Wait, what??! Therapy?! FUN?? I know it may seem like a strange concept and would likely not be a person’s first descriptor, but I believe it can be true for some based on my experience. You may be asking yourself, “How can addressing my trauma, disturbing experiences, and pain be FUN?! (This therapist lady must be joking)”. I’m perfectly serious!
Of course, therapy inevitably comes with some discomfort as we work through the hard stuff. There are often tears, vulnerability, and even somatic complaints like headaches or tension. I’m not making much of a case for “fun” here, am I? Stay with me…
Once you get over the hump of all that tough stuff, a cool thing can sometimes happen. If you put the work in, you start noticing changes. Maybe not huge, Earth shattering changes (although that can occur), but changes nonetheless. Many client’s report feeling exhilarated, proud, and downright awesome when they start changing as a result of the effort they put into their therapy. Therapy comes with goals and achieving those goals can feel like an amazing accomplishment (rightfully so!). Many of my client’s do not often feel proud of themselves in day-to-day life. Attending just one appointment can result in a feeling of pride. Engaging in therapy means that you are proactively trying to improve yourself. It takes courage, strength, and commitment which are all qualities a person can and should be proud of!
Don’t forget, one of the most important parts of the therapeutic process is the relationship you build with your clinician. That working relationship requires ethical boundaries, but also involves many of the dynamics that are present in other relationships in your life such as, empathy, support, and humor. Building a relationship with your therapist on a foundation of positive qualities can be part of the fun as it enriches your life! Many client’s have reported looking forward to their sessions when it’s a good fit with their clinician.
Most people have endured a lot of their social/emotional problems for months or years before seeking therapy and many have done so with astounding loneliness. Having a supportive, safe, space to unload all of that baggage can feel really good. Improving your mental health is just as important as improving your physical health. Have you experienced how good it feels when you consistently exercise and have a balanced diet? It is so exciting when a person achieves physical fitness goals, why should it be any different when it comes to mental health?! While it can be difficult to explore negative patterns, relationships or experiences, and there are no guarantees, the relief that is often reported from processing those things can make it worthwhile and yes…even “FUN”!