Most people heal and grow in an atmosphere with three essential elements:
It's remarkable how much change is possible with just those three simple gifts: acceptance, caring and understanding. It's one of the best-kept secrets of the profession.
When you feel truly accepted, you can start to embrace even those parts of yourself you don't like very much. You can stop trying to hide, and just relax.
When you know you are cared for, you spontaneously take more responsibility for your life, because you know you're worth the effort.
And when you feel understood, you realize you're not alone, and definitely not crazy to feel the way you do. You make sense to yourself, and you become more confident.
Acceptance, caring and understanding are the most potent combination of growth-enhancing conditions you'll find anywhere. My approach is to bring these elements to every therapy session. Even when we're brainstorming, problem-solving, or using specific tools for change, an atmosphere of acceptance, caring and understanding always forms the basis of our work together.
or Call Tina Gilbertson, MA, LPC at 1-800-651-8085 ext. 01799
On the Fence About Going to Therapy?
If you're reluctant to try therapy, you are not alone! I'm guessing you might be split right down the middle: You feel like talking to someone about what's bothering you, but at the same time, you're just not sure...
Your decision about therapy is a personal one, and I support you in making the choice that's right for you at this time. You can always change your mind and do it later if you skip it for now.
But maybe you've thought about it many times before. You're tired of hurting so much, so often, and you don't want to put it off anymore.
Many potential therapy clients are deeply concerned about opening an emotional can of worms that they won't be able to control, let alone put back again.
That concern, and/or your ambivalence, is a perfectly good starting point for therapy, if you decide to go for it. In therapy, you are in charge. You don't have to talk about anything you don't want to. You decide how much to share, and when. You do therapy; therapy isn't done to you.
I'd like you to accept your ambivalence as not just an annoying obstacle; it's a part of you, speaking to you. And that part needs and deserves to be heard.
Just spending some time exploring and honoring your ambivalence can provide some relief from the tension of painful feelings. You will get to know yourself a little better, and in doing so, move toward accepting yourself for who you really are - ambivalence and all!
Had a Negative Therapy Experience?
I am truly sorry that therapy was disappointing or - I hope this wasn't the case - even hurtful to you. When someone has a bad experience with therapy, to me it's like hearing that they choked on chocolate; it's terrible to think that something so positive has been permanently ruined for someone. I really am sorry to hear that your experience was anything but beneficial.
I was a therapy client long before I was a therapist, and I know how important it is to feel accepted, understood, cared for and productive in therapy. Because I was lucky enough to find a wonderful therapist, I'm a strong believer in the power of therapy. With the right combination of therapist and client, therapy is the most powerful tool for change I know. The trick is to find the right therapist for you. Someone you can form a therapeutic alliance with. Someone you can develop trust with.
My therapist helped me feel understood and accepted. I carry these feelings with me now, even many years later. The changes that happened for me in therapy were so important and life-changing that they inspired me to become a therapist myself. I know that therapy works, because it worked for me. I would love it if you could have a similar experience, and if you're at all interested in trying again, I hope you'll give it a whirl. "With great risk comes great reward."