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Culture,  Personal Notes and Opinions

From Anxious to Excited: All About My First Therapy Session

Disclaimer, I’m over-excited today because I’m really looking forward to my upcoming session and I’m taking therapy again after One. Whole. Year.

This post is all about channeling my energy as well as being nostalgic about the first time I walked in for therapy. I hope this helps you get an understanding of what you can expect as well as encourage you to take the first step if you’re somebody who is contemplating going for profession help.

It’s been almost a year since I went for my last session. Over these five years, I’ve been constantly taking sessions and they’re not all with the same mental health professional. However, they were all vivid experiences and all of them helped me on a track of behaviour that ended up constructing the person I am today,

A lot of people think that therapy is a one-time, few-sessions thing. But not according to my experience. I have come to realise that I can’t change the true nature of who I am as a person. You’d probably ask, “Why even go to therapy if it’s not going to change you?” Because you’re seeking help towards understanding why you feel the way you do. Through therapy, you’re basically trying to understand your internal motivators and you’re also understanding what you need to change about your behaviour in order to create an environment for yourself that helps you grow and resolve your issues in the healthiest way possible. Asking questions is the first step towards creating a change and this change is not one of personality, but one of behaviour.

I strongly remember my first ever therapy session. We’re diving into a teenager’s perspective so let’s keep the judgment to a minimum. There’s no dispute as to how terribly scared I was and I remember asking my friend to join me. This was right after college when we would normally make outdoor plans to hang out with everyone. She couldn’t give me company, but as an 18-year old with a pretty good social life, I was also scared that she might tell people about the nature of help that I was seeking and everybody would end up judging me. My first ever therapy session – I asked my friend to tell anybody who asked for me that I was visiting a gynaecologist for menstrual issues. Long story short, I preferred that people think something was wrong with my uterus rather than my brain.

I won’t say I regret it today but I do find that I’ve grown tremendously in my approach towards therapy over these past, few years.

The first session was, let’s say, jitterry. I was really anxious and I wasn’t sure where to start. There were so many questions running in my head and I think I expected her to be a life coach; to give me solutions to my problems. I wanted to tell her I’m confused with my career and I’d like you to tell me what to do. More like, please pick a field for me because I’m so damn tired of thinking about this. Up until the moment that I walked into her office, I was shit scared.

Would she judge me?

Would she find me to be an annoying, entitled teenager?

Would she think my problems were too small when there are some “real” problems out there in the world?

She was nothing like that. She was the most amazing experience I have ever had in my life. She sat me down, gave me a minute to calm down while she ruffled through her papers. Handed me a sheet to fill in my details as well as to fill in why I thought I needed help. I think that’s pretty standard process now. She went through what I had written and with the most energetic smile, she said, “Let’s start!”

I ended up talking about a lot of things and every statement by me was guided by a question from her. She really assisted with the conversation, ensuring that we touch on every single point. All through the first session, there were constant prompts to help me delve deeper into the issue that we had picked. So also letting you know that with every session, it always involved tackling one problem after the other. And so this is also my advice to you – try not to go into the session expecting that you’ll be able to talk about all of your issues at once. I’ve found that it’s not even a healthy choice to make since you have to reflect on what you’ve figured out about yourself post the session. Better to solve one problem at a time.

I’m not going to be pretentious about this, I came home feeling liberated after my first therapy session. The person who did not want to tell anybody that she was taking therapy, she came home and let the whole world know that she’s made the best decision of her life. Since that day, I’ve tried to make this a more open subject to talk about. I feel people have to appreciate that we now have access to so much about how our mind really works.

Whenever I need something to change about my life, I book a session and try to find answers to why I’m going through this particular issue. Why does this feel like something I’m unable to navigate in life. Is a behaviour change or an attitude change required over here. Throughout my sessions, my major areas of conflict have been my career, people-pleasing, low confidence and grief counselling. The reason I keep going back is because I’m a person who needs to be reminded constantly about why this behaviour change is needed.

I’m not saying that there have never been permanent changes. There is so much that has permanently changed about me through therapy. Most of all this includes the courage to seek help when I need it (guiltfree!). I have also changed in my attitude towards problems that life continues throwing at me. I find that everything can be solved, I’m not helpless anymore. I just need some guidance as to the right way to deal with any ongoing issue.

I’m also not saying that you’d probably be taking sessions all life long if you choose to go in. However, all I’m trying to put forward is that therapy is an amazing thing to experience. You learn a lot about yourself. You say things out loud, things that you never even realised were in your head. You find out so much about your thoughts and that’s the whole point – finding answers to why you feel the way you do. A lot of these issues have very simple solutions – really bite-sized exercises to practice in order to get better at your behaviour or to train your mind into getting better at helping you when you need it to.

Irrespective of how self-dependent these activities are, I have also found that once in a while, I need a reminder as to why I feel the way I do. And this reminder is the motivation to constantly work towards being a better person in life, in growing through your challenges in life. Further, one thing I can tell you for sure is this – there’s always some hurt or some incident in your childhood or while growing up, and these incidents have shaped you, no matter how trivial they may look to you on the surface. These incidents have created your persona and even when you have pushed them deep down your memory lane, these still continue affecting the way you make decisions in life. No matter how many therapy sessions I take, I’ll always need another session to tackle another problem that surfaces out of another part of the inner child that I’m trying to protect.

Coming back to this wave of excitement within me; I’m going for another session tomorrow! And I’m super happy about this. I really look forward to new sessions because I know I’m going to step out knowing something extra about myself. Besides, it has been really difficult to understand why I’m constantly making career choices that I know I won’t end up feeling comfortable about. So yay! I think I have the right questions this time and I hope this one helps me feel more at ease about the decisions that I plan on making soon.

Until next time…

Lots of love and virtual hugs,


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