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What to Expect During Therapy

Updated: Aug 16, 2023




As mothers, we constantly remind our children that they can always ask for help – but when we tell ourselves that, it's definitely easier said than done. So if you're here as a first step to getting help, congratulations. It takes a lot for us mothers to put ourselves first, even though that shouldn't be the case.


You're at the cusp of a transformative journey that will inch you closer to self-discovery and empowerment— and the not-so-simple parts that came with motherhood like healing, forgiving, and coping with the crazy, beautiful, selfless life you live. But a long list of questions come with the first step, which we'll tackle together.


What is psychotherapy or talk therapy?


When seeking professional help, don't let the terminology scare you! Psychotherapy or talk therapy is a broad system of treatment using psychological methods to identify and change troubling emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.


There are many approaches to psychotherapy. A common one is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which deals with studying patterns of negative thinking and gaining understanding of their origins. Once these are identified, the specialist can work on developing coping and combat mechanisms that will help the patient deal with it long-term.


Other terms and treatments you could familiarize yourself are:

  • Psychiatry - a medical specialty that focuses on diagnosing, treating, and preventing mental health disorders through a combination of therapy and medication

  • Psychometrics - a medical specialty wherein professionals assist mental health professionals by administering tests and measuring for mental illnesses and learning disabilities

  • Counseling - a therapeutic process where trained professionals provide guidance, support, and interventions to help individuals address emotional challenges, improve coping skills, and enhance their overall well-being Note: Not all counselors are trained in the clinical setting.


What is therapy like?


All our experiences of therapy are different, because all our lives and personalities are different. But as mothers, a common thread that pulls us together is our penchant for giving 200% of ourselves every day.


"In one of my first sessions, my therapist talked about refreshing my oil. She mentioned how when oil gets old, it doesn’t produce to the same extent as what new oil can. 'Are you refreshing your oil, or are you trying to give from dirty oil?' Which I translated as, 'Are you tending to yourself and your needs, or are you giving even when you have nothing left to give?'"

Motherly | Therapy for Moms

Whether it's overcoming postpartum depression, facing past trauma or generational cycles, or even just talking to someone, therapy is a safe space to find yourself again.


What happens during your first therapy session?


The journey of psychotherapy begins with a warm and welcoming atmosphere. A therapist creates a safe space where we can freely express their thoughts, emotions, and challenges without fear of judgment. The initial consultation involves discussing goals and concerns, allowing the therapist to tailor the approach to the individual's needs.


Before going into it, it's good practice to go through a list of self-reflective questions that will help in discussing your goals with the professional:

  1. What emotions or challenges have been dominating my thoughts lately?

  2. What changes do I want to see in my life?

  3. Are there any patterns or behaviors of my own that I want to understand or change?

  4. What kind of support do I want to get out of this?

  5. How or when would I deem my progress in therapy successful?

During the sessions, conversations revolve around the our experiences, thoughts, and feelings. The specialist will gently guide the discussions, helping us explore our emotions and providing insights into patterns of behavior.


Each therapy session is like peeling back the layers of an onion. The process is collaborative, with therapists working with us to develop strategies and coping mechanisms that align with our personal circumstances. These sessions are a judgment-free zone, where our experiences are met with empathy and understanding.


How do I break down the stigma around therapy that others (and maybe I) have?


Despite its proven benefits, seeking therapy still carries a stigma in some circles. Mothers, in particular, may hesitate to reach out for help due to many misconceptions.

  • Seeking therapy as a sign of weakness

  • Seeking therapy as a sign of ungratefulness

  • Therapy is a waste of money, or rather, the money you spend could be allocated somewhere else

  • Judgment from others, specifically from the older generations


It's crucial to shatter this stigma and recognize that seeking support is an act of strength and self-care. Every mother deserves the opportunity to nurture her mental well-being. Just as physical health requires attention, mental health is equally important. Sharing success stories and testimonials from mothers who have benefitted from psychotherapy can inspire others to take the step towards seeking the support they need.


"Therapy is not a magic cure for all. It’s basically a space where you’re allowed to express everything without judgment and no bias. The job of the therapist is not to give you solutions, but to guide you to a place where you can acknowledge the realities happening in your life and then assess how to improve it or change it or in other cases, step away from those scenarios that are not healthy for you.

But overall, it’s not the therapist who will do that, it’s you. So you have to come in there not thinking it will solve all your problems, but that it will open your eyes to see where things in your life can change to move you in the direction of healing, acceptance, forgiveness and all the things that will help difficult situations.

Lastly there are so many different kinds of therapy so definitely I understand why it’s frustrating that people say it as if it’s a cure-all pill. And it’s really about finding the right therapy but also finding the right therapist that fits. 🩷"

  • Trix Clasara, mom of 3


How do I seek professional help?


For any individual seeking therapy, finding the right professional is tricky. The first step is focusing on what you need and looking for a therapist who could help meet that need.


Our team of experts is dedicated to supporting mothers on their mental health journey. Whether you're facing postpartum depression, anxiety, relationship challenges, or simply seeking guidance and support, our experts are equipped to provide the help you need. Whenever you're ready, help is there. You can book a session with Beacon.


Motherhood is a journey that deserves to be nurtured and cherished. By prioritizing your mental health and seeking the support of mental health counseling, you can empower yourself to navigate the challenges and joys of motherhood with resilience and grace because well mothers mother well.




 

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