Giving Therapy Another Chance

With today being World Mental Health Day, I thought I'd take the opportunity to share my thoughts on giving therapy/counselling another chance. My past experiences haven't been the best, and so I was apprehensive about giving it another try, but a few months in and I can honestly say it's been the best  decision I've made for my mental health.

Previously I've had counselling sessions in school and university, as well as NHS counselling from the children/adolescent mental health team. Neither of these worked for me. In school and university we were limited to 6 sessions, but the end of which I felt like there'd been no change whatsoever. It was like they wanted my mental health problems to fit into certain boxes, and because it didn't I was left to just get on with it. With the NHS counselling I had there was a huge waiting list, which didn't help and when I finally saw someone I was just unable to open up. I think it was partly because I had much less of an understanding of my illness that I didn't know how to talk about it, and partly because I didn't just see one person but what felt like someone new every few months which I found really disruptive. I was eventually discharged with no further support and shortly after was put on antidepressants.

For me, medication has been a lifeline. I've been able to function normally and gain more of an understanding about my depression and anxiety, and how I can cope with it. It was only earlier this year through having to take medical leave from my MA that I decided that I needed further support on top of medication. I decided to go for private counselling, and I realise how privileged I am to be able to do so (thank goodness she does a student discount!). I was able to quickly get an appointment and I'm very lucky that I got on with my therapist straight away, although I was fully expecting to have to try a few different people to get the right person.

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I've learnt so much about myself, and made connections with things I have problems with now to events in my childhood that I never would have connected. I'm able to talk about things openly and work out how it may be impacting depression or anxiety. It's emotionally draining, and by the end of the weekly session and I'm very ready for a nap and some baking, but it's been so worth it.

It's always okay to ask for help, there's no shame in it at all. And it's always okay to try again if things previously haven't helped. I'm in a much better place now than I was even a few months ago, let alone this time last year. I'm so so glad that I gave therapy another chance, it's so helpful for me and the hard work of it is really paying off.

Do you have any experiences with therapy?

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