Everyone knows that finding a therapist you can connect with can be hard and scary. Boulder, CO has the most concentration of therapists in the world and it can be really overwhelming to find the right one for you.
Therapists talk a lot about their credentials and training and how long they have been practicing, which speaks to their competency, but not to their relatability. It can be really hard to connect to and feel comfortable trusting your life with someone you know nothing about. It can be hard to trust in someone as your guide to health and well-being if you have no idea if they know what it’s like to try to heal. Can they walk the walk or do they just talk the talk?
Yes, there are ethical implications for therapists concerning self-disclosure, but the truth is, many therapists err on the side of little to no disclosure, leaving potential clients like you possibly feeling disconnected, unsure about therapy, and invalidated.
I want to know that my therapist is a real person with real struggles who knows how to work through their shit.
I have had a few really good therapists in my life and in Boulder. While their credentials, training, and years of experience got me in the door, I stayed because they answered my questions about why they became a therapist and do the work that they do in honest, heartfelt ways.
Their response helped me know that they get what I’m going through and they know how to work with me because they have been there too. They acted like real people, not a blank slate with no expression. When therapists have answered my question with more questions about why I’m asking about them personally, I’m out the door.
Perhaps you have had similar experiences – wanting to trust and feel connected to your new therapist and the session(s) left you feeling unsure about the therapist, whether they really get you, whether they can really help you, and whether therapy is even that helpful in the first place.
You may have seen so many therapists at this point that you really do question if therapy works.
You may have at this point taken a break from looking for a new therapist. It’s exhausting, time consuming, and a bit heart breaking every time you meet a new therapist, get your hopes up, and find out they are just like the rest you’ve seen.
But the truth is, the issues you want help with are still there and become harder and harder to ignore. It’s true that the therapists you tried didn’t make you feel good, but what you are currently doing isn’t working either. Getting stuck is feeling old.
It’s totally understandable that you feel disheartened and stuck. It’s a little bit like you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t. So many people struggle to find a therapist that works for them, and many people give up because they feel so vulnerable and unsure about putting their healing in a stranger’s hands.
It’s true that trying to find a therapist that feels like our Person can be hard, scary and overwhelming. However, I’m going to share with you some of my story and why I became a therapist so that you can see that I am a real person that you could feel connected to. There are some of us who are real people willing to be open and genuine in order to support their clients. Much like you found your partner or best friend, it’s totally possible to find your right therapist.
Keep reading for the 4 reasons I became a therapist so that you can see that Real People Therapists exist before you even make an appointment.
Trying to get your shit together on your own gets old.
Sure, family and friends want to be helpful, but often their advice just isn’t helpful. You don’t want to rely so heavily on your partner and feel like a burden. And Self-help books have only taken you so far.
You have tried a lot of techniques that you’ve picked up along the way on your own, but you only feel better for a little bit before all the old thoughts and feelings come rushing back. It just feels too hard to keep trying to pick yourself back up. It’s hard to keep feeling like the underdog in life.
Living this way has become extremely exhausting. It’s easy to feel more cynical and pessimistic about the possibility of feeling better. And unfortunately, it seems like its rubbing off on the people around you. More and more you find yourself spending time alone because everyone is “Busy.”
Life gets a whole lot easier when you find your right therapist healer.
Although you struggle with trusting, you can find the right therapist to help you heal and you have the potential to find the perfect badass therapist for you. It may take a little bit of research and intuition, but it’s possible.
When we choose to try again and start looking for the therapists who share some of their story through their website or blogs/vlogs and feel relatable through their marketing, it’s possible to know they are right for you before you even step in the door.
You have the opportunity to get the help and support you need so that you don’t have to figure out how to heal yourself on your own. Therapy can be so connective and transformative with the right fit that you can leave feeling happy and confident in your ability to live a badass life.
Here are the 4 reasons I became a therapist and the Underdog’s ally so that you can trust there are Real People Therapists out there to choose from.
1) Being in therapy helped me learn to heal myself, which made me want to help people learn to heal themselves too.
Anxiety ruled my life for much of my childhood, adolescence, and young adult years. As someone who suffered from a communication disorder, I literally stressed every time I had to speak. I never thought it would get better and I worried about being judged constantly. I developed a lot of health issues because of it and had panic attacks – one that was so bad I ended up in the hospital. I used a lot of drugs and alcohol to try and feel better, which only worked temporarily, and then stopped working. And most of my loved ones didn’t even know I was struggling with all of this because I never talked about it.
