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Starting Therapy: A Journey of Self-Discovery

Starting Therapy: A Journey of Self-Discovery

In this post, we explore the personal journey of starting therapy and the impact it can have on self-understanding and growth.

Facing the Stigma

Many people approach therapy with misconceptions and fear judgment. Often, the biggest hurdle is internal – the fear of being wrong for seeking help or the vulnerability that comes with opening up.  Therapy, however, is not about knowing exactly what to do; it’s about a process of self-discovery and gaining valuable insights.

A Life-Changing Encounter

As a psychology student, I was required to write a reflection on four counseling sessions. Back then, in Malaysia, access to therapeutic art and psychotherapy services was limited.  Seeking help to understand myself, I searched for services that focused on a non-conventional approach over the “cognitive” approach, using logic and reason to navigate my emotions.

Fortunately, I found a senior counselor who integrated therapeutic art into our sessions.  The most impactful learning was the freedom  to define my own meaning in the artwork and color choices, rather than having them “prescribed” by the therapist. This empowered me to use art as a tool for self-exploration, a practice I continued through my university years.  In fact, the experience influenced my decision to pursue a Master’s degree in Art Therapy after graduation.

Shifting Perceptions

Therapy was less common ten years ago.  Even among psychology students, there was a low receptivity due to the stigma of seeking external help and the shame associated with needing support. Family dynamics often come up in therapy, leading to concerns about “airing dirty laundry.”

However, seeking professional help is not shameful. Young adulthood is a challenging time filled with stress, peer pressure, and identity development.  Finding support is crucial for navigating these early years. Therapy can be a safe space to find direction and develop your own voice  – a “survivor’s guide” to navigate the complexities of adulthood, especially when establishing independence from family at a young age.

The Greatest Gift: Self-Awareness

As a young adult, the pressure to find your voice and live up to expectations from family, peers, and society can be overwhelming.  Therapy provides a space to quiet the noise and identify your true desires, thoughts, and emotions.

My counsellor supported me through a period of grief and loss, and helped me explore career paths.  Therapy empowered me with a deeper understanding of myself, my personal history, upbringing, and family dynamics. This self-knowledge allowed me to explore healthy coping mechanisms and solidify my desire to pursue Art Therapy, a path I continue on today.

By starting therapy, you are giving yourself the greatest gift: the gift of self-awareness.  It’s a journey of exploration and growth, and the first step towards a more fulfilling life.

Ready to Start Your Own Journey?

If you’re considering therapy but unsure where to begin, there are resources available to help you find a qualified therapist. You can search online directories or reach out to us for recommendations.

Taking the first step towards self-awareness is a courageous decision, and therapy can be a powerful tool for growth and positive change.

 

Contact us at hello@daylightct.sg or via our website www.daylightct.sg if you have any questions or queries about getting support or services in making choices for yourself or your loved ones.

Each month we aim to bring you 2 posts that we hope will help you navigate through the challenges of life with humility, humour and compassion for yourself and those around you. While we aim to inform and provide information, these posts are not meant to be prescriptive nor a stand-in for therapy. If you are struggling or are in need of support, please contact us directly, or your therapeutic provider or reach out to any of the following resources.

Tag us in your socials @daylight_creative_therapies or get in touch with us on our website.
Remember, with any practice, take one small step at a time, be gentle with yourself and practice regularly. 

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