Life doesn’t often get better by chance, it gets better by change.
Change can feel uncomfortable. Facing fears, recalling aversive memories and experiences or changing a pattern of unhelpful behavioural can all feel hard.
Being in therapy will reduce your symptoms and help you to feel a lot better, but it can be useful to know that the journey can sometimes be a bumpy one. By having the courage to go towards the uncomfortable, and, to push onwards towards your meaningful personal goals will enable you to prevent things from getting bad again in the future.
Staying well for the benefit of both you and your loved ones is something Sarah speaks about below. She reflects on her journey in seeking therapy and how therapy has enabled her to feel like herself again.
The role of the therapist is to guide you towards both self-understanding and learning different ways of thinking about your problem and the solutions.
Therapy is a process, and change is a process.
It is a process of reflecting, learning and having the courage to try out doing and thinking about things differently. Change will not happen through reading one book or attending one therapy session. It involves a series of steps and each step, no matter how small, is still a step in the right direction, bringing you closer to your personal goals.
Steps backwards can happen, and are common part of the journey to recovery. Taking a step back doesn't mean total relapse or falling back to where you started, they can in fact serve as learning opportunities, helping you to become better prepared for the next bumps in the road.
Therapy often involves working through long held unhelpful patterns of thoughts and beliefs, which are often developed from a young age. Many of these will have served a purpose for the younger self. Yet when they no longer are helpful or are in fact preventing growth, it takes strength, resolve, hope and a bit of a ‘leap of faith’ in the process to let them go. When that does finally happen for a person it is incredibly rewarding and absolutely worth the bumpy journey taken to get there.
Sarah's Journey to recovery
Sarah, accessed online therapy through www.MyTherapistOnline.co.uk for the treatment and management of her bi-polar disorder. Here she offers us an invaluable and honest reflection about her journey towards seeking help and accessing positive change:
"Life is too short to let mental illness get the better of you for long.
I’ve had a diagnosis of bipolar disorder for six years, since I was thirty, and I think I’m brave enough to say that with the right help I’ve learnt how to manage it well.
There will be and have been setbacks, but by being vigilant when, for example, a stressful life event happens, I’ve been able to take action to prevent my illness taking over.
I have accepted that I will be on medication on and off for the rest of my life. But medication alone is not enough. I’ve needed to talk.
Talking to friends and family is valuable but it can be difficult to be as open as one needs to be and with the best will in the world friends and family may not fully understand mental illness. Talking therapy, with qualified professionals, has helped me to understand and take control of my illness.
"It has helped me to be me."
The results haven’t always been immediate, and it’s sometimes been challenging to keep going with it, but therapy has over time given me an ability to catch unhelpful thoughts, stop myself from engaging in them and prevent my mood from going too high or too low.
Part of this is an appreciation of when my thoughts are being driven by the illness rather than me. Therapy hasn’t been about changing who I am, rather it has helped me to be me.
At a time in my life when I have three children under three this has never been so important. Of course, I feel an enormous responsibility to my family to stay well, but I really should have felt this responsibility to myself all along.
I don’t want to live with an untreated mental illness and my experience has convinced me of that helps need to be sought sooner rather than later.
The longer you leave it, the more ingrained unhelpful thought patterns will become.
I need to stay well for me and my family and I need to get help when I need it.
I can’t afford not to. "
If you are interested in speaking with a therapist, contact us directly by email for more information or register you interest via the link below or on our website.
I do hope we can help you to move towards your personal goals.
To find an expert, fully qualified online therapist click on this link - www.mytherapistonline.co.uk/registration-clients
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Website - www.MyTherapistOnline.co.uk
Cognitive Behavioural Therapist