In the second half of this discussion, we will explore some of the reasons why you should or should not talk about therapy outside of your sessions.
Reasons to Talk about Your Therapy
Here are some reasons you may want to tell people you’re seeing a therapist:
- This is especially true for addiction and substance abuse recovery. If your friends and family members have worried about your addiction for a while, telling them you are in therapy will reassure them of your progress.
- Setting clear expectations. If people close to you are aware of your therapy, they will have forewarning about upcoming lifestyle changes. For instance, if you have a diet change as part of your eating disorder treatment, your family members can support your new food choices.
- Building your support system. Having strong support speeds up the recovery process. If you have people cheering you on, you’re more likely to fight to reach your goals.
- Creating accountability and commitment. Once you tell someone you are in therapy, it re-confirms that you are committed to this process. This is similar to having a workout buddy. It’s someone to keep you accountable.
- Become comfortable with the process. If you still feel uncomfortable about being in therapy, talking to a supportive friend will help justify the decision.
- Avoid confusion about your whereabouts. If your therapy sessions affect an existing schedule, you may need to explain your whereabouts to those affected by the changes. Example: your spouse may question why you’re coming home late every Thursday.
- Help others overcome their struggles. If your experience in therapy can help someone else, talk to them about it. Use your growth to encourage growth in others.
Reasons NOT to Talk about Therapy
Here are some reasons you may not want to tell people you’re seeing a therapist:
- Personal validation. If you are telling people about therapy to brag about your potential improvement, that defeats the purpose. Your satisfaction should be the focus of your therapy, not someone else’s.
- A negative support system. If telling people about your therapy may slow down your progress, consider discussing it only after your recovery.
- You need time to get stronger. It may take time to build your self-esteem before discussing your therapy with others. You need to get to a place where you can feel confident about your journey, no matter what anyone says about it.
- You’re just not comfortable with it. If you’re not ready to tell people about your therapy, trust your instincts. This is something that you’re doing for yourself, and there is nothing wrong with keeping it personal.
Do What Feels Right for You
If you feel comfortable telling people you are in therapy, go for it. If you would rather keep that element of your life private, that is perfectly fine too. What matters most is that you achieve the goals set out in therapy.
To schedule an appointment with a therapist in Novi, MI, call Perspectives Counseling Centers at (248) 946-4664.