Why do we resist therapy? Well… Some of us think we can figure it out on our own, when life gets tough and messy. We go to school for years and prepare ourselves for a job with math, science, history, art, and composition but rarely get the chance to prepare our minds for life. We look towards our parents, friends and family for guidance but never really listen to their input. So we tend to stay in our heads and listen to our inner voices that tell us things like “we are not good enough.” It compares us to others. Our inner voice can bring out all of our fears, which prevents us from moving forward.
I saw a therapist a couple years ago because I was “stuck.” It was one of the best things I have ever done for my family and me. Seeing her allowed me to release the pressure in my head and get a better understanding of why I was “stuck.” It was all due to the love that I had for others which was preventing me from following my passion and living the life that I was being called to live. My therapist helped me release my fear and get a better understanding of whom I was. The following is part 1 of 3 and was pulled from a conversation that I recently had with a friend who is a local certified therapist named Teri Sorkin M.A., MFT. Her private practice located in Livermore Ca. is counseling for children, Teens, Individuals & Families. On the home page of her website it clearly state’s “Life Is A Journey!” and she is exactly right! In her words:
“As a Therapist my job is to give clients a safe, empathetic, non-judgmental, and compassionate space to discuss concerns pertaining to relationships, work, yourself or just this crazy thing we call life. Everyone deserves to uncover his or her ultimate potential and live a meaningful life. Unfortunately, life can become busy, exhausting, confusing and at times even daunting. Therapy allows you to carve out a small, but significant, amount of time to breathe, speak openly to an unbiased person, and work towards positive solutions.
While we cannot change the past, we can seek to better understand and resolve current challenges. Through observations, insight and techniques, I help bring awareness to behavior patterns or negative perceptions that most likely are holding you back from having the life you want to create. Enjoying the moments in life is a wonderful thing!”
Enjoy the adventure into our conversation:
Session 1 of 3 The Talk:
Keven: Teri, why do you believe there is such a negative stigma about therapy?
Teri: I think there is a stigma because people associate therapy with “you’re crazy” I think media has an effect with it. People say “I go see a therapist or I go see a shrink”…that’s like the code word. A shrink technically is a psychiatrist who prescribes medication. So that is the difference from being prescribed and on medication and seeing a therapist. A therapist is a counselor; there are different types of counselors and therapist. Then there are psychologists who can do talk therapy and are generally more educated in research. They can do psychological testing and test for disorders and they are also doctors. Psychiatrist or only medication, alot of people get this confused. That I think is it. We need to do a better job educating what the differences are. The other end of the issue is that when people go in for a 50-minute therapy session they have some other concept that it is. They are just uncomfortable with the unknown.
Keven: I have always looked at it as there is a speed bump in the way and when you go see a therapist they help remove the speed bump for us.
Teri: Yeah exactly “we are there to listen.” Clients come in with this stigma and they feel terrible about it, But once they spend some time they get comfortable and realize how productive it is.
Keven: So going in for one session can be a learning experience for them?
Teri: Yeah totally. Once most clients sit in the room, the majority of the clients realize what it is and then say, “I want to book again.” We are there to be non judgmental who are an open eared third party to work with them during their journey and discovery.
Keven: When is the best time for someone to seek a therapist?
Teri: I am pro therapy so I feel that anyone can go for any reason. It could be a really big problem with a really big speed bump, or it could be a fork in the road, or it could be life is just a little stressful. It could be becoming a new parent, becoming a newly wed; there are so many reasons for seeing a therapist. Something that everyone needs to know and question is; is life going smooth and I’ve got this? Or do I just need that little assistance on the side? Am I using alcohol as a crutch? Am I getting self-care at all? Do I feel like I’m drowning? Do I feel like I’m treading water? I think if anyone of those questions is being asked or the answers to those questions are of concern or unknown then they should see a therapist.
Keven: I have to be honest…I think everyone of us has something we can see a therapist about. I actually feel that we should be seeing therapist as often as we see a dentist…. no even more than we see a dentist. Like this should be a bi weekly or monthly thing. Can you imagine how awesome we would be if we did that? This is preventative maintenance.
Teri: Yeah it’s a check in for you. Just give yourself that one-hour to reboot your mind. One hour to think on your own out loud. It doesn’t have to be about depression, or anxiety or suicide. It can just be about, I can’t figure out this idea, or my kids are stressing me so much I feel like I’m a bad a parent.
I would say 99% of people who have a session would go “Whoa, that totally worked. Look what came out of me!”
I’m biased of therapy of course but I am confident that this would help. That question is usually what is asked during couples therapy. Couples ask when is a good time to see a therapist? The answer: when it is maintenance. It’s a date thing. A difficult time is when someone is already out the door. The best time is when they are seeing or feeling something is off or different. When you’re out the door it’s a lot harder to bring someone back in at that point.
Keven: Did you just suggest a date night with therapy, instead of going to the wine bar?
Teri: Yes I did. There are a lot of couples I know that do that.
Keven: How has therapy evolved and changed throughout the years to handle what some may see as new age issue?
Teri: There is constantly new research and therapy being developed. We find code words that continue to come up like mindfulness and such but one consistent thing is always a “therapeutic relationship” This goes way back. There is more research now on LGBT and such. However the therapeutic aspect has generally stayed the same. We are becoming more open minded about all types of people, things and processes. There is acceptance and commitment therapy, which is new, and some other misc. ones. The bases haven’t change but there are other ways to use them.
It’s most important to know that therapy only works if you are comfortable with whom you sit across from. If a client comes in and is not comfortable with me then it’s not going to work. If there are those that have gone to see a therapist and didn’t like the situation because of some disconnect then I want them to try someone different. Even if they are my clients if they don’t get along with me then I want them to find another therapist because it takes two to make this work.
“It’s not about us, it’s about the client and making sure they feel right about the relationship we are building together.”
To Be Continued……
Thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope you found it fruitful. Stay Tuned for Sessions 2 and 3 in the coming weeks, where we get into the discussion about education, social platforms, connecting the dots of life and self-confidence/self awareness with technology.
To contact Teri Sorkin M.A. MFT for a trial session click this link: