When we’re approaching the recovery process, one of the things we fear most is having to commit to the self-reflection we know will help us heal on a deeper level. We’re afraid of feeling the emotional pain that comes with healing. We’re afraid of having to do this with a stranger, in therapy, which can feel foreign and unfamiliar, especially if we’ve never been in therapy before. We may have heard the prevailing stigma around therapy, that it is ineffective, that therapists are paid exorbitantly to listen to us vent about our problems. A productive therapy relationship, however, can be the missing link between where we are now and the goals we’ve set for ourselves in recovery.
Most of us approach recovery desperately wanting to feel better. We want to be free from the inner turmoil that has been consuming us. We want to discontinue our destructive patterns and stop living the same toxic, recurring cycles. What we don’t realize, however, is that we’re often standing in our own way. We have unconsciously been self-sabotaging and limiting ourselves, with the beliefs we hold about ourselves, with the toxic thought patterns we’ve developed, and with the unhealthy behaviors we’ve been perpetuating. Very often we’re blind to these things. We need the help of an objective source to help us start to cut through the cloud of confusion. We need someone outside of ourselves to help us put up a mirror to ourselves and to start seeing things more clearly. It can be really challenging to reach a place of objectivity and clarity on our own, and that is one of the ways a therapeutic relationship can help us.
Therapists are trained to handle the exact issues we’re facing. They’ve spent years counseling people through similar problems and life circumstances. They’re familiar with the emotions we’re feeling, the traumatic experiences we’ve survived, the losses we’ve sustained. What we think of in ourselves as abnormal or anomalous is to them just another example of the same universal truths – we all suffer, we all cause ourselves pain, we all need help at some point. Therapists can help us to shed some of our self-blaming and self-isolating tendencies. They can help us start to see our self-destructiveness as a manifestation of our feelings about ourselves, and they can help us work to think and feel about ourselves differently. Sometimes what we need most is reassurance, that we are deserving and worthy, that we have someone who wants to support us in our efforts to heal. Therapy can provide us with that reassurance, along with the connection and care we need to really get better.
Riverside Recovery’s treatment programs include multiple kinds of therapy, and we work with you to tailor your treatment plan specifically to your needs. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information.