Wy, how do I choose a therapist?
That's a great question! First of all, therapists often specialize in specific things. My mom specializes in trauma, grief, and self worth primarily. That means she's had extra training and certification in those areas. She also works with couples and has special training in that area. My favorite is when she works with kids. But there are some things she doesn't specialize in like substance abuse or disordered eating. So for people who need help with things she doesn't specialize in, she refers them to other therapists. It is important to have a therapist with training in what you are struggling with. It is absolutely ok for you to ask your therapist if they have specific training or certification in what you're interested in working on. Many therapists will offer a free consultation to help you decide if they are a good fit. Perhaps most importantly, it is really important to have a therapist that you feel comfortable with and trust. It is so important that it is ok to try out several different therapists until you find just the right fit. Bonus points if they have a Dr. Dog, of course...
Hey Wy! When you're in therapy, how does it feel?
For me? It feels great! I really love helping people! I think it can feel a lot of different ways for the people who come to therapy. Sometimes therapy feels really great. Like setting down a huge weight. Sometimes it is really hard because you talk about difficult things. Sometimes people feel angry or sad. Mom always tries to help people talk through things and end each session feeling a little better than they started. That isn't always possible, of course, but we try.
Wy, do you ever feel anxious?
Of course! Everyone feels anxious sometimes. I tend to be pretty calm but I get anxious a lot going up things (like THE STAIRS or getting into the car). I try to remember that I really want whatever is at the top of the stairs or at the end of the car ride. Thinking about why I'm choosing to do the things that I feel anxious about helps. If I have to do something like that for a long time, mom helps by giving me medicine the vet said is ok. Sometimes I choose not to do things that feel uncomfortable--like getting on the bed. You see, mom's bed is really high and she will scratch me even if I stay on the ground. So I stay on the ground. And get scratches! My sister #CalamityJaneSC gets really scared and anxious a lot. She's anxious about different things though. She loves to jump and nothing about the bed or the car or THE STAIRS scares her! I don't understand. But she helps me feel more ok about things like the car and I help her feel ok about things like new people. I think it is ok to feel how we feel and it helps to ask for help.