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I’ve been going to therapy for the past few months, and while I’m fairly new to it… I’ve really had a great experience.  I shared on social media that I had chosen to venture into therapy, and since then I’ve gotten a lot of questions about how I found my therapist, what made me decide to go, what I thought about it, etc.

It definitely felt like a larger conversation, so I thought I would round up some of my most commonly asked questions surrounding it!

What made you decide to go?

I’ve lived in seven different cities in my life.  And four of those were since I’ve graduated college, so moving is nothing new to me.  That being said, I’ve never had such a tumultuous, inconvenient, frustrating yet extremely expensive move as this past one.  It rocked my world and took me completely by surprise.

I was definitely feeling blue and unlike my usual self, so I made sure I was taking care of myself. Eating right, exercising, making plans with people to get out of the apartment (when you work from home sometimes you’ll realize you haven’t done anything social in days).

I gave myself three months to attempt to turn things around on my own.  If I wasn’t feeling better after three months I would pursue therapy. The months went by… and I felt the same.  I would still have emotional meltdowns which would occasionally trigger anxiety attacks, and it wasn’t pretty.

Afterwards I felt embarrassed of my behavior. In my brain I knew this was a temporary situation and that a year from now everything would be different, but my emotions and my brain were not connecting.

So onto therapy we went.

How did you find your therapist?

I chose to go to the mental health division of my health insurance first.  From there I was provided a website where I could find options of counselors and therapists in my area.

I called six different people before I found someone who would take me.  Keep in mind each therapist I attempted to connect with had about 30 minutes of background work.  I would first research therapists near me that were walkable.  Then I would do additional research on their training, therapy styles, reviews, etc.  Then I would take the plunge and call.  The website would say the person was accepting new patients and then when I called, they would tell me that the website must not have been updated because they were full.  Or no one would answer or call me back.  It took several hours over many days, and it wasn’t an easy search for me.

Honestly… I wasn’t surprised as it felt perfectly appropriate and totally represented what the past six months of my life has been like… a time consuming struggle.

BUT on my sixth attempt I found someone who not only would accept my insurance but also was willing to accept a new patient, so we scheduled our first session and took it from there.  Hallelujah!

If you have recommendations from people in your city, definitely look into that route!

How much does it cost?

I’ve heard of therapy costing $150 per session and up.  It can definitely get pricey and fast.  I really wanted to find someone who would accept insurance and try that first, and thankfully my copay is only $35 a session.

What is it like?

I had no idea what to expect other than what I’ve heard from friends or seen in the movies. But when I walk into her office, I sit on a loveseat and she sits across from me in a chair.  There’s a clock beside her so I can always see how much time we have left together.

One thing I have learned and my biggest piece of advice: use the time before your session to think about what you want to discuss and what you hope to gain from your session.

The first time I went, we did the whole introductory session, in which I was a total cliché and got teary, grabbing a tissue from the box placed next to the sofa.  I mean… what is happening.

The second session, I went in with nothing in mind specifically, and I felt like we shot the breeze the whole time.  On my walk home I realized that I was going to get the most out of our short time together if I went in with a few bullet point topics in mind.

Now when I visit her, I spend the 30 minutes before my appointment thinking about what I want to take away, and I walk in the door with themes in mind to discuss.

How long do appointments last?

My appointments last 40 minutes.

How often do you go?

I try to go every other week but sometimes I go less when I am traveling a lot.

And during those times I often think… I wish I had therapy this week!

Any tips for someone trying therapy for the first time?

I’ve always been interested in talking to someone, but I never felt a strong reason to go.  There wasn’t something happening in my life that necessarily made me want to hash it out with an unbiased person like that.

I knew it was time when I moved to a new city that I didn’t really jive with and was feeling overwhelmed, disappointed, frustrated and sad that these feelings were being projected onto Christian.  He is following his dreams and passion and is doing his best to work hard to provide a great life for us.  When I left my corporate job to pursue this blog, he was the one who pushed me to do it and supported me the entire way.  Now that it’s his turn to be supported, how am I doing that for him if I’m having these uncontrollable meltdowns?  That’s not the kind of person or partner I want to be.

I needed to discuss all of these feeling with someone who could help me seek healthier, logical and calm ways to react to my frustrations, so that I can be a balanced, happy and supportive wife to the man who has been by my side for the past 11 years.

SO, all of this to say, know why you want to go and what you want to get out of it.  I am not ashamed to be in therapy and I am happy to share my journey if it helps someone else gain the courage to look for help.  It’s there for you, and no one should feel guilty or embarrassed to seek it.

I actually love to be in conversation with someone and be all, “try not to worry about things you can’t control, it will take away from what could be a really special and memorable experience… or at least, that’s what my therapist would say.”  I don’t feel the need to keep it a “secret” that I’m talking to someone.

