Therapy, for me, was a life-changing experience in many ways. It helped me make sense of my situation (also, made me realise that it is not as bad as I think it is), gave me the strength to pull myself together, and, helped me reach a better, happier space in life.
However, there is one more thing that I learnt from my therapy sessions that have helped me transform myself for the better – it helped me understand my emotions.
What does that mean?
It might sound surprising to some but often we don’t understand what it is that we are feeling and why. We might use terms such as happy, sad, or, even depressed but we don’t know what they mean. Further, we don’t understand what exactly are we feeling right now and why.
I was facing the same problem. I was going through a really bad phase in life and was in a dark space mentally. I would often write off anything I felt as sadness or depression because of the problems I was battling daily.
However, therapy made me understand my emotions. It made me realise that a lot of it was not sadness but was coming from a place of deep-seated anger. Anger that I had been carrying for a long within myself (and, I didn’t even realise).
My sessions with the therapist helped me make sense of why I was carrying this anger and how I could finally let it go for the better. The day I finally came to terms with it, all things made much more sense. It was like a heavy weight was finally lifted off me and I could finally leave this space that I was in for a long time now.
How did therapy help me understand my emotions?
In hindsight, as I ponder now, therapy helped me make sense of my emotions because –
- It was the first time I ever even bothered to think about my emotions. Even though I had been mentally disturbed for some time now, never once did I stop to think and make sense of my emotions. I just took each day as it came. Therapy forced me to acknowledge that I was feeling certain emotions and needed to think about them.
- My therapist helped me explore further. My therapist was a patient listener. She never gave me any cues or solutions or ‘quick fixes’ at any point during our sessions. All she did was listen patiently and then nudge me to think further, to give myself some time and that is what simply put me on the path of healing.
- It gave me a safe space to share. Therapy was my safe space. It gave me a comforting environment to share and be true to myself. I knew I was not being judged and could just share anything I wanted, talk about whatever made sense and explore my problem, emotions, and deep-seated fears in any way I want.
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