Therapy is often seen as a safe haven for individuals seeking support, healing, and self-discovery. Beyond its primary goal of addressing mental health challenges, therapy can also serve as a powerful vehicle for finding a profound sense of freedom and liberation. In this article, we’ll explore how therapy can provide individuals with the tools and insights to break free from the shackles of their past, fears, and limitations.
Unburdening the Past
One of the most significant ways therapy can offer freedom is by helping individuals confront and process their past. Many people carry emotional baggage, unresolved traumas, and painful memories that weigh them down. Therapy provides a confidential and non-judgmental space where these burdens can be unpacked and examined. Through techniques like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), or talk therapy, individuals can begin to heal old wounds and gradually release the grip of the past on their present lives.
Therapy is a powerful tool for self-discovery. It helps individuals gain a deeper understanding of themselves, their behaviors, and their thought patterns. This self-awareness can be incredibly liberating. When you understand why you react to certain triggers or why you’ve developed certain coping mechanisms, you gain the power to change and grow. Therapy helps you step back and see your life from a different perspective, which can be the first step toward making meaningful and positive changes.
Breaking Free from Limiting Beliefs
Many of us are held back by self-doubt and limiting beliefs that have been ingrained over time. Therapy can challenge and reframe these beliefs. Through guided conversations and therapeutic techniques, individuals can learn to recognize and challenge negative thought patterns. This process can lead to a newfound sense of freedom as you begin to break free from the constraints of self-doubt and self-criticism.
Healthy relationships are a cornerstone of a fulfilling life, and therapy can provide the tools to build and maintain them. Through couples therapy or family counseling, individuals can learn effective communication, conflict resolution, and emotional regulations skills. These newfound abilities can lead to more harmonious and satisfying relationships, liberating individuals from the turmoil of unhealthy dynamics.
Coping with Life’s Challenges
Life is unpredictable, and everyone faces challenges. Therapy equips individuals with valuable coping skills and resilience-building techniques. It teaches you how to navigate difficult emotions and situations with grace and strength. This newfound capacity to face adversity head-on can lead to a profound sense of freedom, as you realize you have the tools to overcome life’s obstacles.
Therapy is not just about addressing mental health issues, it’s a journey towards self-discovery, empowerment, and freedom. Through therapy, individuals can unburden themselves from the past, gain a deeper understanding of themselves, break free from limiting beliefs, and learn to cope with life’s challenges. Ultimately, therapy can be a path to liberation, allowing individuals to live more authentically and fully in the present, unburdened by the wight of the past and equipped to embrace the future with resilience and confidence.
What do you do when the world feels too hard and makes you want to give up? Sometimes, we try things like bad habits to help us feel better, but some habits can get us into trouble. They can cause problems with ourselves, or relationships, and even get us in trouble with the law.
But there are good ways to handle tough times. Learning how to deal with challenges, finding ways to feel better, and staying strong in tough situations are really important. These things can help us have a successful life.
Success can mean different things to different people. But when someone can rise above their problems, it shows they can do well in life. They don’t get stuck in feeling bad about themselves or things that happened in the past.
Sometimes, our feelings can hold us back and stop us from living the way we want. To get rid of these bad feelings, we need to know what’s causing them. Then, we can figure out what we can control. Once we know that, we can start to let go of those bad feelings and move forward.
Everybody goes through tough times, and it’s not always our fault. To feel better, we need to learn to forgive. Forgiveness doesn’t mean we’re saying it’s okay what someone did to hurt us, it means we’re letting go of the hurt so we can be free from those bad feelings.
Relationships can be a person's greatest strength or a persons greatest weakness. In counseling, we teach that relationships or social support can be one of the most stabilizing factors in a persons life but what happens when those relationships that we invest and do not really go two ways. You can find yourself spending so much time and energy on relationships and people that may not be giving anything back. Part of this issue is that people tend to be in denial when this is the case and do not want to face the hard truth that maybe they aren't in a relationship at all. If this is the case, you can try to renegotiate terms of the relationship by expressing your needs but if this fails you will be faced with a choice of whether or not to accept the relationship in the condition that it's in or spend your time and energy investing in relationships that could give you something back. I would love to know what you do when you are in this situation. Please feel free to leave a comment.
