Our Families Say 9

Therapy hasn’t always been my favorite place to go. Having been in therapy since I was eight years old, and having now turned twenty, I have gone through about thirteen therapists. I remember there was a point in my therapeutic treatment when I hated therapy and I dreaded every appointment. I was embarrassed by the fact that I was in therapy, that I even needed it. My middle school friends must have thought I was very sick, because as far as they knew I was constantly being pulled out of school for “doctors” appointments. After a while, I started to recognize that therapy was a good thing for me, because it gave me an outlet to discuss subjects that I wouldn’t (or couldn’t) discuss with anyone and would stuff deep inside myself until I had another breakdown.

After my first hospitalization at seventeen, there was this shift when I started actively participating in my treatment. I started to ask questions, to make difficult decisions about what was healthy for me and what was not. I started to recognize my strengths instead of focusing on my weaknesses. And I started telling my friends that I was in fact in therapy. I remember being so scared about their reactions, but nine times out of ten they were okay with it, and were glad that I trusted them enough to let them know.

Now, the relationship between therapy and me is different. I cannot say that I always enjoy it, but now I can recognize the positive effects it has on me. It hasn’t always been my favorite place to go, but overall, it has helped me to create coping skills, to have someone to talk to when I ‘m feeling depressed, and to help me maintain my life as a healthy young adult. It has allowed me to have an outlet for my feelings so that I don’t keep them inside and internalize them. I still have trouble expressing my feelings, even in therapy, but I am working on what I need to work on, and that is good enough for me.

—Therapy and Me: A Work in Progress