I took this picture here in Minneapolis a couple of weeks ago and it made me think really deep for some reason. If you look closely you can see a little bird on the wire in the middle of a dark cloud … and then outside of the cloud there is a bright blue sky & green trees. To me, it represented being stuck in tough times but to never forget things will always get better and there’s more out there than just where you’re stuck at.

I was always one of those people who “didn’t need” therapy and thought it was all a scam. After getting divorced and having some family drama I decided that I should try to go. I tried twice actually. But I didn’t really vibe with the therapists and I hadn’t hit rock bottom yet. I wasn’t ready. I am a huge believer that until someone is actually ready, therapy will make NO difference.

Well in November of 2015 I officially hit my rock bottom. I started seeing a therapist and my first visit was an interesting one. She straight up looked me in the eyes and told me she doesn’t work with women in abusive relationships because it’s such a vicious cycle and she never sees any of them get out and change. I sat there stunned. Typically I would have thought she was a major bitch and never have gone back there. But something deep down told me to go back the next week. I continued to see her for the next 8 months. Usually once a week, sometimes twice and eventually every few weeks near the end. Maybe her saying that gave me enough motivation to prove her wrong. I don’t know. She did apologize at my very last session about making that comment and told me she was proud of me for not being one of those women who never gets out.

You should “shop around” until you find someone who you truly vibe with and trust. Do not be afraid to speak up if it’s not working out, therapists even say this to you. You are not going to connect with every therapist and that’s perfectly okay. Once you finally connect with someone, you will know. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a couple to find the best one.

Anyway, my point in writing this is just to say that you should never be ashamed to see a therapist. No one is above asking for or receiving help. I have been doing a lot of reading lately about how my generation will be the one to break the family trauma cycles & patterns and begin healing. I am a big believer in the transgenerational trauma theory, which basically says trauma can be transferred or passed down to future generations. It’s empowering to read how the stigma of therapy is changing and how now more than ever, people are putting their mental health needs first and healing. That gives me hope. I honestly think some type of therapy and self reflection should be required for every mid to late 20 year old. You go through such a significant change during this period. You are ready to process some of the wounds you’ve endured thus far and mature enough to start thinking about the future and breaking your patterns that no longer serve you.

I started going to therapy for a specific incident and of course it opened the doors to many other issues I had never addressed. Part of the problem is that we just don’t have the tools and knowledge to know what to do to confront our past issues. Having the help of a professional to guide you through those mucky waters is extremely beneficial. They are also an unbiased third party just there to listen and offer suggestions. It did wonders for me working through some deeply rooted issues. There were childhood issues that clearly shaped how I view the world, but I never had thought about that before. My therapist helped me pinpoint my issues and then helped me work through them so that I was able to move on and heal on a deep level. She gave me tools, resources, knowledge, and strategies. I have seen that there are now a lot of online virtual therapists too, which could be a good unique option for some. I know for me, that uncomfortableness of being face to face with another human being confiding my intimate and dark secrets, was what I needed. I don’t think I would have gotten as much out of it if I wasn’t face to face.

If you’ve ever considered therapy or have been on the fence about it, I strongly encourage you to try it out. The worst that can happen is that you just don’t go back. It shows you are FULL of courage and a true warrior to confront tough shit from your past. When you WANT to heal, you will … so be patient with yourself at the same time.