15 Golden Pieces Of Advice People Got From Their Therapists This Year
Going to therapy can help you cope with emotional challenges and trauma. (Photo: Westend61 via Getty Images)
One of the overwhelming benefits of becoming a psychologist is getting a new perspective on stressful situations and issues that affect your life.
Whether you are in therapy to learn how to better deal with a mental disorder or just to have a safe space to ventilate, a therapist can provide you with valuable advice and insight.
“When I fully accept the need to speak to a therapist, I feel able to manage my past mistakes, use the coping skills I've learned in dealing with my PTSD and anxiety , and to assure me that I do my best every time in one day, ”Anna Samanamu, 26, paraprofessional coordinator and social media coordinator in the parish of Our Lady of the Valley, told HuffPost.
Between the pandemic and the political upheaval, 2020 has sparked an endless onslaught of emotion. At the end of this long and busy year, most of us could use a few words of therapeutic wisdom.
HuffPost spoke to several people about the best advice they had received from their therapists in 2020 and how those discussions changed their views:
Thoughts are not facts.
Raianne Ochoa, 24, a psychiatric social worker, said her therapist taught her to question her negative thought patterns.
"Our brains can go a million miles a minute and we never get a chance or even think about stopping and checking our thoughts," she said. “We can regain our power if we give ourselves this chance. Thoughts are not facts. "
Be gentle with yourself.
"My therapist reminded me that this year we are all facing a collective trauma. I have the feeling that I had more grace and empathy in my private life and in business dealings with others," said Kati Charin, 31 years old - old personnel coordinator at a non-profit health organization. "Above all, the realization that I was" emotionally exhausted "enabled me to be more gentle with myself."
You don't have to bear all the burdens.
Daniela Portillo, 25, an associate marriage and family therapist, said her counselor reminded her that "You are not responsible for other people's emotions. You don't have to carry any of this with you."
Portillo said that advice inspired her to "find the courage to tell my truth and let go of what is not mine."
We cannot control other people's thoughts.
“This year my therapist taught me that I cannot control what others think. So I shouldn't stress myself too much, ”said Samanamu. "When I sense that at a moment when I want to vent my frustrations, I should write three things in a journal that I am grateful for."
Sit before grief and allow yourself to feel it.
After experiencing a loss in her family, Anahi Ortiz Prieto, 35, a confident trainer, struggled to be concerned without feeling like she had to "work around" the sadness. In one session, her therapist encouraged her to "sit and face the pain and discomfort because you are heartbroken and we cannot meditate on it."
Ortiz Prieto said it was permission she was seeking to "stop trying to be okay and instead start being real".
Stop trying to be okay and instead start being real.
Take care of yourself first.
Maria Martinez, a 27-year-old college student, said she struggled to focus on her needs and self-sufficiency after becoming a mother. As she processed this, her therapist said to her, "You are the battery for the car. If you are not powered, the car will not work."
With this insight Martinez realized that she had to take care of herself first in order to give something back to her family.
"I am grateful for your words," she said.
Care for and love yourself the way you weren't as a child.
"The best advice my therapist gave me in 2020 was to love and care for myself as I was not cared for as a kid," said Rosario Carmona, a 28-year-old graduate student. “I am a good, friendly and empathetic woman, qualities that many would like. Instead of disliking my emotional side, I should learn to hug and love it. "
There's never a perfect moment for hard conversation.
Initiating thoughtful discussions on important topics throughout 2020 was sometimes an impossible task - even with family members and friends.
Brandon Perez, 21, a DoorDash delivery driver, said his therapist taught him that "there's not always a perfect moment for a tough conversation and you're not always prepared for anything." You don't have to worry about waiting for perfection. "
You don't have to worry about waiting for perfection.
Passion + competence = self-confidence.
After Cindy V., 30, an accounting manager, discovered that she lacked self-confidence in various areas of her life, she said to her therapist: "Passion plus competence means self-confidence."
She explained that this simple advice helped her approach everything from work to training with a less critical mindset.
"I understand why I am frustrated with myself. But now I know that I only have to build my skills in areas where I want to gain the trust," said V., who withheld her last name for privacy reasons.
It is healthy to set boundaries with others as you learn to find your voice.
"The best advice I've received is that when I'm learning to find my voice, it's okay to set boundaries," said Mandy Dortschy, a 29-year-old product manager. "I always thought that being an introvert means that I'll never be able to speak for myself. I'm still working on opening up, speaking, and asking for help."
Be helpful with your words.
When Luz Elena, a mother who stayed at home, talked to her therapist about visiting her in-laws and their confrontation, he gave her instructions on how to deal with potentially heated conversations: he simply told her to “be helpful with your words ". and try not to speak of a place of anger or frustration.
"I found his advice brilliant," said Elena, 42 years old. "I immediately calmed down and really thought about it and put it into practice - not just with my in-laws, but also with others."
Even if you aren't the smartest person in the room, your voice still matters.
During a therapy session, Carol Guízar, a registered nutritionist, worked her fears on speaking publicly on a podcast.
"My therapist said to me," Even if you aren't the smartest person in the room, your voice is still important. "That statement was so affirming and powerful," said the 26-year-old Guízar. "I always go back to this in moments of doubt."
Even if you aren't the smartest person in the room, your voice still matters.
You know your body and mind better than anyone.
"My therapist advised me to really listen to myself and connect with my body because I am my best and most intuitive healer," said therapist Hannah Rodriguez (29). “My body has great wisdom for me when I take the time to listen and get to know her better. I am the expert of mine. "
Celebrate when you have a breakthrough in therapy.
A breakthrough in or out of therapy is a powerful moment. A 28-year-old events producer who wanted to remain anonymous to speak freely about her sanity said her therapist helped her understand the importance of celebrating growth and progress.
"Acclimatize and get to know the new you," said the event producer, who asked to remain anonymous for data protection reasons. "This creates self-confidence and thus a heartfelt love for yourself."
Give yourself the empathy you give to others.
"The best advice I have received from my therapist has been to channel the empathy I share with others inward," said Kaitlin Nelson, a 32-year-old nurse. "It felt like a great novel idea when she said it, although most consider it 'common sense'."
While traditional therapy may not be available to everyone, resources like mental health Instagram accounts, therapy apps, and tiered online therapy platforms have made connecting with mental health professionals a lot easier. Finding a therapist who can provide you with professional guidance and support may give you more insight into what you are experiencing. Although therapy requires constant effort in and out of sessions, these powerful, teachable moments can empower you to move on and grow.
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.
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