Humans are incredibly complicated, and the one thing that we all try to do is avoid pain. So the first step in working on yourself is making the choice, and it is most certainly an choice, to look at yourself in the mirror, and face down your fears, and start looking into the very painful thoughts and fears that you have. The person who can best help be your guidepost in this process is a therapist.
It’s unfortunate that in the US, we recognize physical symptoms of pain, but not real mental symptoms, but in truth, the mental ones are probably much more destructive in the long run. Which means that typically, we have to pay out of pocket for therapy and counseling. However, let’s face it, if you have read my blog for a while, you know that relationships are one of the most important things in the world, and one of the only real things in the world, and if you can’t have a relationship with yourself, how can you realistically expect to have one with someone else? Further, until you learn to have an honest relationship with yourself, you will never be happy in life.
So by making the investment in a good therapist, you are really improving your standard of living for the future, which I think you will probably find to be the best investment you will ever make.
So what makes a good therapist? One that makes you look at yourself, and ask the hard questions about who you are, and why you do what you do, and when you don’t know, pushes you to dig deeper and not just give up. On that note, if you find that you are not getting anything out of therapy, it is probably because you are fooling yourself about what your real issues are. Of course, there are most certainly bad therapists out there, but if you find you have been to three or four and still find that you are getting nowhere, the problem is probably with you not admitting to yourself that you have an issue, out of fear of dealing with the issue.
Oh yeah, one more point. No young therapists. They don’t have the life experience to really give you good advice. If you are paying big bucks, get your money’s worth with experience so when you come in, the therapist can quickly help you figure yourself out. Also, remember that the therapist is not God, and isn’t you, and that you need to take things in the direction that you think makes sense, and not let them overly impact your decision making process, rather provide an outsiders perspective that can help you come to your own conclusions.
But the main take away is that if they don’t make you focus on yourself, move on to someone else who does – they are just wasting your money.
P.S. Much of the work I have done personally, has centered around REBT (Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy). I found out about it quite by accident around a year ago, doing some research online, and much of the foundations of my personal discoveries as discussed in this blog are a result of the work that I did using that methodology. If I was going to recommend one place to start, I would start with that methodology, since in truth, if my blog post surrounding personal improvement have spoken to you, this will probably be right on target for you as well.