I think I’ll be the kind of person who will always be in and out of sessions when big life changes happen.  I actually strongly dislike change, so I think God has really be challenging me by constantly shaking me up and moving us around, forcing constant change.  I can’t wait for the day we commit to a location and have more stability.  And I’m a-ok with seeking guidance from licensed professionals along my journey.

If you have any questions that I didn’t answer, please let me know in the comments!  I’m happy to help in any way I can. Thank you so much for reading and sharing – XO –

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34 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Therapy

  1. I went to therapy for almost three years. Luckily, for me my insurance covered the cost. I was diagnosed with depression then and needed the help. My therapist was wonderful. She didn’t make it feel like a therapy session but like old friends catching up every week. I’d recommend therapy to anyone for the smallest to biggest reasons. Therapy is worth every moment and the money. I hope everything works anyone’s who seeks professional help.. x

    Darianne | http://www.dariannemariegrimball.com

  2. This is incredibly insightful and very helpful! Life changes, such as a big move, can seem exciting, but in actuality are very disruptive. Your honesty and transparency are refreshing, which is why you are one of the few bloggers I follow.
    I wish you the best!

  3. Hi Kathleen. I’ve been following your blog for the past several months after hearing you on Jenna Kutcher’s podcast. Like you, I’m a Southern girl (born in GA now living in TN), married to a physician (anesthesiologist), lover of SITC, who took a sharp right turn by starting a blog (mostly as a hobby and a preemptive attempt to survive becoming an empty-nester).

    I love reading your blog and following you on IG both for your fashion sense (“looks for less” is an added bonus), but it’s your humor and honesty that I find really connects. Your latest post regarding your decision to start therapy really struck a chord, and I applaud your decision to reach out for advice and council as you strive to be a happy, loving, productive, and successful in ALL areas of your life. You pretty much nailed it when you described your path as a “medical spouse”. Unfortunately, it breeds a bit of what I call “I’ll be happy when…” mentality which sometimes leads to missing so much of the great things around you where you are currently.

    For us, it was a great deal of “i’ll be happy when…I finish med school…I finish residency…I finish my fellowship….I have a child….
    I think you are so incredibly wise in seeking to find ways to help you handle the anxiety and stress that can be a by-product of your current transient life. While you know it’s temporary, it doesn’t make the days (especially the long, lonely call days) go by any faster.

    I hope you will continue to share this journey and the strategies you find to be helpful. While your circumstances might be unique, this journey is shared by many women both young and old(er- LOL). Now ass the mom to 2 teenage girls who will be launching off to pursue their own dreams, I can say the struggles morph, but the reality is the coping skills AND your happiness skills you work hard to put into place now will continue to payoff big- time!

    Thanks for sharing and keep grounded in who you are and what brings you joy EVERY day!

    Rana Hill

  4. So happy that you’re openly talking about this! I’ve been in therapy the last five years and felt so similarly to you before going… toyed with the idea but didn’t ever feel that strong reason. When I had my “big change” (my mom passed away suddenly), I finally went and wished I would have sooner. Therapy is the best!

    Another piece of advice I’d add to your is that it is totally okay to shop around to different therapists if you aren’t happy with your first pick. It’s sort of like dating, you might have to try a few people out before you find your person (though such a bummer to hear how hard it was for you to find someone!). You’ll never get anything out of it if you don’t have the right person in front of you & they will never be offended if you don’t come back.

  5. Love that you wrote about this! People never want to talk about going to therapy, but it is so great for your mental health. Everyone should do it! Going to someone to speak your mind about problems or issues, and having a non judgemental third party give you advice. It’s so great and helped me so much. Hope you are feeling better about the move and doing well! Love reading an following along!

  6. SO REFRESHING! Taking care of ourselves is so important. So glad we can talk about therapy the same way we talk about brunch and new outfits!

  7. Do you have any kind of countdown calendar? I’m a visual person, so even a super cute paper chain? I love that you’re talking about this stuff with us. It is inspirational. I always try to find at least one thing per day that I’m looking forward to, even if it’s just a hot bath after work!

  8. Love that you’re opening up about this! I’ve been wanting to start therapy for a while. Not because I’m unhappy, or sad, just because I feel like it can be good for me. Thanks so much for writing about this!!!

    The Champagne Edit

  9. Thanks for this post and for being so open about your journey! I’m just beginning my therapist search and it has been so overwhelming. This post makes me feel so much better to know I’m not the only one. Please keep it up with these candid, REAL posts. I so admire your willingness to share and hope you know you’re touching so many people by doing it ❤️❤️

  10. Thank you so much for talking about your journey with therapy. Not everyone talks about it so openly so it is refreshing to see a strong woman such as yourself open up about it. I’ve been with my therapist for 8 years and the whole experience (for me) has been extremely positive. Thanks for being so amazing!!!

