We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us what people never tell you about what it's like to be in therapy. Here’s what they said:
1. You shouldn't feel guilty about talking about yourself.
2. It's best to go to therapy before you hit rock bottom.
3. It might take a sec to find the right therapist.
4. And once you do find the right one, don't worry if it takes some time to connect with them.
5. Sometimes the first appointment is more of a get-to-know-you session.
6. Other times you jump right in and the first session is a toughie.
7. Therapy could be the most important thing you do for self care.
8. In fact, therapy is for everyone.
9. Therapy is not a magical fix.
10. So prepare for it to take a while to feel progress.
11. It's weirdly freeing to be so open and honest with a stranger.
12. Some sessions are exhausting.
13. Sometimes your therapist will piss you off.
14. And you might actually be frustrated by the lack of concrete answers.
15. Just because therapists aren't always right doesn't mean they're always wrong either.
Therapists aren't always right, and they don't know everything. This doesn't mean you should dismiss them (in general) completely.
—Jenny Finster, Facebook
16. Sometimes you get homework.
17. Maybe don't wear mascara to a session.
It's OK to cry your feelings out; it helps. Also, going without mascara is helpful. Know that you are ready to accept that the tears will be there.
18. Being in therapy is about small changes taking place over time.
19. Even after you've been in therapy a while you'll still hit rough patches with it.
20. Therapy gives you a safe space where you can try to understand traumatic events.
21. Therapy might teach you how to help your friends.
22. Therapy is like finally sitting down to read the autobiography you've been writing your whole life.
23. Group therapy can make you feel less alone.
24. And btw, a therapist's age or gender might play a role in how comfortable you feel with them.
25. Therapy can help you learn new ways to think.
26. There are low-cost options.
27. Oftentimes things will feel worse before they feel better.
28. Therapy might help you be more open with other people in your life.
29. Needing to go back to therapy — or stay in it for a while — is not failing.
Responses have been edited for length and clarity.