Going to see a psychologist for the first time can be exciting but usually the dominate emotion that surround the first visit is “nervous”. It can be hard to know what to expect and you typically can be pretty desperate for some results or relief to your problem. Can a psychologist really fix me? It can be important to manage your expectations for therapy. Understanding whether or not your therapist can “fix” you and how long it will take is important in preparing yourself for the process.
We live in a culture of instant gratification. Medications instantly relieve pain, you click a button and you can have any item delivered to your house in 48 hours. Therapy is very different in that it takes time and patience. Studies show that regardless of generation, we have less and less patience for long term processes. Many people expect to see results within 4 sessions with a therapist. The truth is, it may take longer than 4 sessions. Every person and therapist are different, as are the wide variety and severity of issues they tackle. Because your therapy is so individualized, it will take some time to find out what works for you. This may mean trying a few things that don’t work as well also. Sure, some people will see significant improvements soon after they begin seeing a psychologist, but prepare yourself for a process. Think of it as an investment to make lasting improvements in your life.
Another important aspect of therapy is understanding that a certain level of emotions are normal. For example, someone seeking help for managing depression will still inevitably feel sad through various times in their lives. Individuals struggling with anxiety, will still get nervous before job interviews. These emotional are simply part of the human experience. The goal of therapy is to help provide you tools to learn how to continue to function through them. The goal is for you to function through these feelings and emotions without them becoming debilitating.
What is normal anyway? We tend to compare ourselves to others and then assess that what we are feeling is not “normal”. Perhaps the constant preoccupation with social media contributes to this comparison but it is important to understand what “normal” truly is. Of course your psychologist would love to prevent any sad or stress provoking thing from ever impacting you again, but this is simply not reality. Normal is a balance of the highs and lows, the goods and the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. Life will continue to happen beyond therapy but the ultimate goal is that you are equipped with the tools to manage all aspects of what life will present you.
So to answer the question, Can your therapist “fix” you? Sure, they can help equip you with the tools and support you need to tackle what life has to throw at you. Will this happen overnight or even in 4 sessions? You may see some improvement but you probably will not feel as though you are “fixed”. Can seeking support from a psychologist help you better your quality of life, absolutely. To book in a time to speak to a psychologist call us on (02) 6262 6157 or book an appointment online