As a therapist, I spent a fair amount of time talking about the importance of being of service to others as part of recovery and is part of just what it means to be a healthy person. Positive psychology has shown that gifts of service or acts of kindness can actually make you happier and more fulfilled in your own life. However, like anything, this is about balance. Therapist will often say that you need to "put yourself first". On the surface, this statement sounds selfish or even rude but putting yourself first is the only way for you to be able to guarantee that you can really be there for someone else when they need you. Simply put, you can't give someone something that you don't have. Putting yourself first means prioritizing your own self-care over and above the needs of other people. Your ability to connect with other people in a genuine empathic way is finite needs to be carefully monitored. One of my supervisors one said that the ability of being of service to others it's like a reservoir and if you drain that reservoir completely you will have nothing left for yourself or for other people. Putting yourself first means investing in the people and activities that bring you energy and don't just deplete it. Take a minute and ask yourself what brings you joy? The goal is to be more intentional about doing those things that keep you refreshed and revitalized in the midst of the battle that's going on all around you.
There are two main models or approaches used by therapists to help both sex addicts and their partners in recovery. The older approach is often referred to as the co-addict approach. This theory is derived from substance abuse treatment and it labels the betrayed partner as a co-addict. The idea is that the partner is somehow complicit in the sexual acting out of their partner through codependency and enabling. This approach has proven harmful to both betrayed partners and sex addicts because it amplifies the pain associated with infidelity.
The other, newer model, is referred to as betrayal trauma model. Unlike the Co-addict model, betrayal trauma focuses on the physical, emotional, and spiritual consequences that betrayed partners experience due to infidelity and sexual acting out. In session, addicts will often accuse their partners of being vindictive or trying to punish them. However, this can be better described through the lens of trauma than it can be through codependence. Counseling for betrayed partners should focus on normalizing the trauma response and working to rebuild trust in a relationship. I if you have been betrayed by your partner in infidelity you should ask your therapist or group which model they adhere to, whether it be co-addiction/ codependency or betrayal trauma.
I normally recommend Covenant Eyes for online monitoring and blocking for anyone trying to quit using pornography but I have realized that Covenant Eyes does not work for everyone. Covenant Eyes using a VPN (virtual private network) and this may cause problems for some clients because their work does not allow them to use a VPN or their work uses another VPN. The app Purge may be useful in these situations. It works through DNS (domain name system) and can filter all content on the device. This way, you can use any browser you like to access the internet safely. Right now, Purge seems to only be available for apple users and it is highly recommended that you pay for the pro version or it tends to limit or even disconnect your internet connection. Another plus is that this app is much cheaper than Covenant Eyes but it does not take screen shots like Covenant Eyes does. Please note that when using Purge parental controls need to be enabled to prevent Purge from being deleted.
My own battle with depression began in high school and really escalated when I went to college. My entire first year of college was nearly consumed by depression. I had crippling self-doubt, negative thoughts and chaotic relationships. Finding a therapist really helped on that journey but still I did not feel any real improvement until one day I noticed a cherry tree in bloom. It was in that moment that I realized that I had not even looked up in almost a year. I walked through every day just staring at my feet, but in that moment I saw some beautiful, something outside of myself and I realized that I had hope for a life free from depression. Now I have that life but it doesn't mean that I am happy all of the time and I do have real struggles. What I learned about depression is that it makes everything hard: going to work, relationships, hobbies and sometimes just existing is hard. One of the symptoms of depression is that you no longer enjoy the things that you used to. Sometimes, one of the best skills you can use when you are depressed is pushing yourself to do the things that you used to enjoy and maybe one day you will find yourself looking up and noticing a real change.
Have you ever looked at an old picture of yourself and thought wow, I was thinner and younger and I still don't remember being happy? Happiness is a funny thing. Sometimes we look for reasons not to be happy. When we accomplish our goals we move right on to the next goal without a lot of happiness. In the last 20 years, there has been a lot of research on happiness and there are some things we can do to experience more happiness in our lives. About half of happiness is actually based on your genes and is out of your control. The funny thing is that very little of happiness actually has to do with your situation. For the most part, people experience great and terrible things with appropriate emotional responses but they tend to come back to our baseline quickly. As a therapist, the number one goal I hear from clients is that they want to be happy. More often than not, this happiness has something to do with money. Does money bring happiness? The answer is that some money does bring happiness when it buys security and basic needs. However, more money like mansions and fancy cars do not tend to bring happiness. Here are some tips to help you recognize and embrace your happiness. Try these 4 tips for feeling happier and see if your perspective changes.
Concentrate on helping others or the world around you
Helping others and being concerned with their wellbeing has been proven to make you a happier person. Try to help someone else at least once a week.
Keep a gratitude list
Being grateful for what you have can shift your perspective. Try keeping a gratitude journal and review it at least once a week.
Try new things
Your brain responds better to novel experiences so try to vary your routine a little. Walk or drive a different way and challenge yourself with new experiences.
Lower your expectations
Sometimes our expectations are too high and they make feeling happy difficult. Lowering your expectations can help you experience more happiness. However, this is not the same as feeling hopeless or not setting goals.