“I don’t believe in therapy.”
If you say this, you’re in error. Why? Because therapy refers to your mind. Your mind is REAL. Your subconscious is real. Your subconscious refers to your emotions, your unspoken assumptions and your thoughts/ideas. If you have a mind—and you DO—then there’s nothing NOT to believe in.
You don’t have to participate in therapy. But you have no choice about the content and workings of your mind. Rationally speaking, therapy simply means introspection. Specifically, it means introspection with the help of a professional sounding board. A sounding board is someone who listens, articulates back what you’re saying, and tries to help you make sense of what you’re thinking. You don’t have to believe it will help or work. But whether it helps or works will depend upon the FACTS, not on your beliefs.
I have no problem if someone says, “I don’t believe in therapy” and feels a sense of rational purpose, healthy self-esteem and overall serenity in his or her life. You have to take someone at their word when they claim these things. Sometimes they have serenity and happiness, and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes people lie, and sometimes people mistakenly believe they’re happy and serene when they’re not.
I do have a problem when someone says “I don’t believe in therapy” because they don’t believe there’s anything going on with their subconscious that could affect them. Unless you know of every single feeling you have, what the content of those feelings is and why you have them, then you could potentially benefit from therapy with a good, competent therapist. Why? Because it’s always better to know what you’re feeling, and why you’re feeling it, than never to inquire.
If you don’t know what you’re feeling, then you will tend to act impulsively on feelings you never realized you had. You’ll “act out” hostility or other emotions that should have been processed—by you—prior to taking action. You owe it to yourself to know what’s going on in your mind before you take it out into the realm of reality. It’s better for other people, too.
Therapy is not something to believe in, or to disbelieve. Therapy is an attempt to introspect and discover what’s going on in your mind, including your subconscious. Everyone can benefit from it. You don’t have to experience problems or conflicts, and you certainly don’t need to be mentally ill, in order to introspect. Introspection is the psychological equivalent of exercise, a good diet or good dental hygiene. It’s mostly preventative. Therapy is a method developed to help make sure you introspect properly and regularly.
So before you claim, “I don’t believe in therapy,” make sure you understand what you’re really saying. The implications can be profound!
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