For the month of March, we’ll be zeroing in on personal health and wellness. In this week’s unit, we’ll start scheduling all the appointments, focusing in today on your therapist.
Additionally, I’m going to take a moment to remind everyone that I’m not a medical professional—these episodes are friendly conversation and should be taken as such.
If you’ve ever watched TV, you’ve seen a terrible relationship play out because one of the characters refuses to do some growth work. You’ve likely seen people screaming at each other and crying. You’ve likely seen name calling and terrible apologies. This is our constant representation of the world, and I’m going to tell you a realization I had about five years ago—this isn’t how life has to be. TV does have to be that way, because it gets boring when they let the couple be together in a happy healthy relationship (think Jim and Pam from the office as soon as that wedding is over). Life doesn’t have to be reactive all the time, and we don’t have to try to wrap everything up in a pretty bow. That’s not reality, that’s TV conditioning. I realized this because I’ve been working with therapists to maintain my mental health since I was about 19.
I started in college because I was offered a certain number of free sessions per semester, and the therapist was able to push them past that number because I needed a lot of support. I have continued off and on for over a decade now, talking through my life with another human whose sole job is to listen, thoughtfully inquire, and support. I don’t go weekly all the time. In fact, I’ve had six month gaps. But when I start noticing stress building up in my body, that means it’s time for me to schedule in an appointment.
Talk therapy with an LPC (that’s a licensed professional counselor) doesn’t have to be all trauma trauma trauma. It can be a great step to resolving trauma. But literally everyone can benefit from talking through problems with a human who is on the outside. A lot of friends serve this need as well—my closest friends and I have a trusting relationship where we can confide and offer advice from a distance—but a therapist will have training and data to back up their questioning methods and process.
I’m also going to acknowledge that talk therapy is expensive, which really sucks. This is the other reason that I want to mention that it’s a privilege, and if you can foster safe spaces with trusted friends who will listen (which means you listen to them to), that you can often get similar support. I go to therapy to cry, which sounds super indulgent and is sometimes. But I also go to therapy to say things like, “I need to assess my coping skills.” To say things like, “I’m repeating a pattern of behavior that I’m unhappy with, and I’m not sure how to stop.” To say things like, “And I know this is all stupid, but it’s how I freaking feel!” My therapists have taught me over the years that new problems will always arise and old patterns will creep back. A good therapist will call me out in a supportive way if I’m doing something that is contrary to my values. A really good therapist will laugh with me about really dark stuff while I heal.
I personally believe that talk therapy is good for everyone. We were all raised in our community bubble, no matter how big or how small and all picked up behaviors that were not exactly verified by science. So if you find that you’re not getting where you want to be in an aspect of your life, it might be time to book three to five sessions and just talk it through. Some talk therapy is covered by insurance, so you can start by checking there, but anticipate paying around $120 per session. I know. If I hadn’t seen such a huge benefit over the years, I wouldn’t suggest it. But to me, talk therapy is the preventative medicine of my brain and heart. It’s where I name problems and solutions. It’s completely honest and private, which life doesn’t always have the luxury of being. So if you’ve ever thought, “I wonder if I should talk to someone about this?” You should. Just—you should. Search for an LPC in your area and get at it.
Tomorrow, we’re talking Personal Appearance appointments. Make sure you check out yesterday’s episode about preventative care by dentists and optometrists if you missed that.
If you’ve resonated with any episodes lately, I would love for you to share about it on Instagram or Twitter and tag the show @nowthatimnotyourteacher. And finally, if you haven’t left a rating and review on your podcasting app, I would really appreciate your taking two minutes to go to Apple podcasts and do just that. In fact, you can do it while in the waiting room for your next appointment.
You can do it, I can help. I’ll be back here tomorrow to talk with you about my least favorite appointments to schedule—personal appearance!
Now That I'm Not Your Teacher by Taylor Vogel is a podcast that offers insight about the real world stuff that teachers often want to say, but either don't have time to or really shouldn't.
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Now That I'm Not Your Teacher is a podcast that helps you tackle the responsibilities of adulthood with the support and structure of a (former) teacher's guidance.