Recently we saw this Instagram post, it said “I think the reason people think their partners can be therapists is because they think therapy is just talking about their feelings. Therapy is a treatment plan; psychology is a science. Having someone listen to you vent is not the same as creating a plan to heal trauma”.
Now here’s the thing, therapy is whatever you want it to be. Psychologists work with what you bring into the session. We don’t start assuming we know your history & lock you up in a psych ward & throw away the key. Basically, everything you know about seeing a psychologist/therapist is wrong, unless of course, you’ve been to see one.
A lot of this Instagram post is also wrong. Therapy is 100% made up of talking about your feelings & working through them with someone objective & trained to help you through them. You don’t always have to see a psychologist because you’ve had trauma happen. Sometimes you need someone to listen & not judge you, & that is also 100% of our job.
If we didn’t listen, how would we understand what’s going on for you? It would be a nightmare trying to read your mind. Therapy a form of treatment, a treatment plan is known as a mental health plan- which you go on to change behaviour/habits. There is a range of different therapies that help decrease distressing symptoms & disorders, within each therapy are steps on how to do so.
Partners should not be your therapist because they are subjective to your experiences & know your personality. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t talk to them because you should! Communication is so important in all relationships/friendship, its how we let others know how we’re feeling. NEVER STOP COMMUNICATING.
Psychology yes of course is a science & yes of course listening to someone vent is not the same as creating a plan to heal trauma. But let us tell you this, listening to client’s vent, is how trust is built & is how trauma is explored. Imagine someone coming to you & just telling you every bad, traumatic thing that’s ever happened, without any context of the events. That’s how therapy would go if clients didn’t “vent” & it would be extremely hard to explore their trauma without all that context.
Take social media posts with a grain of salt about what seeing a therapist is like because its different for everyone. Some therapists & clients don’t “click”, sometimes it takes a few sessions to trust each other & that’s okay. Finding a therapist that suits your personality & one you feel heard by is important. Please don’t stop seeking help because of bad therapists or experiences. You will find one that works well with you & what you need.
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