What is therapy (3/3)…
Therapy can bring up some uncertainties. Here are some common questions to help understand what to expect:
*Is my therapist a friend?
There is a psychological closeness we might experience with a therapist, which often comes from feeling listened to, understood, and supported. This might feel like a friendship, or being close to a loved one/community member. However, the only role your therapist should have is that of your therapist. This is an ethical, boundaried way of offering support so that you are empowered in your sense of self, life, and personal choices.
*I have specific lived experiences and/or identity. How can this be supported as part of my mental health?
Think about what you need to feel as comfortable as possible with a therapist. This
could be: working online or face-to-face, your therapist’s gender/sexuality, and their skills/training/working experience/lived experience.
Being understood and heard (not just listened to) is dependent on different factors, for different people. Some may want to know that their therapist has been through the same lived experiences and/or has the same identity as them, in order to feel fully supported.
This is perfectly valid because the work of explaining yourself is hard, on top of the challenge of therapeutic work. For some the former can sit close to being disbelieved and disempowered, along with minimising ones’ lived experiences.