Therapy, A Tunnel toward Self-Exploration?

Therapy, A Tunnel toward Self-Exploration?

Therapy is a word that is deemed to be taboo and disturbing to many of us. This can be relatable, especially for those who grew up in Asian Households as we are thought that strength comes from masking our true feelings and emotions. We are taught that real strength comes from putting up a facade without revealing our vulnerabilities, although we are breaking apart. This has definitely caused us to not realize that real power comes up only when we let our guard down, accept our true emotions and vulnerability, and seek help. However, accepting our authentic selves often requires a lot of courage as the journey of accepting our true selves can be a bumpy road. Therapy is one of the most effective ways to guide us in the journey of self-discovery where healing ourselves also comes together as a reward for embarking on our journey to self-discovery.

Therapy is one of the ways one can help themselves to guide them through the issues that are affecting their mental health. Therapy can help an individual to improve their mental health as therapy often guides them towards gradual self-exploration, which in return aids their healing process in the long term. We can never deny that therapy is a journey as there is a saying that goes "Rome was not built in a day". Thus, attending therapy can drain the energy out of us as we will be facing the feelings that we have been avoiding. Part of what happens in therapy is that we are usually required to revisit memories and emotions that we have buried within our hearts over time.

But doesn't express our true emotions can hurt ourselves and everyone around us?

The truth is. repressing such emotions and memories causes more damage than expressing them. However, we are often taught to feel proud of ourselves for numbing our emotions and not acknowledging it. Over time, the suppressed emotions and memories tend to be released when we reach our threshold causing us to panic and break down unexpectedly. Through therapy, we can slowly explore ourselves and understand the emotions and memories that we have repressed thus far. This will definitely help us avoid the unexpected release of past emotions and memories. As we can see, therapy can be a very intense journey, but with the help of a mental health practitioner, we will be able to sail through the journey of self-discovery and reap the following benefits.

Some of the benefits or rewards we will be attaining throughout this journey towards self-discovery will be:
1. Embrace Ourselves
2. Embark Healing
3. Practice Self-Love


1.0 Embrace Oneself

When we have a look at the thoughts that often swirl in our mind, we may often end up discovering that the amount of negative emotions and memories tends to be higher than the positive emotions and memories that go through our mind. One of the drawbacks of such an environment can cause us to feel unworthy and further criticize ourselves as we often label our flaws as the dark and ugly side of us. Through therapy, our therapist will be able to guide us towards the path of accepting our authentic selves which includes both our attractive and unattractive parts of us. Our therapist will aid us in understanding to accept all the negative emotions we feel as a part of us. It is a part that reminds us that we tried; we were brave to acknowledge and feel such emotions; it is okay to feel that way as long as we are able to keep such emotions in control instead of allowing such emotions to control us. In the journey of self-exploration, we will discover the pieces of memories that we failed to acknowledge as they appeared to be something catastrophic in the past. Through therapy, we will learn to accept that acknowledging and feeling such emotions and memories are essential elements to reaching the destination of self-discovery and ultimately improving our mental health. The journey towards self-exploration will often involve breaking down, being vulnerable, collecting pieces that complete us, breaking some pieces that harm us, understanding our inner selves, and progressing and embracing ourselves for who we truly are. Therapy will help us understand and embrace our mistakes and why others did what they did to us in the past. This will eventually help us let go of the past emotions and memories that have been haunting us since then. In a nutshell, self-exploration can be messy, full of breaking downs, and learning to embrace our unattractive sides. However, as there is light at the end of the tunnel, we will transform into someone who accepts ourselves and understands our true selves.

2.0 Embark Healing

Once we learn to embrace both our attractive and unattractive sides, this will lead to the discovery towards a new path known as "Healing". In the journey of self-discovery, we will not only identify and accept our unattractive side but heal such sides as well. By attending therapy, we will discover that healing works only at our own pace, and our therapists will guide us to accept such feelings and understand that is it okay to have bad days and that we don't have to feel embarrassed or guilty about it. Therapy will bring us to the realization that we are as equally important to ourselves as much as others matter to us. Throughout our journey towards self-discovery, we will gradually develop and maintain healthy boundaries that help us acknowledge both ourselves and the people around us which ultimately helps us strengthen our mental health leading to improved life quality. Healing doesn't just come from fighting the negativity that surrounds us as this may cause us to resort to unhealthy coping styles. In therapy, there will be times when we will need to start our journey all over again. Nevertheless, our therapist will continue to assist us in our journey, thus we will never feel that we are alone in our journey towards self-exploration. Just like a butterfly that comes our from a pupa, we are able to transform ourselves into a better version of ourselves through therapy. In short, healing is never linear, yet it is definitely worth the time and effort of embarking in the journey towards self-exploration.

3.0 Practice Self-Love

One of the most crucial milestones that complete our journey towards self-discovery is practising self-love. Self-love can be practised in any form, be it physical, emotional, mental or even spiritual. We often become someone full of positivity and comfort when our loved ones experience any hardship. On the contrary, we become our own critics when we experience hardships ourselves. Self-Love can be anything we do for ourselves. It can be having lunch at our favourite hideout spot, putting our phone aside for some time or even enjoying a nice hot cup of coffee and so on. Our therapist plays a huge role when it comes to helping us initiate ourselves into practising self-love. Self-love often begins when we embrace and heal ourselves. We will be able to identify and acknowledge our underlying issues or traumas that avoids us from practising self-love through therapy. Attending therapy also helps us identify thought patterns such as negative thoughts, self-doubt, self-comparison and so on. By identifying our thought patterns, our therapist will guide us by exploring ways to modify our negative thoughts into positive ones. Through the gradual practice of self-love, we will improve our overall mental health and learn to rely on ourselves during hardships rather than exerting all of our pressure on people around us to soothe our pain. At the end of the day, we can always depend on and trust our authentic selves when experiencing any hardships in life.

On the contrary, it is also okay to talk about our mental health to someone we trust and feel comfortable with. Let us not bury our pain within ourselves by not sharing it with someone we trust and love. Let's face our pain to heal, regardless of how uncomfortable or tired we may feel. Through the help of our therapist, we will never be alone in the journey towards self-discovery.

Let us join hands in breaking the stigma society has built in regard to mental health. Let us normalize mental health just like our physical health. Mental health matters.

‘Face your fears before it consumes you to be the person you don’t recognize to be’

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