What I Learned from 5 Years of Soul-Crushing Talk Therapy

Feb 22, 2023
John Towner Unsplash

From a guest blogger, J.G.

Imagine going to a regular therapist and hearing them say, "tell me in words what exactly is bothering you." And then you struggle. Words aren't enough. Your body has the answers, but it's trapped by those words.

I bopped around from therapist to therapist for over five years.  It was soul-crushing.  It was like being completely unseen.  My soul was dying.

I have suffered from depression and anxiety throughout my life, but it wasn't until my mid-20s that I realized something was wrong with me. In college, I was able to hide my struggles with alcohol and partying, but when I graduated and started working full time,

I felt like a shell of my former self.

My whole life had become about going to work and coming home to sleep or drink alone in my apartment. Something had to change before I really lost control of my emotions altogether.

I found a therapist through a local mental health organization in my area (in fact, it was their only option). She was nice enough, but she didn't really address the root of my problems. She gave me homework and told me to change my beliefs.

But my problem wasn't my beliefs. 

My problem was that I felt like crap.  

I've been to other therapists in the past, but then I found one who specialized in somatic psychotherapy. This one was different from any others I've seen.

Somatic psychotherapy is a relatively new form of therapy that focuses on physical sensations and movement. It's not your typical sit-and-talk therapy.

It's more hands on, and it can be intense at times, but it has proven to be extremely effective for me in addressing some of my most difficult emotional issues.

 I realized that the symptoms that I was having were trying to tell me something.

Something important.  Something real.  That the problem wasn't the way I was thinking.

The problem was that I wasn't listening to what my body was trying to tell me.  

It was trying to tell me to wake up.

To stop ignoring what I needed.

And to stand up for myself and who I was.

So I did.

And wow.  What a different it makes.

Sorry body.  For being a stranger for so long.  

It's good to have you back in my life.

Photo credit: John Towner @ Unsplash

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