4 x Steps To Starting Therapy

This week on Thinkergirl: The Podcast, Stace & Kristie were joined by radio personality and author Maz Compton. Maz opened up about her journey with therapy following some really traumatic events in her life. We’ve all heard amazing stories of people transforming their lives through therapy, and you might have even thought about starting on your own therapy journey yourself, but you have one question…um HOW?

We’ve broken it down into 4 x easy to follow steps to get you started –

1. Acknowledging your mental health:
Realising that you want to work on your mental health is the first step in your therapy journey. You can exercise to work on your physical health, eat good foods and surround yourself with good people, but until you start therapy you’re not working on your mental health. For some people that’s okay. They don’t need or want to work on that part of themselves, but if you’ve identified that you want to change and grow as a person, and that improving your mental health is the way to do that,
then therapy is a good start for you. It’s a good idea to plan ahead, look at the costs involved and weigh up your options, but you also
need to acknowledge that therapy is going to help you in the long run and that the most important thing here is finding the right therapist for you and making the effort to implement change in your life.

2. Get a mental care health plan:
Simply make an appointment with your GP & tell them you’d like to apply for a mental health care plan. They’ll proceed to ask you a series of questions about how you’ve been feeling / what you’re dealing with to suss out if therapy is the right way to go for you. If you qualify for a plan, you’ll receive a Medicare rebate (of approx $75) off the next 6 x therapy sessions you attend. If after the 6 x sessions you still feel like you require more, you can revisit your Doc who may qualify you for a further 4 x sessions with a cap of 10 x sessions per 12 months. Your doctor will liase directly with your chosen therapist or recommend one for you.

3. Find a therapist you like:
In the wise words of Maz Compton “therapy is like a hairdresser. You might have four in your lifetime and that’s ok! Just like your hair changing and needing different treatments over time, so does your mental and emotional health. This is why it’s totally okay to change it up and keep searching for the right therapist for you.” You may not find them right away, and that can be discouraging, but if you give up the search too soon you’ll never find the right one and you’ll never reap the benefits of therapy. Every therapist is different, so not every therapist is going to perfect for you. Like Maz’ therapist Frankie, you could need someone who is going to be practical and give you homework like journaling and meditation. Or you could need someone like Stace’s therapist Joy, who is very spiritual. Or maybe even someone like Kristie’s therapist Gwenda who is no bullshit honest and will tell it like it is. Whatever you need, there is a therapist out there for you. Maybe you don’t know what you need straight off the bat. That’s ok! That’s why you experiment with different therapists and different styles of therapy until you find the person that just clicks with you.

4. Be willing and open to change:
Therapy is an exchange it’s not a one way street. Your therapist is giving you the tools and knowledge to help you but if you don’t go away and use those tools, and put that knowledge to good use, then what was the point of seeing a therapist in the first place? If you can go away from a session with your therapist and do the work given to you, then you’re strengthening the bond you have with them, and it will benefit your growth as a person in the long run. If you’re like Stacey, and you find that you need a little bit more information and a bit more clarity,
then maybe you can also turn to kinesiology. You’re only helping yourself on this therapy journey by taking these extra steps to really understand and change yourself. There may be times in your journey, when you really are smashing it and you feel like you’re on top of the world. That’s absolutely amazing, but it’s also not the time to get complacent or end your therapy. Your therapist will help you identify patterns and behaviours that may cause problems in the future. If you can jump on the front foot and work on these before they’re a major issue in your
life, then you’ve really done yourself the ultimate favour.
Stace has a great metaphor for times like this: you’re not going to build a house in the rain, you’re going to wait until it’s sunny and dry. Like therapy in your life – you’ll do the best work for your mental health when you’re in a good place because you’re building the foundations to improve upon. It’s not the end of your therapy journey, it’s the start of a better and healthier you.

To listen to the whole chat ft Maz Compton, listen here –

Author The Thinkergirls

Stacey June and Kristie Mercer are The Thinkergirls — who talk all the thoughts you’re thinking but not saying. You can find the girls on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube. You can listen to the girls on their podcasts or around the country on the national radio show on the KIIS network.

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