People Are Revealing The Most Unforgettable Advice Their Therapists Ever Gave Them
"You won't ever change other people — only how you deal with them."
1. "Every time I tried to relax, I'd feel guilty because of all the things I 'should've been doing' instead. My therapist said, 'Don't 'should' all over yourself.' It's the best advice I've ever gotten, and still have to remind myself that it's important to practice self-care."
2. "I often struggle with feelings of guilt due to PTSD and anxiety, so I apologize excessively. My therapist told me to replace 'sorry' with 'thank you,' so instead of telling people, 'Sorry I'm having a stressed-out day," I say, 'Thank you for being supportive of me.'"
3. "The best thing my therapist ever told me was you can't heal in the same place you got sick. At the time I was living in the house where my ex-husband tried to kill me and even when he moved, the place still weighed me down. I didn't realize how stuck I was until I moved out."
4. "My therapist told me everyone else's opinions about you are neither your business nor your problem. It's THEIR opinion, so it's THEIR problem, and it says more about them than it does about you."
5. "Having struggled with depression and anxiety for a long time, my therapist told me to remind myself, 'This moment is not every moment.'"
6. "I told my therapist I was ashamed to feel scared. She said, 'You have to be scared before you can be brave. Being brave means confronting what you're scared of despite the overwhelming fear. That takes real strength, and you've got it.'"
7. "I'm someone who always puts what makes me happy on the back burner. My therapist looked at me and literally said, 'Fuck shit up.' She told me to do whatever I wanted because no matter what the reactions would be, it'd be MY mess I created with my own free will."
8. "It took me a long time to understand that saying 'no' doesn't make me a horrible person — setting boundaries makes me a person who'd rather put herself first instead of others."
9. "Emotions aren't something you should squash or try to change — they are vital sources of information from your psyche. You should listen to them."
10. "I was diagnosed with MDD and anxiety as a result of PTSD when I was 21 years old, and I couldn't stop feeling overwhelmed. My therapist suggested, 'Just do the next thing,' and it saved my life. I showered, I went outside, I called my mom — it taught me to focus on the present moment and not be concerned with the future."
11. "Whenever I'd be mean to myself, my therapist said, 'Would you talk to your friends the way you're talking to yourself?' I stuck her quote on a post-it note as a reminder to be my own best friend."
12. "She suggested to think of myself as a full cup, and every time I focused on solving someone else's problems before my own, someone was taking a sip. The more people sipped, the emptier my own cup would be."
13. "I was in a co-dependent relationship with my mother and sister. A therapist held up three fingers stuck together, and said 'This is you now.' He then split them apart and pointed to one, and said, 'This is who you could be.' It hadn't dawned on me until 20 years into my life that I could be my own person. I was a high school dropout, but now I'm a college professor. My mom and sister found their own way."
15. "My best friend was in an emotionally abusive relationship, and their therapist gave them the best advice: 'I want you to pretend your house is on fire, and grab what's important.' Reframing their emotional danger helped them get to safety, and I loved it so much I started using it myself."
16. "She said there's no reason I should tear my walls down. I could add doors and windows so I'd have control over who and what I let in."
17. "My therapist told me I might never be 'cured' from my anxiety and depression, but one day the issues would become 'background noise' that don't dominate my life. This helped me adjust my expectations of how therapy could help, and it's freeing to be told who you are might just be who you are."
18. "The one thing that can never be taken from you is hope and as long as you have hope, things will get better."
19. "My therapist told me the more I held in my feelings, the worse my anxiety would get. I never talked about the problems I had with my family and friends because I was worried they'd cut me out of their lives. My therapist raised her middle finger and said, 'That won't happen, but if it does, then fuck them.'"
Some responses have been edited for length and clarity.