Therapy’s Bum Rap

People who have a mental disorder. People who need to be medicated. Perhaps people with a substance abuse problem or people with other bad habits. On occasion those people who can’t work their own problems out.

These are probably the kinds of people you think of that need therapy. Why is there such a stigma attached to going into therapy? Why do we think only people with MAJOR problems or people who are too weak to work out their own problems find themselves a psychologist? And besides, what IS a “major” problem? Is the loss of a loved one a “major” problem? Is divorce a “major” problem? Is stress a “major” problem? What about worrying or being frustrated?

Yes. These are all major – to someone or another. The truth is we could probably all benefit from therapy because we all handle difficulties and obsticles differently. Therapists help with that.

I recently sought out a therapist. I am not ashamed of this – in fact, I LOVE THERAPY! Therapy Thursdays are my favorite day of the week. I get just over an hour of focus on me and how I think and how I handle what I think about. I get to focus on why I make certain choices and decisions, and how I could handle those decision-making opportunities better. I get to work on ME!

Most people, when they find out I am going to therapy, say something like, “are you all right?” “Do you need to talk?” The answer is YES. I am totally fine, and YES I need to talk – to a therapist. It’s not anything against my friends or family members, but a therapist gives an unbiased, professional opinion on what he observes. He asks the questions that might be offensive or loaded coming from someone who is close to me. I don’t feel like I am defending any choices when I am talking to him.

He starts every session the same: “what have you been thinking about or doing this week?” Then we go through my week and talk about the topics that come up. Sometimes it’s work-related; sometimes it’s personal; it’s ALWAYS helpful. I feel like a zillion bucks when I leave my session. I feel happier in my every day life.

Therapy is a good thing – not something that should be looked down on. Next time you feel like you are drowing or just unhappy a lot – maybe you should talk to someone…professional.

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.