Southern Indiana Living

JUL-AUG 2017

Southern Indiana Living magazine is the exclusive publication of the region, offering readers a wide range of coverage on the people, places and events that make our area unlike any other. In SIL readers will find beautiful photography, encouraging s

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July/August 2017 • 34 T herapy. A buzzword if there ever were one. Although therapy can be seen as a taboo topic, in real- ity the need for therapy is very simple. We are humans, we go through tough times, during those tough times sometimes we need an objective, thought- ful opinion that doesn't have the same bi- ases and worries our family members or friends have. Simple as that. So how do you get the most out of therapy when and if you decide it's time to get some help? There is no "cure-all" for having the best therapy experience, but there are ways to ensure you get the most out of it you can. 1. Take time to find a therapist that works for you There are good therapists and bad therapists and there are therapists who may work great with your personal- ity and others not so much. When you're looking for a therapist, make sure you do your research in whatever form that comes. Know in general what you've been struggling with, because certain therapists have specialties with certain issues, know if you'd prefer a man or a woman, know if you'd like faith-based or not, etc. Basical- ly, establish with yourself what you think you need and look for a therapist based on that. I don't believe every therapist is great for every person and it's important to find the best therapist for you—one that you trust, one that you respect, and one to which you'll be willing to open up and listen. 2. You have to do your homework Don't take this lightly. If you've come up with a plan with your therapist in order to best tackle whatever it is you're facing, you need to follow the plan. That means actively working on whatever it is they want you to work on. When I was in therapy for my anxiety, my therapist gave me a sheet of paper that had different columns across the page. When I started feeling anxious about a situation, I was supposed to write down what was hap- pening, what all of my thoughts were, the worst-case scenario, the best-case scenar- io, what ended up happening, and finally thoughts to replace my anxious thoughts next time. There's a point to everything you're given. This didn't prevent me from ever having an anxious thought again. Howev- er, it gave me some tools to recognize the anxiety next time it came up and reframe my thoughts instead of being swallowed in them. 3. Therapy is not a cure Do not go into therapy expecting to be "cured" of whatever it is you're strug- gling with. The point of therapy is to teach you how to cope with the situation you're in the next time it comes up. If it's stress, maybe you'll learn stress management, if it's depression, maybe you'll learn how to recognize when you're about to enter a depressive episode and be able to beĴer handle it and come out of it more quickly, or if it's another mental health issue may- be you'll learn what you need until you get beĴer and beĴer at managing it each time. Therapy does not erase what you're struggling with. It equips you with skills so you'll be able to live a healthy and productive life regardless of what you're struggling with. If you choose to go to therapy, it's important to put the work in and get the most out of it you can. It can be an extremely meaningful, productive, and hopeful experience if you put the effort into it to learn as much as you can about what you're struggling with, how to cope with it, and how to live with it. • PCS is located in Clarksville, Ind. and has been serving the community since 1959. The organization provides counseling services in the form of psychotherapy, pastoral counsel- ing, play therapy, trauma counseling, addic- tions therapy, music therapy, and more. For more information, please visit the website at www.pcs-counseling.org or call our intake co- ordinator at 812-283-8383 x21.

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