I think everyone needs to see a psychologist, do you know why? I think it’s because everyone, even the most learned zen buddhist monk, has some kind of thing they’d like to improve, or change, or understand, even if they don’t realise it or they’d never admit it. Seeing a psychologist doesn’t make you psycho, it makes you stronger. It makes you a better person even if it’s just for your own self satisfaction, and here’s why…
We accept who we are without realising we can change
Consider these expressions and see if any have ever uttered past your lips or flashed across your mind: “I’m not good in crowds”, “I can’t function without coffee in the morning”, “I just don’t like it, never have, never will”, “I wish I could be more like…”, “I hate it when I…”, “Why do I always do that?”, “How do they do it?”.
If you’ve ever thought of anything like that then good on you, you’re human! It’s human nature to think or feel those things, some would even say that without those thoughts we don’t get the motivation to properly live, as it’s the momentum of self development and improvement that makes us feel alive. I’d agree.
The problem with these instinctual thoughts is that we’re attached to them, we think that’s just who we are: “I can’t… I never… I always… I wish… I just…” We seem to accept that that’s who we are and we can never change it. Or we might have a desire to change it but not know how, or even worse – we might have a desire to change it but not actually do anything about it. Have you ever said to yourself “I really must do/start/finish….”? I know I have!
What you need to realise is that ANYTHING can be changed.
Maybe you’re comfortable with the little “I can’t… I never… I always…” thoughts that pop into your head. Maybe your life is pretty good and you feel in control of your life, so what’s the problem? Everything is sweet right? Yes, but let me ask you this: if you’re being honest with yourself are you really comfortable with those same instinctual thoughts popping in? If the same thoughts during the same situations keep arising don’t they get annoying? Don’t you think they’re telling you something? I think they are telling you something, and what they’re telling you is ‘this reaction needs to change’. And the most wonderful, exciting, exhilarating, and maybe even scary thing is you can change!
You can change any thought and way of thinking!
Improving your mind is like improving your body, sometimes you need help
Ok lets look at some easy to recognise examples – you want to get fit so you hire a personal trainer and they help you improve your fitness. Before you know it, after a lot of hard work you’re well on your way to chiselled abs or a flat stomach you could bounce a coin off.
Or you have a back problem so you go to the chiropractor and they twist and stretch and pop you and you feel a lot better afterwards. You’re sick so you go to the doctor to see what’s wrong and maybe get some medicine. You want to get better at the piano so you get lessons. You want some direction in life so maybe you see a life coach. You want to stop being socially anxious so you… umm, stop going out? You hate how you react to some things so you… umm, avoid everything that makes you react badly? What do you do? There are many things you can do, but I think one of the best for changing your mind, especially if you’re not too sure how to do it, is to talk with a psychologist. I’ve also written a post about what to look for in a psychologist, which will assist you in finding one.
Why psychologists are good
Generally they’ll always be able to help you
If there’s anything you want to change or improve about how you think or act then a good psychologist can really help you. How do I know this? I’ve been seeing the same psychologist for 2 years and I can definitely see improvements in myself, and a better understanding of why I think the way I think with some things.
There are many forms of therapy, but I’d say CBT is the most common, that’s cognitive behavioural therapy. In a nutshell it involves finding the reason for the problem, understanding it, and slowly starting to actively change your way of thinking around whatever the issue is. A simple example could be that you have small panic attacks sometimes, and you don’t know why, but through therapy (which is talking about your problems with someone who doesn’t judge you) you realise it’s because you view yourself as a perfectionist, so when something isn’t perfect you start to automatically panic over it without knowing why. By talking with the therapist you might realise that you’ve been putting too much pressure on yourself, and it’s ok not to be perfect, and the result is the panic attacks stop.
They’re an unbiased listener
A therapist is a non judgemental listener who will tell you how it is. They’re not your parents, partner or your best friend. They have no history with you so they are a friendly and utterly independent listener who will see your life in a different light to anyone else. You know the expression “I need a new pair of eyes to look over this”? Meaning you need a fresh and unbiased perspective on something? Well a therapist is like that but for your life, they’re a fresh perspective for your life, and that’s an extremely powerful thing to have if you want to change or improve something about yourself.
In summary I think that if there’s anything niggling at you, or there’s something you want to change about how you think, seeing a therapist is a great option. They will listen and perhaps suggest things to you that you never even comprehended or imagined. They have an unbiased opinion and they really listen and try to understand every word you say, without judgement.
I feel everyone should see a psychologist, or therapist, because I feel there’s always something you need to improve about yourself. Many things you can improve by yourself through your own reading and research and practise. But for those instances where you’re making no progress, or if it’s for a bigger issue you’re not sure how to start on, a therapist will help.
You don’t need to see them for years or even months. I remember the first time I saw a therapist was only for about 6 weeks until I solved the problem I had, and it’s helped me ever since and I’ve rarely had the problem since. If it does crop up again I can fall back upon what I learnt when I was first dealing with it, and that always gets me through.
Consider it, I think you’ll be surprised at how much you discover about yourself, and how much those self judging thoughts will start to disappear or change to more positive ones.