I never thought I would ever need a psychologist. What’s more, I had never worried too much about the work of psychologists or what therapy could do for me. But one day everything changed. I got the feeling that something wasn’t right inside. Moreover, I could not explain why, which made me more and more open to my first consultation with a psychologist.
I felt less motivated. In the things I did I no longer found the same joy that I had once experienced. It became increasingly difficult to get out of bed and out of the house every day. It didn’t even help to know that I felt better once I was awake and outside. I wanted to but I couldn’t. It was a strange feeling. I started to think there was something wrong with my mental health.
Time passed and nothing seemed to change or improve. And finally I found the courage to go to a psychologist. I didn’t know what to expect, what to say, or where to start when I got to him. I was really nervous and reluctant. But now I have seen the results. I can truly say it was totally worth it. It was so different from what I expected.
A psychologist will not tell you what you want to hear. He will tell you the truth even if it hurts
During my first consultation with a psychologist, he asked why I had decided to ask for help. It scared me that I couldn’t explain it. As I mentioned, I just felt bad. I did not find any reason or words for my discomfort. And the opposite of what I expected happened. Actually, it was very easy to talk to him.
He could help me articulate my problems. But he didn’t make me feel alone or helpless. He didn’t just say what I wanted to hear. What he just taught me was to analyze and work on what wasn’t going so well. He helped me to become aware of my imperfections but also of my potential.
A common goal
But we didn’t just talk. From the very beginning, from the very first visit, we agreed that we had a common goal. This is what we wanted to do together: help me get past the feelings of discomfort that prompted me to make an appointment in the first place. This is perhaps the most difficult part of the therapy. You are not a passive being who gets a magical solution to your problems. On the contrary, you realize that your problems can change, grow or disappear. It all depends on how you perceive them and how you deal with them directly or indirectly.
That’s when you realize there are no magic spells. Change is difficult. Sometimes it is even harder to change than to suffer from the problem that brought you to the psychologist. During this process, the idea of who you are can change. This can be scary. But the goal is not to feel good in the short term. You are working on a change that will help you feel good in the long run.
A good psychologist helps you to free yourself from guilt, but also ensures that you take responsibility for your feelings
Once you start therapy and start putting things in their place, know that it won’t be all smooth sailing. For now I became aware of my problems. So I often tried to give them a name, a label. But they didn’t always match what my psychologist told me.
That made me trust him less. Because I believed that no one knows you better than yourself. Later I understood that, just as no one knows me better than I do, I specialized in the knowledge of the spiritual sources and cogs as my psychology sees them. It was something fairly simple. But at first I didn’t see it. It turns out that we are all masters of self-deception.
Self-deception leads us to be too cruel or too good for ourselves. This makes it impossible for us to see our own reality clearly and distinctly. But we so often wallow in guilt for what we feel or for who we are just because we’re not doing it right.
But therapy is like a mirror. It shows you how to see yourself exactly as you are, not as you wish or how you accuse yourself of being. During my first consultation with a psychologist, he helped me to let go of the guilt about not achieving my goals. I learned that I should not use all my energy to achieve them. So he also helped me to take responsibility for the feelings that arose from that feeling of guilt.
Worth the effort
For all these reasons, my first consultation with a psychologist was worthwhile. Now I am stronger. I own more resources. My understanding of the world is more balanced. Now I know I’m not perfect. In fact, I have developed a certain affection for the imperfections that used to cause so much frustration. I can handle life and I can fail. All those things don’t make me weak. They strengthen my motivation to keep growing.
I definitely still have fears. But they no longer creep into my mind. They don’t paralyze me anymore. My fears have no control over me because I have the support to untangle the knots that used to hold me captive.