you learn how to discover yourself as you heal. At Avalon Malibu, we recognize how intimidating beginning therapy can be. We honor the fear that comes up as you begin therapy. Our therapists and team will support you as you cultivate trust within yourself and concerning your treatment so you can lean into the continual journey of self-discovery, vulnerability, and self-expression. If you are struggling and ready to discover more about your true self, we can help. Call us today at (844) 857-5992.

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