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Simplifying Therapy

Have you ever thought about what therapy feels like and why it could be beneficial to you?

Or do you sometimes find yourself thinking of how to convince a dear one to seek professional help? You’re thinking hard to ensure you can think of a relatable yet creative way to explain the process of therapy, just to add in a fun element and sell it in a way, they actually end up going for therapy?

Often as a therapist, I find myself thinking about the easiest and most relatable way to explain the therapy process to my clients.

After my introduction to break rapport, when I move on to asking my clients if they have any questions, I find myself stumbling upon “What is therapy supposed to feel like and how is it beneficial? And as a mental health professional, I want to be able to give clients an easy and creative answer. Below are some fun ways to engage with clients or others when faced with this question.

Piecing Together Parts of the Puzzle

Imagine your life as a 1000 pieces of a jigsaw puzzle scattered all across the table. Each therapy session is like picking up a piece and trying to fit it together. As you connect the pieces, a clearer picture of your life emerges—a picture that's uniquely yours. Over time, the puzzle becomes more complete, revealing a masterpiece you've been co-creating with your therapist.

Sometimes, we have 999 pieces of the jigsaw puzzle put together, but the puzzle is obviously not complete until that one piece is put in place. Sometimes, in order to find that missing piece, we seek therapy. It is only when we have it all together, do we feel content and complete. Our therapist can help us with that one missing piece.

Layers of an Onion

In therapy, personal growth is like peeling the layers of an onion. An onion has three unique layers: a thin outer skin, a harder outer layer, and then numerous newer layers. Therapy or development work may start with a surface-level issue that serves as a mask for a deeper issue. Another underlying issue may become apparent as the harder difficulty is peeled back. Here, we also see how peeling the different layers can take us to a deeper level of understanding or experiences that were stored in the unconscious all along.

The Stormy Sea

Sometimes, our life with all our emotions, can represent a vast ocean with high tides and storms. Therapy can feel like navigating the water and stormy weather, where the therapist can serve like an experienced captain or life guard. Overtime, through the harsh winds, one can eventually become their own captain.

The use of metaphors can be equally beneficial through all stages of therapy. It helps bridge the gap between the familiar and the unfamiliar. It helps translate abstract concepts into something more visual and tangible. It also makes complex emotions feel less harsh.

They can also help tap into shared human experiences by making it relatable and resonant. By drawing parallels between personal struggles and universally understood scenarios, metaphors create a sense of belonging and validation. They remind us that we are not alone in our challenges.

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