2018.09.05 – Self Maintenance

September 6, 2018 ,
This post is to celebrate working on yourself and feeling no shame about the work that you do!

I grew up in a culture where therapy was called “going to the shrink” and it was what crazy people did. Crazy people being those humans who were, obviously, “not normal”. Dealing with bouts of depression and anxiety since my early adolescence, I knew I needed some help along the way, but it took me a damn long time to actually seek the help of a professional who could be there for me, listen to me and come along on my journey.

It took me a long time because going to therapy was and continues to be stigmatised. It is something you don’t really talk about. It is something private, where private has become a code word for things we never talk about because we fear the judgement of others. But I have come to view therapy as self maintenance. You don’t have to only go to therapy when you are broken and feel there is no hope. You can got to therapy to learn more about yourself and get better at whatever you feel needs improving.

This is the day that I attended my first psychotherapy session in 5 years. It felt great. It felt even better knowing that this time around I am not looking to “fix” anything anymore. Because there is nothing to fix. I am doing quite ok, but I could also use some help. And professional help is the most useful to get. Not to mention that getting some thigs off your chest really makes you so much better.

So I am very grateful that I have the opportunity, the means and the privilege to do this work with myself. I am proud of myself for not being scared and ashamed anymore. And I would encourage you all to give it a try. It could help you more than you know. Or if you know someone who is struggling, maybe suggest therapy to them. Because we do not only need maintenance of our physical selves, but also of our mental and emotional world.


    1. Not really. That is like saying that if you have a friend who can apply a bandaid in case you get hurt, then you really don’t need a doctor. Of course there are many situations where having friends that you can be honest to is incredibly helpful. But a therapist has special training to guide you through all manner of situations and help you find your own answers. Friends do not have that kind of training and offer advice that is also based on their own biases. A therapist can also help you understand the patterns in your behaviour that are not very useful and help you make meaningful change. I really do think everyone could benefit from seeing a therapist and learning more about themselves 🙂

      1. Of course, there are always edge-cases where you really need a specialist but, at least, on my own life, I observed that only dealing with the issues by yourself can truly fix them (you with your own biases and so on, knowing them won’t save you from using them).
        What I think a friend has and a therapist doesn’t is the accumulated trust which needs lots and lots of “sessions” to evolve.
        Don’t forget that they actually need to be pretty smart in order for it to work.
        That’s just my opinion, of course, based on my own life experiences.

        1. That is exactly where my objection lies, in that people think you can only benefit from the help of a specialist and the unbiased view of a therapist if you have big problems. And I really do not think that is the case. I think there are many, many skills and mechanisms that you can learn in therapy which are much harder to achieve on your own. And I think most people do not get to benefit from therapy precisely because they view it as reserved for edge-cases. Therapists all get trained and we should all learn to trust them for their expertise just as we trust our GP for medical problems, our lawyer for legal issues and so on. 🙂

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