Getting into therapy in my late teens through my 20’s was the best thing to happen to me. With the help of my therapists I figured out how to stop taking myself so seriously, how to talk about what was happening for me so that I didn’t feel so alone in it and how to learn to appreciate my anxiety and how it was trying to protect me so that it didn’t have to run the show.
If you work with me, you will know that I walk the walk, meaning I’ve been in a shit ton of pain in my life and figured out how to heal. Know that what I am guiding you in doing, I’ve done myself and seen lasting results. I will never ask you to do something I’ve never done because I don’t believe in “Do as I say, not as I do” Therapy.
2) I’m empathetic and highly sensitive to other people’s pain and wanted to put it to good use!
My parents have told me that from a very young age, they would often find me sitting next to the kid on the playground who was crying. I wouldn’t say anything, but I would just sit there with them. Eventually, they would stop crying and want to go back to playing.
This trait of mine really hasn’t changed. I LOVE sitting with people who are in pain, but not in a sadistic or masochistic way. I love how pain (and our relationship to it) changes when we try to focus on it in a compassionate way. I can sense the level of pain, where it lives in the body and how its affecting the system emotionally, spiritually and mentally (and I know I can do this because I check it out with my clients and they regularly confirm my intuitive hits).
By learning to sit with it, by learning to tolerate and accept it, we can transform. Our culture teaches us to try and avoid, push away, or push down things about ourselves that feel uncomfortable or we hate. This makes sense right, because who wants to feel pain?
When I first went to therapy, my therapist said, “What would you do if the anxiety NEVER got better?” I freaked out at first. But over time, I realized that I had gotten pretty far in my life with it – it made me humble, observant, and compassionate. That’s when I stopped fighting it so hard and started listening to it. Together, with my clients, we work on how to sit with the pain and not fight it. Accept it and listen to the wisdom in it. When we become more confident that we can feel and accept our pain, we move towards freedom.
3) I’m a sucker for learning ways of helping people that really work.
Because talking was often difficult for me, movement became an integral part of my life and form of expression. And through movement I became highly aware of how people use their bodies to consciously or unconsciously communicate, protect themselves, and cope with things they were feeling and thinking. Fast forward to finding Sensorimotor Psychotherapy for the treatment of trauma and other issues and I learned how working with the body can be a mechanism for healing – something I’ve always intuitively felt was true.
There were times in my life I felt totally out of control and slave to despair, anxiety and perfectionism. It literally felt like I had different personalities living in me that would take over when they felt like it.
Have you ever seen the movie Inside Out? It’s an awesome animated Pixar film that illustrates how different parts of us (anger, joy, sadness, disgust, etc) interact and sometimes take control in well meaning but sometimes misguided ways. Later in my training I was introduced to Internal Family Systems Therapy and it felt like I had come home. This modality helps us understand and work with the different parts of us by helping us access our True Self, the part of us that we can lose connection to with the onslaught of life’s difficulties. Internal Family Systems is all about helping you become your own healer so that you can work with and help your own parts and bring balance and peace to your Internal System.
Here at Mana Counseling Services LLC in Boulder, CO, I will combine these ways of working with you in a holistic way that you may not have experienced before. Many of my clients have shared how fun and exciting therapy can be and how much they like coming to therapy knowing that each session may be uniquely different. They often leave feeling empowered and accomplished.
4) I felt like an underdog most of my life, but when I figured out how to feel like a badass instead, I wanted to help people feel that way too.
Having a communication disorder created a lot of shame and low- self esteem. I constantly compared myself to others who I thought were better than me. I often wouldn’t say what I was thinking or feeling, averted my gaze or kept my shoulders stooped so that I could try to hide. Feeling like the underdog SUCKS. Feeling like everyone else has a better life SUCKS. And feeling like we will always be the underdog SUCKS THE MOST.
My experience feeling like an underdog is how I’ve become known as “The Underdog’s Ally”. I help people move from feeling like an underdog to a badass by connecting to their source of power and life force.
When you schedule a session with me, you will get to experience what it’s like to have a real person as a therapist, one you know who gets what it’s like to feel beat down by life, and one who you can trust to help you connect to your power and ability to heal yourself.
Finding a therapist that feels like a real person is totally possible. You absolutely can accelerate your healing journey when you find them! If this blog helped you recognize me as one of those real people that might be able to help, email me and let me know! If you are ready to schedule, click here to schedule your consultation session today, before you lose your nerve.