The Only Guide You Need to Become Your Own Therapist

by Angy
how to become your own therapist
In my younger years, I would start my day already upset as I felt each day was the same.
 
As I matured, I learned that to become happy; I had to put in an effort myself in the form of self-help.
 
I began telling myself things I wished the day will bring me. I maintained a positive mindset even when faced with challenges.
 
Always remember that ……

“Happiness depends on your mindset and attitude.”

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Psychological therapies in the form of self-help can be done in your own time to help with problems such as anxiety, depression, and stress.

It can be a useful way to start a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to see if it’s for you.

For many of us, it may be difficult to cope with certain feelings or changes in our lives on our own.

We do need to take care of our wellbeing whether through our own practical and simple methods or with professional involvement.

A Psychologist will help us realise things we have-not considered, they offer us techniques that help us cope with challenging situations and emotions.

Unfortunately, not everyone has the opportunity to get professional help and go through psychotherapy with a specialist.

Some people choose to challenge their psychological problems on their own.

This is also a personal preference. As a result, I will be discussing some ideas on how to be your own therapist.

By all means be your own therapist until you can’t be any more and need someone else.

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Here are some great ways to take care of your overall wellbeing.

1. Self-care


Most often, we keep ourselves preoccupied with what good we can do for others, and how we can improve our relationships with other people.

We get so preoccupied and forget the need to take care of ourselves too.

Finding out how to take care of our wellbeing will be different for everyone.

Nonetheless, once in a while, you need to do what is good for yourself and forget about everyone else.

As a social worker, I find that my role can be quite demanding and complex, resulting in occasional burnout also known as compassion fatigue.

According to Newell & MacNeil (2010) compassion fatigue is the “overall experience of emotional and physical fatigue that social care professionals experience due to chronic use of empathy when supporting people who are struggling in some way”.

There is evidence that compassion fatigue increases when a social worker sees that a person they are supporting is not “getting better” (Corcoran, 1987).

Yet, a large part of compassion fatigue is built into the work that we do, and it is important that we recognise this and find out ways to concentrate on ourselves as well.

Keeping yourself happy actually helps you accumulate enough energy to take care of other people around you.

It is vital that we engage in self-care practices where we engage in certain activities in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing.

My ultimate self-care practice is meditation

Find out what works for you!

“Self-care is never a selfish act - it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.”

2. Work on one issue at a time


Some people want to believe that one or two sessions with a psychotherapist is enough to find the solution to their situation.

However, therapists have highlighted that focusing on a particular area over a period of time is the right approach.

The same can be said for people who choose to be their own therapist – self therapy.

Focus and work on one issue at a time.

If you try to solve all your problems at once, you will get no results at all.

“It's wise to solve one problem at a time"

3. Cut out those noxious thoughts


Have you thought of why some people appear to handle stressful situations really well?

The reason is not because they have some extraordinary skills in handling challenging situations, the main reason is that they are able to stay positive, to look on the bright side.

Positive thoughts bring about positive emotions.

Studies suggest that not only are positive thinkers healthier and less stressed, they also have greater overall well-being.

According to positive psychology researcher Suzanne Segerstrom, “Setbacks are inherent to almost every worthwhile human activity, and a number of studies show that optimists are in general both psychologically and physiologically healthier“.

If you are allowing your frustrations to take control of your thoughts, it’s time to take a break.

Shift your energy towards an activity you enjoy doing.

Without a major task shift, your negativity will carry through.

"Believing in negative thoughts is the single greatest obstruction to success.”

4. Humour

Studies have shown that a sense of humor can improve your mental and physical health, boost your attractiveness, and improve your overall wellbeing.

Each person has an innate sense of humor, of course, but it’s pretty evident that not everybody has a good sense of humour.

Laughter has a tendency to reset our frustration tolerance.

Learn to laugh when and where you can!

"Always laugh when you can, it is cheap medicine.”

5. Exercise

Physical activity and exercise can have both short-term and long-term health benefits.

It is well known that exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently.

This results in an improved health both physically and mentally.

To become your own therapist, you need to learn how to train your mind and your entire body.

"An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”

6. Write a letter to yourself

Write a letter addressed to your future self.

Be positive and don’t be afraid to dream big.

If there is anything you would like to do in the future, don’t limit yourself.

