In the last couple of years, therapy has been praised and appreciated by more and more people. The brain is such a complex organ, and to have somebody demystify your thought patterns and behaviours seems like a blessing. It seems as though the benefits of therapy outweigh the cons. Some people preach the need for therapy, not just when you have a problem but as an ongoing life process.
While therapy has been praised from time immemorial, there are some things that you may want to know about it. Here are 7 things that they don’t tell you about therapy.
- It is expensive
Therapy is so expensive that it might as well be classified as a luxury rather than a necessity. If you look around, most therapy sessions in Nairobi cost between 3,000 to 5,000 shillings per session. The problem is that you need to be consistent. Many therapists will also discourage sessions that last longer than an hour, mainly because it lessens the risk of over-exposure to painful emotions. So before settling on a therapist, you need to know that it’s going to poke your pockets.
- Finding the right therapist is as hard as finding the right skincare product
Therapy sure is a lot of things, but it is not a one size fits all kind of situation. Just because a friend has recommended a therapist doesn’t mean it will work for you. Finding a therapist whose personality matches yours may be a hard task. It’s just like finding a friend. You try one, and you realize they don’t work for you. Maybe they’re too forthcoming or maybe they sugarcoat things. A misalignment in personalities with your therapist may lead to more harm than good. So, how do you find the right therapist? You have to try and hope for the best.
- Unpacking your issues is not a pretty process
It may seem like it’s as easy as ABC. You walk into a therapy session, they help you discover things about yourself, and you walk out. But believe me, therapy can sometimes get ugly. It’s not easy to be told that something which happened ten, twenty years ago is affecting you until today. It’s not easy when a therapist picks out your faults and helps you to understand that you need to fix them. Before you get into therapy, know that there will be a few tears shed here and there.
- The issue of dependency
Dependency is another issue that comes with therapy. You start off thinking that it’s a short-term thing, and then one day you wake up and realize you are dependent on it. It gives you some sort of guidance and direction in your life. To help with this it is useful for the therapist to have a clear set of rules or counselling contract they can explain to the client about their role as a therapist, when they will be available, the rules around booking and cancelling sessions, answering the phone/emails/texts outside of the therapy session, ongoing reviews and a planned ending.
- Therapy is a slow process
The truth of the matter is that two therapy sessions will not fix your inner issues and neither will three or four. Therapy is a slow gradual process. Therapy takes time, and often, a lot of time. In fact, usually much more than most people think. It takes time to uncover the offending underlying factors and then to make a healthy change. It then takes time for the client to internalize the information from the therapist and to make healthy behavioural changes to the point where success begins to unfold.
- The definition of successful therapy is subjective
As we go about our day, we experience new things, some bad, and some not so bad. It’s hard to establish the real definition of successful therapy. If a client outlines a specific list of goals to accomplish and they did not accomplish all of them in therapy, does this mean the therapy failed, or that there is more work to be done? One might look at this same situation and realize that this person may have reduced their overall anxiety, learned some new coping strategies, and greatly improved in many areas, even if they have not “completely fixed” everything that bothers them. Most therapists tend to avoid concrete thinking when it applies to more subjective ideas, such as the therapy process.