Have you ever worked with a therapist or a practitioner for support? Is this something you regularly do or has the idea never occurred to you?
Recently, I was speaking to a friend in Victoria who has found herself struggling due to the ongoing and extended lockdowns in the state. She’s sometimes feeling overwhelmed, is tired of sitting in the same chair in her office and desperately misses her in-person catch-ups.
During our conversation, she said, “Maybe I should see a psychologist … I’ve never met with a psychologist before.” The thought of it seemed quite captivating to her, almost as though she was realising for the first time that she might be missing out on something. I reckon she just might be.
I feel so grateful to live in a world where there is so much support available to us. Maybe my friend will find great benefit in working with a psychologist or perhaps it ends up being another type or professional or practitioner that supports her on her journey. And maybe it’s different people at different times in her life.
Over the past five years, I have worked with an extensive number of practitioners and interventions including psychotherapy, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), transformational kinesiology, psychology, emotional freedom technique (EFT) tapping, meditation and facilitated retreats.
Around four months back I started with a psychologist who specialised in a couple of therapy techniques that caught my interest.
When I shared with my partner that I was starting the treatment he asked “Are you ever going to stop seeking support from other people?” I confidently replied “No, I want to be sure that nothing is holding me back in life” but I’ve since gained even more clarity.
What I’ve realised is that I am no longer seeking support from a deficit perspective. I now have self-acceptance and I have deeply embedded strategies that allow me THRIVE. The reason that I partner with professionals is that I’m now always looking for the edge – How far can I take this? What is my potential? How amazing can my life be?
At the outset of the work with my psychologist, we set goals for the work. After nine sessions I realised that we have achieved the goals and it felt like our work was drawing to a logical conclusion. Interestingly this came at a time that I felt like I was experiencing one of the biggest shifts in my wellbeing, one that I described to a few friends as a “tectonic plate shift”. A degree of clarity and joy not previously experienced has shown up in my life.
I commented to a friend that I wasn’t sure whether the psychology had actually caused the shift because I am always undertaking simultaneous growth experiences ie. there were too many variables. I love my friend’s perspective on this – “It’s the fact that you’re engaging in multiple growth activities simultaneously that has caused the major shift. You’re amplifying your results because of the multiple inputs.”
Some of us balk at the idea of spending money on ourselves. I can honestly say that practically every dollar that I have invested in my personal or professional growth, including my wellbeing, has been returned many times over.
Is it time that you started investing in yourself? If you’re already doing so, is there an opportunity to maximise your results by stepping it up?
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Donna Thistlethwaite is a Brisbane-based speaker and trainer specialising in mental health and resilience. She is an accredited Mental Health First Aid Instructor and Resilience at Work Facilitator with a passion for suicide prevention and for helping individuals, teams and organisations to THRIVE. You can find out about her next Mental Health First Aid courses here.