Be specific, as this will help you have clarity about your future. 

Remember to read this article on Signs You Are Suffering From a Lack of Clarity. 

Be curious about your future and how you would like it to be.

Visualise your future self by writing it down and then watching your life manifest as you have envisaged.

Sometimes, it life may not even turn out the way you want it to, but you will still learn about yourself in the process.

Conclusion

These are useful tips to help you become your own therapist.

The key to successful self help is to stay positive and don’t forget to let family and friends know when you are feeling low.

How to be your own therapist: final thoughts

So, there you have it. As you can see there are many ways to become your own Therapist.

Do you think there are other tips that should be on the list? What are your thoughts on the ones on the list?

Feel free to reach out to me through the comments section and let me know what you think.

The 6 ways to help you become your own Therapist

  1. Self-care
  2. Work on one issue at a time
  3. Cut out those noxious thoughts
  4. Humour
  5. Exercise
  6. Write a letter to yourself

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how to be your own therapist

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10 comments

Habib July 15, 2020 - 4:49 pm

I am trying to be consistent with the tip 1, 4 and 5.
I think, through self care/love we can really feel good about ourselves and thus improve our emotional and physical health. I always get motivated to read your posts.

Great work as always.

Best wishes for your success

Reply
socialworkhaven July 16, 2020 - 6:53 pm

Many thanks Habib 🙂

Reply
Catherine July 15, 2020 - 6:43 pm

This is some great advice. When one of these things is missing, life can get you down. For me, humor is so important. Life can be very serious and being able to laugh it off is essential. Thank you so much for sharing!

Reply
Christine July 15, 2020 - 6:48 pm

Hi,

These are excellent tips. I sometimes watch Whose Line Is It Anyway episodes on YouTube when I need a laugh to lift me up, since those episodes always crack me up. Laughter is the best medicine, and when I laugh at those episodes, I always feel a little better.
Focus on one issue at a time, that is very important to remember.
I often go for walks on my land. I have a large property and sometimes – after working online for a while – I take a break and go for a walk on my property, it is always a beautiful break.
Thank for these excellent tips. I will keep them in mind.

Reply
socialworkhaven July 16, 2020 - 7:58 pm

I agree with you Christine. Research highlights that watching comedy actually helps improve your brain function too:)

Reply
Mick July 15, 2020 - 9:11 pm

Only in the last few years have I looked at self-help and found that medication does it for me.

I do believe I am a different person to what I used to be.

Running is another way of clearing the mind.

You mention that you use medication. There are many different forms of meditation. Which do you use and have you ever experienced an OBE through meditation?

Thank you for sharing a great piece of work.

Reply
socialworkhaven July 19, 2020 - 11:18 pm

Hello Mick,
I use both guided and unguided meditation. It really does depend on the time of day.
Things work differently for people Mick, and you go with what works for you. However, I am glad to read that it is something you have looked at all the same.

Reply
Tom July 16, 2020 - 6:12 am

Hey Social Work Haven,

This is a really insightful and important article. During these times of Covid-19, a lot of people are feeling down in the dumps, depressed and having serious issues with their mental health. People have stopped exercising (including me), and as you have stated it is so important to keep ourselves feeling good about ourselves. I need to start exercising again and I know I will start to feel better again. You have said that self help isn’t selfish, and I completely agree. Helping ourselves and taking care of ourselves is so important because nobody else is going to do it for us.

I really hope a lot of people come across your article because it will definitely benefit many.

Thank you for sharing and keep up the amazing work.

All the best,

Tom

Reply
Yoana July 16, 2020 - 8:51 am

Thank you for this great article. I have been working with people with mental health issues for 4 years and I cannot relate more with your article. Being compassionate and trying to help other people sometimes with little result can indeed make emotionally tired.

I think I was already trying to do all of the tips provided here, except from meditation. I only started meditation 3 months ago and I think I start seeing the results. I feel more calm and able to deal with stressful situations better. Remaining positive is hard, but with practice and awareness everything is possible..

Kind regards,
Yoana

Reply
socialworkhaven July 16, 2020 - 8:08 pm

Hello Yoana, Staying positive can be hard especially when face with challenges. That is why doing a mind shift when faced with challenging thoughts can help. Watching a comedy always helps!

Reply

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