Everyone needs therapy. I don’t say this because I just had my first therapy session today; I say this because I truly believe our generation deserves better and needs to do better.
At present, we are a group of broken people, raised by other broken people, who didn’t know any better. They made mistakes along the way, and if we are to break the pattern of denying or underestimating the importance of mental health, we need to begin by accepting the mere fact, that it’s ok to ask for help.
Opening up to someone who has never met you before is probably uncomfortable. However, try to take comfort in the fact that you’re doing this for yourself and knowing that this person you’re opening up to, has the tools you need to manage your mental health. That certainly was my outlook going into my first therapy session.
This is perhaps an overshare, but if it helps someone, nothing will help me sleep better at night – and God knows I’ve been struggling with that.
So, here goes nothing.
Some people find solace in Spiritual healing, preachings of Gurus or the gatherings of Satsangs. After having tried all of these, and yet, overanalysing years and years of feelings, trying to be my own therapist, I finally admitted I needed better guidance.
My search for a good therapist wasn’t easy. I had initially started searching for one when I was employed at a hospital and had long and uncertain work hours. I wanted to visit someone whose availability matched mine. I was also conscious about the fact that my therapist would be in the same locality as me, and so may have common connections. I was extremely uncomfortable about that.
In my experience, every time I looked for a psychologist, the search engine kept bringing me lists of psychiatrists. For those of you who don’t know the difference, a Psychiatrist is often an MBBS doctor, who has specialised in Psychiatry and is authorised to prescribe medications. A Psychologist on the other hand is a mental health professional who has a PhD or is a graduate or postgraduate in Psychology but isn’t authorised to prescribe medications.
I prefer a non-medicinal approach to mental health, and so I was looking to visit a Psychologist.
Moving on, I realised, an online consultation would be the best bet for me. I came across several apps and websites that offer such consultations online. I even registered for BetterHelp, which I found seemed very helpful. However, I realised, it wasn’t a financially viable option for me. I kept coming across more sites that didn’t seem like the right fit, till very recently, I bumped into Hopequre* on Instagram.
(*At this point I’d like you to note, none of this is sponsored; I’m just sharing my experience with the hope that you may find it useful.)
At Hopequre, I found a list of psychologists with their consultation fees and their years of experience. I found this encouraging and decided not to procrastinate any further. The website and app are both user-friendly and pretty straightforward. Having done a bit of exploration, I found that they have programs and self-assessments, and more that you can benefit from. However, I would recommend you consult with a therapist rather than opt for these programs. To me, that just makes more sense.
I found a therapist who seemed to have the experience I found relevant to my issues and charged an amount that I could afford. So I went ahead and booked my first session. As a person with moderate social anxiety, I have to admit I was extremely anxious and self-conscious right up to the moment the session actually began. Even though I faced some technical issues from the therapist’s end at the platform, we quickly switched to Google Meet so that we didn’t waste any further time.
The therapist made me feel comfortable and welcome. She was easy to speak to and seemed absolutely non-judgemental. Her approach was solution-oriented, and she gave me some tools that I intend to follow. At times I did feel like we spoke about certain clichéd concepts, but I guess that’s the price you pay for being overly active on mental health and self-empowering pages on social media.
All-in-all, the session was good, and I have been feeling a little better than I was yesterday. I look forward to exploring what lies ahead and see where it leads me.
Surely intend on sharing all about that, right here.
Do drop a comment to let me know your thoughts. And I sincerely hope my experience has helped you in some way.