  11. Ah I typed in your website to look for a pair of jeans and now I’m sitting on our den floor crying. I’ve learned in the past four years and three big moves that residency is challenging and emotionally exhausting for, unfortunately, both the resident and their partner. Thank you for being so transparent and honest! I’ve revisited your “5 Tips For Being Married To An MD” multiple times and have shared it with friends who are in the same boat. I also have your Veggie Burrito Bowl recipe taped to our refrigerator (because we make it once a week) and grab a few bottles of Seven Daughters wine every time we’re home in Georgia. All this to say, thank you for keeping our house positive, fed and a sometimes a little buzzed. Much love from Mississippi.

  12. Kathleen, this was a wonderful post that I truly enjoyed reading. I’ve had a tumultuous year as well and the meltdowns have been miserable. Your open and honest approach to life is inspiring. Love your blog!

  13. Thank you so much for sharing. I as well recently began seeing a therapist, with 1 topic in mind to chat about at our first meeting, I could hardly get the words out/put together so instead I just became a jumbled up pile of tears haha with some of that frustration coming from not being able to properly tell her exactly what I wanted to. Great advice to have a few bullet points, will be doing this at my 2nd appointment next week.

    As always, thank you for your candidness and sincere relatability. This is one of my favourite blog posts yet of yours. You are such a fantastic, level headed person and know that your kind nature and realness is appreciated on this platform.

    Love,
    Megan

  14. Thank you for your post today! I’ve been trying to decide if I should look for a therapist and today when I checked my email first thing, I saw your post in my inbox. I’m moving forward to find someone I can work with. Than you so much! It was inspired!

    1. Kim – I love hearing this. I think anything is worth a shot because if it’s not for you, at least you know! Hope you find someone you love –

  15. Going to therapy is the best thing I have ever done for myself. Truly. Now I have such an understanding of how I “tick” and the events/experiences of my past that made me this way. So eye-opening. When you understand where you’ve been, it is much easier to navigate where you are going. I applaud you for being open and honest on your journey. It will help others so much.

  16. Your posts and sharing are always right on time. I’m currently going through a miscarriage and the journaling, meditating, focusing on work can’t get me out of this sad hole. I don’t want to stay in the dark place and have a list of therapists to call today. Thank you for being open.

  17. Thank you for writing about this. Therapy was a life-saver for me in college. I can def relate to the struggle of needing help, but being on a waitlist. Feeling just downright stuck! Proud of you for making steps to get out of the rut and better your life. Self love is everything

    Chasing Chelsea | http://www.chasing-chelsea.com

  18. Hello,

    I really enjoy reading your blog posts and looking at your Instagram. I can easily relate to your feelings and I am all for therapy! That being said, have you considered getting on an anxiety medication? I am currently on Zoloft after the birth of my second child and it has made an insane difference in my well-being. I feel calmer, happier, and have so much less anxiety. I am asking just to wonder if you had considered that in addition to therapy or if therapy is helping enough to have you not consider it.

    1. Hi Kerry! Great suggestion and I definitely have considered it. I’ve noticed when I’m traveling or out of the city, I feel completely like myself. If I felt blue all the time I definitely would think it would be for me, but I think I’ve isolated where the frustrations come from and therefore don’t know if medication is the right fit at this time. BUT, I know it can be a total game changer when needed and I am so NOT ashamed to go there if I need to. Thank God for medicine!

  19. I am so glad that you are feeling much better and you found someone to talk to. I had gone to therapy before and it really does help to know what you want to discuss. Love your honesty and transparency. Thank you for sharing your story and journey.

    Maureen | http://www.littlemisscasual.com

  20. Thanks so much for this post! I went through something similar last year, new city, new job for my husband career and it was very challenging. It’s helpful knowing we aren’t alone in our struggles ❤️

  21. I am so happy to have read this and so happy you wrote this that I could cry. I really appreciate you opening up here and really owning it. I have been struggling with anxiety for as long as I can remember but at the end of the last year, it really took over my life and I spend most days feeling lost and frustrated. I’ve wanted to go into therapy, but was scared of all the stigma surrounding this, but you really inspired me and gave me the courage to try. I’m planning on doing research this weekend to see who is the right fit for me and who is accepting so thank you very much Kathleen.

    http://www.livelaughlinda.com

  22. I love that you talked about this, as I am currently contemplating making the plunge into therapy myself. One thing that I constantly think about though, is that I wish there was some sort of speed dating for therapists, where you could meet multiple people, have a brief conversation, and see who you vibe with. I’m super nervous about just booking a random stranger (yes, with research and reviews and such), but then not being comfortable talking to him or her. I’m typically a really quiet person when I meet new people, but there are some people in this world who seem to have the gift of conversation and the ability to make me comfortable and get me talking and that is the type of therapist I’m dying to find! Just have no clue how to go about finding them!

  23. I wish to show my love for your kindness giving support to persons who really need help on this one question. Your real dedication to getting the message along was pretty advantageous and have regularly encouraged individuals like me to get to their aims. Many thanks, from every one of us.

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