People Are Sharing The Helpful Things They’ve Learned In Therapy
Because therapy is expensive, but sharing mental health tips is free.
I was chatting to a friend the other week about our mental health journeys, and I realized I’ve been in and out of therapy for over a decade.
I’ve seen multiple psychologists for various different mental health conditions, and have a bunch of tips and tricks I’ve learned – grounding techniques and being pulled back ‘to the moment’ work really well for me when I’m having a PTSD trigger – that I always share with my friends when they’re looking for ways to manage their mental health.
I know that therapy isn’t ‘one size fits all’, and going to therapy and having someone work with you one on one is best, but when therapy isn’t available or affordable to everyone, sharing tips that have helped you is better than leaving others out in the water without a lifevest.
With this idea in mind, author Caroline Moss tweeted out a simple request to her followers on Twitter this week; tweet out the best lessons you’ve learned from your psychologist.
If you go to therapy quote tweet this with the best thing you learned at therapy that way everyone else can get free therapy
— Caroline Moss (@CarolineMoss) November 24, 2019
As well as crowdsourcing therapy tips, tweets like this open up the discussion around mental health and the accessibility of such services. While reading a series of tweets summarizing lessons learned by others is not the same as going to therapy, for a lot of people, it’s all they have access too.
Some of the tips in the thread are ones I’ve learned through therapy myself, like learning to give myself permission to feel and process my emotions through little crying sessions I call “pity parties”, which has helped my mental health immensely, or acknowledging the pressure of the word “should”.
This is also one of those too-rare cases of the internet banding together and doing a good thing, so more of this on social media, please!
Here are some of the helpful highlights, but the entire thread is a treasure-trove of therapy tips that are well worth a read…
On feeling emotions
It’s ok to feel things. You can’t move on from something if you don’t let yourself feel it first. Something upsets you then you let yourself cry or be angry or go outside and scream. Then you can come back in ready to move on. I used to push my feelings down so this was important
— One Pissed Off Citizen (Wyandotte Witch) (@MNarvestad) November 26, 2019
Confrontation doesn’t need to be a bad thing or an argument. If you’re having trouble talking about a problem, try writing down a bullet list of the issues, why it’s an issue/where it might stem from for you, and what can be done to fix it
— Dominic Mendez (@domendezz) November 25, 2019
“If it’s hysterical, it’s historical”. It helps me to stop, breathe and take a moment to understand why this relatively “small” problem is getting such a disproportionately “big” reaction from me.
— Donna Lynne Champlin (@DLChamplin) November 25, 2019
On talking to yourself
When you negative self-talk, imagine someone talking to your daughters with those exact words. Speak to yourself with the kindness and compassion you speak to others because YOU deserve it.
— Jennifer (@HiJCP) November 25, 2019
Avoid saying “should”. It’s too easy to fall into pressuring yourself and pushing yourself too much. Reframe and rephrase.
“I should exercise” ➡️ “I like how I feel after exercise”, “I should do laundry” ➡️ “I want clean clothes”
— 🦋 Katie 🦋 (@kappatau314) November 25, 2019
Oh! The other good one was that I dont need people who have hurt me to acknowledge the hurt for it to be real. My pain can be acknowledged and validated by me. It is not dependent on the validation of the ones who caused it.
— Kay 🇨🇦🇩🇰 (@kwte428) November 25, 2019
If you can imagine the worst thing, you can imagine the best thing. Both things are imaginary. Say outloud verbally the positive outcome, repeat until it feels more real.
— Jill (@OLCVTA) November 25, 2019
Other people having it worse does not make your pain any less real. I.e., someone else’s broken ankle doesn’t mean yours isn’t sprained.
— Jen T. (@stuffjenlikes) November 25, 2019
On managing expectations of yourself and others
People don’t have to understand your boundaries for you to be allowed to enforce them. You’re not obligated to explain it if you don’t want to. You can just set your boundary and keep it regardless of how others feel about it.
— 🌈 explicitly queer (@quillcollins) November 25, 2019
I learned : Do not attempt to understand why a dysfunctional person does what they do. Dysfunction has no logic behind it. Knowing This, has spared me anxiety and unneeded turmoil
— Grecia Small (@greciasmall) November 25, 2019
“You are not responsible for the version of you that they created in their mind.”
— TJ_Davis (@Ttown316) November 25, 2019
General tips for depression, anxiety, and PTSD
Anxiety stemming from past trauma is reduced significantly if you reconnect yourself with the present when it hits. Things like attention to breathing, sharp flavors (apple Jolly Ranchers), and hot spicy tea help me.
— knit to forget 🏳️🌈🇺🇸🍑 (@got1eyeopen) November 25, 2019
For people with depression/anxiety, I’d recommend this CBT info that my psychologist gave me.
If you can recognise your unhelpful thinking patterns, then you have an opportunity to interrupt/redirect them. Practice makes perfect, so eventually helpful thinking becomes the habit. pic.twitter.com/2jiZd7sVly
— Elliott 🌿 (@BecomingElliott) November 25, 2019
The #BestThingATherapistSaid to me was to break everything down into smaller pieces. No, smaller. No, even smaller. The first step to taking a shower is walking to the bathroom.
— Susanna K. (@superflippy) November 25, 2019
– “If you take care of your body during times of crisis – it will take care of you” (nutrition, sleep, exercise)
– “some people don’t have the same tools in their tool box we wish they had” (when people don’t know how to care/love you in ways that you need)
— Shasta Deanna (@ShastaDeanna) November 25, 2019
Featured image via unsplash.com
Join the discussion: What are some of the best tips you’ve learned in therapy, or that you use to be mindful?