22 Hot Takes From Therapists That People Still Remember Years Later That Changed Their Outlook On Life

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For many people entering therapy, it can be difficult to open up about their mental health issues to someone. However, one of the benefits of a therapist is having an outside viewer who can offer insights you may not have even considered.
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Reddit user u/aboveach recently asked, "What did your therapist say that sticks with you to this day?" Here are a few answers:
1. "'What was adaptive then is maladaptive today.' Basically, the tools you used to survive trauma as a child aren't necessarily healthy tools as an adult, you need to learn new skills and use better tools.
2. “As someone with anxiety and severe impostor syndrome, my therapist often asked about these metaphorical references. She asked direct questions about reality and damn it, she cut the crap. I said, 'I'm so bad at my job, my students hate me.' I said, "Yeah, but... but... oh shit. You're right."
"They said, 'Prove it. show me the receipts
There were no receipts. It forced me to face some realities that my brain lied about."
3. "If you're having a hard time putting everything in your head on paper because it's 'too much,' imagine how hard it must be to carry that around 24/7." Since then, I've been in kept a journal of my darkest times. She was right."
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4. "'When someone tells you who they are, believe them.'"
5. "'Shit is warm.' That said, people like to be in a bad situation because it's comfortable and familiar, even if it sucks!"
6. "'Your feelings are valid, but they aren't always true.' She said it in the context of impostor syndrome and feeling like I was just one wrong step away from losing everything.Of course I felt that way, I'd been in survival mode since childhood, but the reality was that it was me doing great at my job, having a fiancé/husband who loved me and friends who cared about my wellbeing as much as I did.I wouldn't lose anything in this context."
"I've found that this also applies to other, nastier thoughts and feelings I have about myself. Feeling like I'm not good enough or unlovable is a valid feeling. It's 100% wrong. I still feel it sometimes, but now I have the tools and coping skills to recognize that it's okay to feel this way, even if it's not true. Your feelings are always valid, even if they don't come from a place of truth - a big part of processing those feelings and healing from my childhood trauma."
7. "'You can't control how people behave. But you can control your distance from them.'"
8. "That everything you tell other people is a choice. You don't have to explain yourself or feel like you have to tell anyone anything. It really helped me as an adult that I felt like I NEEDED to say certain things to my mom, but could tell her more if I wanted to."
9. "The power of 'and.' I can be thankful that I survived the struggles I experienced AND saddened by the losses they caused."
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10. "That there is no such thing as 'should'. There's what happened and what's happening, but spending time/energy on what should have happened and what shouldn't have happened takes away from what actually happened."
11. "I didn't accept my belly after giving birth, and they said, 'You hate your belly because you grew up and saw your mom hate her own belly. If not for yourself, learn to love your body lest your daughter grow hate hers.'"
12. "Whenever my anxiety starts to mount and I keep talking about everyone else's thoughts and motivations (I assume I will), I hear her voice saying this line, 'You're a fortune teller again.' it controls me again and reminds me to try to do a lot of mind reading.
13. "Restore doormat here. I tend to prioritize everyone but myself. It's old, but the saying goes, 'Put on your own oxygen mask.' Saving others is not your responsibility."
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14. "What are you going to do this week to make your life easier?" I inherited that kind of puritanical work ethic; the idea that difficult weeks or heavy work simply have to be endured. You lower your head and go through with it. It was really a perspective shift for me to imagine myself consciously letting go of a responsibility or choosing to schedule time to relax instead of just working harder. It may seem small, but it honestly changed my life and attitude."
15. "Forgiveness is not for them. It's for you. And you don't owe them anything, even if you forgive them."
16. "'We live in shades of grey' was such a simple statement, but probably the most profound thing I've ever been told in therapy. I've been in therapy for years for my bipolar disorder and in high school I was a perfectionist high achiever... I had a very all or nothing black and white mindset that my therapist told me which means life isn't like that simple is like black and white thinking, there is much more to it. Again, it's really simple and I guarantee she doesn't even remember telling me, but this is the only piece of life advice I've ever remembered.
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17. "Be your best friend: If you wouldn't accept this situation happening to your best friend, why would you accept it for yourself?"
18." '...work the edge.' This means that not every problem has to be tackled 100% head-on, but you can flip the problem upside down, assess it, and work it from the outside in, stick a needle in, chill out every day without an “inevitable” nervous breakdown and address it later from a different or softer angle. You can address issues and truths with other people, including with discretion and respect. That's not a personality trait, it's a skill."
19. "You wouldn't talk to your close friends and family the way you talk to yourself and expect it to make them feel better. You must try to talk to yourself the way you would talk to them, with encouragement and caring rather than bitterness and frustration.' This way of thinking has helped me in many ways. It was difficult learning not to be my own bully, but my god, my life has changed since I've been kinder to myself. I tell myself it's okay instead of being stupid, I say try again next time if I fail instead of telling myself I should have known better. It's liberating."
20. "My therapist told me that if I expect people in my life to be as there for me as I am for them, or to do as much for me as I do for them, then I have unreasonable expectations. I'm afraid she might be right."
21. “Peace of mind is more important than winning or proving a point. Stop trying to convince people, accept that they don't see things the way you see them, so you can have peace of mind. Knowing that you have a disagreement with someone else and can move on.
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