My greatest illusion when I entered psychotherapy back in 1989 was that I'd get fixed. Naively, I thought I'd go along for a while and my therapist would sort it all out for me. I'd then finish up with everything packed away nicely so I could get on with my life. How wrong I was.
Well for starters, it wasn't a while that I went to therapy for, it was years off and on. It took a long time for me to trust anyone with my thoughts and feelings, even a professional. And, on top of that, I needed to learn to trust that this person wasn't going to leave me. What I discovered during my time with my therapist, among many things, was that professional help really made a massive difference. At last I felt understood; someone got me. I no longer needed to feel ashamed for who I was, what I thought or how I felt. Finally, I could be me and be accepted. This of course was the beginning of getting to know, love and accept myself. As I said, it was a long time that I was in therapy; and it cost me a small fortune. But, as I've always said, I'd spend that money again in a heartbeat. During my time with my primary therapist, she'd talk about the fact that at some point in the future I may wish to have the support of another counsellor or therapist. This was something that was quite foreign to me at the time because of course we have no concept of the future. However, as time has gone on, there have been other challenges that have arisen. Over years I've seen a number of different counsellors for different reasons. One extremely challenging job resulted in stress leave and at that time I had a couple of sessions with an EAP counsellor. At another time, I had a family issue I struggled to cope with and sought help again, this time with BetterHelp, an online counselling service. Then last year following my brother's death, I had counselling through our local Hospice. Not only do I seek help with personal issues, but in business too. For the last eight years I have been self-employed and it's been a challenge. There has been so much to learn, and so many things to juggle at any given time. When you work for yourself by yourself, you not only work in the business (doing the day to day tasks) but you also need to be working on the business (strategising and planning) to ensure you're one step ahead. Naturally this is taxing to say the least. And in business, I have sought help too. In the last five years I have worked one-on-one with an amazing business coach here in New Zealand. Following a couple of key overseas business coaches has enabled me to gain new skills too. Each time I asked for help it got easier. What also happened is that I got myself back on track sooner for having done so. For me, the biggest contributing factor to the success of my personal work, has been recognising that I needed help. I find now that it's very easy for me to identify my triggers and behaviours that indicate that something needs attending to. Without a doubt, asking for help keeps me on track. Question: When was the last time you asked for professional help and what did you gain from it? Please let me know in the comments, I'd love to hear. With love,