• Jess Steward

What Really Happens in Therapy?

Here's our insight into what therapy is like and how to access it

For many, therapy may seem intimidating and nerve-wracking. I am here to reassure you that it is not, and it may well change your life. I have always struggled with fully understanding my own mind, but therapy allows you to learn how to cope.

My therapy journey began during the very first COVID-19 lockdown. I felt isolated and was struggling to come to terms with the sudden halt my otherwise busy life had come to. I was fighting with grief and, all in all, was failing to feel truly myself. So I endeavoured to find a therapist on Bark, as at that point, I wanted someone to tell me what was wrong with me. Turns out, nothing was wrong with me… I was working through a lot of emotions I hadn’t had time to address in the fast-paced life I was previously living, and they had all come crashing down.

My biggest tip for accessing therapy, if you can afford it, is to find a private therapist who will work with you. I found an agency on Bark, contacted the owner and she asked all of her therapists who would be able to give me sessions for the price I could afford. If you cannot afford it, however, utilise any means possible; your university wellbeing, the NHS, even Samaritans and Mind. All of these will help guide you in the directions you need and want to be going.

The first step is looking. It may be daunting but if you meet with one therapist and end up not getting on with them, it is okay to look for another one until you are happy. Initially, I struggled to connect with my therapist, but as our bond developed we began to see eye to eye and she truly helped me. However, that is not always the case; sometimes you just will not get on with them and you need to look elsewhere. You wouldn’t keep going to a hairdresser who dyes your hair the wrong colour, or a doctor who gives you the wrong medication, so why would you allow yourself to see a therapist who is wrong for you?

In all honesty, the best bit of wisdom I can give is that you will never gain anything positive from a negative mindset. When looking to go into therapy, it is imperative that you trust the person you are seeing. Trust really is the basis for therapy being successful. It can be difficult sharing all of your scars and struggles with someone you have never met before, but go in with a positive mindset, try not to close yourself off, and be vulnerable - it really will change your life.

That being said, not everyone will get on with therapists and being told how their struggles and pain can be helped or coped with. Some people are not truly ready to heal. The best and most important thing to do is to keep trying to find what works for you so you can live a fulfilled, happy and, most of all, healthy life.


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