As you’re walking through the front door of the therapy office to meet your therapist for the first time or logging on to your first virtual therapy session, it is normal to feel nervous, curious, and anxious about what is to come. Making the decision to begin therapy can be terrifying and overwhelming. If you are that person, it is important to keep in mind that you have already taken one of the hardest steps: showing up for yourself. It takes an immense amount of courage and bravery to simply show up. Once you get past this step, here are a few of the challenging realities of therapy:

1. Change is Hard and Takes Time: 

Therapy can be challenging. It can be a slow, gradual process and takes resilience from all parties involved in the therapeutic relationship. During the therapeutic experience, uncomfortable feelings and challenges will surface and can be difficult to work through. Working with a therapist through these difficult feelings and challenges, although uncomfortable, can be necessary for change. The good news is that your therapist is there to support and encourage you through difficult times in your journey to self-discovery and positive change. Growth is not linear. Here at Works Counseling Center, we advocate for progress and not perfection. We want to see you strive to be the best version of yourself. It will be hard. There will be ups and downs, with sessions leaving you feeling both your best and, at times, a bit worse than when the session started. Change takes time, and if you put in the hard work, the results can be truly life changing.

2. Therapists Are Imperfect Humans, too: 

Although therapists are there to be really good listeners and provide insight based on your shared experiences, we are not perfect, and we do not have all the answers. Therapy is collaborative, and you must continue the work outside of sessions for progress and change to be seen. It is also totally okay to let us know if you feel like there is a gap in understanding between you and your therapist. Your concerns matter, and we want to be present and supportive. Remember, sessions are for you and for you only! Communication is important with your therapist and can ensure that you can get the most out of therapy.

3. Not Every Therapist is a Perfect Match: 

Although we are there with the purpose of encouraging and supporting you through change, as mentioned earlier, we are humans, too. This means that we all have our own styles and approaches to counseling. Finding the right therapist with whom you feel you mesh well and whose style you can resonate can take time, and it might not be the first therapist you meet. Finding the right match can be very important to what you get out of therapy. Having a strong therapeutic relationship is a helpful and necessary part of the journey you will go on through therapy. It’s okay to explore other options or ask your current therapist who they might feel is a good fit for a referral.

The reality is, therapy isn’t easy for most individuals. Here at Works Counseling Center, we work to ensure that the process is as comfortable, safe, and welcoming as possible for each client. Our therapists work hard to provide a space where you can share your story and grow as we encourage autonomy and walk with you on your journey. My hope in sharing these difficult realities is not to scare you from seeking therapy but to prepare you for what it looks like sometimes and to let you know that we, as therapists, are aware of the overwhelming and nerve-wracking experience that is therapy. You are not alone. Together, we will navigate the challenges and celebrate the victories through your therapeutic journey each step of the way.