What’s Therapy Like?

Many people who haven’t been in therapy wonder what therapy is like. Is it like Toni Collette in Wanderlust or Naomi Watts in Gypsy? Therapy seems to be such a mystery experience sometimes, even to therapists who are in therapy. First, it is because there are many schools of thought, which vary in their manner of therapy. Secondly, the personality of any therapist, which are as wide and varied as any profession, makes your experience different than the therapist in the office next door. Therapy can look and feel very different based on who you go to and how they were trained. So, if you’re wanting to give therapy a go, what can be helpful in making the most of your time (and money) and understanding what to expect?

Therapy Memoirs as a Resource

I find that memoirs of therapy experiences can be useful in showing to readers what therapy can look like and feel like in some best case scenarios. These help us see through someone else’s story, the areas in which we are not being as truthful or vulnerable as we could. They challenge us to step-it-up in digging a bit deeper. Permitting us to say the things we have never said. Therapy memoirs most often discuss the relationship with the therapist. This can be a roadmap in supporting clients to reflect on their relationship with their own therapist. By that I mean, ways to help shift into even a more trusting meaningful working relationship. On the other hand, sometimes it can also result in the unfortunate recognition that the therapist isn’t a good match for what you want.

So in the vein of good stories, which pack a punch and help us in our own lives, I suggest some of these books. I hope they  help you co-create your therapy experience. Hopefully, the read will also entertain you along the way. Not surprisingly, some of my favorites are written by psychotherapists who have been in their own therapy. (“On Being a Therapist”, also includes a chapter called “On Being A Client”.)

Book: Maybe You Should Talk To Someone

Book: Music Heard So Deeply – A Music Therapy Memoir

Book: Bad Therapy - Master Therapists Share Their Worst Failures

Book: Bad Therapy – Master Therapists Share Their Worst Failure

Book: The Gift of Therapy – An Open Letter to a New Generation of Therapists and Their Patients

Book: Becoming Myself – A Psychiatrist’s Memoir

Book: On Being a Therapist – Fifth Edition

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Karin Lawson

2312 Wilton Drive, Suite 22
Wilton Manors, FL 33305