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the fears are paper tigers

2023-09-15

"The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do." ~ Amelia Earhart

Therapy was yesterday afternoon, and it went well! I did feel a little uncomfortable at first taking the reins when answering open-ended questions, but the more my therapist responded well the more comfortable I felt to open up, and even discuss things I hadn't planned on divulging before the session.

My therapist started by talking about her approach to therapy, which centers on CBT, or cognitive behavior therapy. After asking me why I was at therapy and about my history with therapy & mental illness, she asked me a list of preliminary questions to get a more holistic view of my issues, inquiring about my habits, coping mechanisms, experience with trauma/abuse, etc. In doing so, she uncovered a lot of trauma that I hadn't thought about in a while and wasn't prepared to discuss, but I'm happy we did because it'll probably give her more to work with. Maybe they're affecting me in ways I don't even realize.

I think something I didn't anticipate was how much I would have to take charge in therapy. I prepared a bit by sketching out some notes about what I wanted to talk about (thanks eve for the tip!), but I'd also recommend thinking about your goals, or what you hope to get out of therapy. I struggled with this, because frankly the only thing I want out of this is... to feel better? But if I dig deeper I think I can articulate this more specifically as wanting to accept the anger I feel about x, manage the anxiety I feel about y, etc. These more specific insights are easier for your therapist to work with, and mine gently guided me to these outcome-based goals.

Based on need and logistics (including insurance coverage, cost, scheduling), we decided on a frequency of appointment, which for me will be every other week, or whenever my travel schedule allows. She left me with a journaling prompt, which I'm excited to tackle: what are you afraid of? I haven't decided if I want to post my response on this blog, but either way I'm looking forward to what ruminating about my fears will uncover.

On a side note, it was difficult for me to take the time away from work to attend my therapy session. The person who was helping me did not take kindly to being cut short, and left me on my own after that. I'm going to have to figure out better times to schedule these sessions. It's so sad, needing to juggle work, the main source of my stress, and therapy, which is helping me manage said stress.


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