Therapists are wise. They listen with an attentive and well-trained ear. They help guide you through stressful situations at work, new romances, breakups, family drama. Your therapist is impartial, helping you through big challenges — dealing with past trauma — and smaller things, like figuring out how to improve your morning routine.
Even the illustrious Kerry Washington loves therapy, as she mentioned in an article in Essence in 2009. “Learning how to love myself and my body is a lifelong process. But I definitely don’t struggle the way I used to. Therapy helped me realize that maybe it’s okay for me to communicate my feelings.”
Of course, it’s important to know the difference between advice from a friend and a therapist. Although it’s important to share and communicate with your support system, their advice has the potential to be biased because they’re — through no fault of their own —attached to you and your situation. They’re your friend, they’re pulling for you…or maybe they’re even a little jealous or upset about something from years ago. Your therapist is not. They’re your therapist!
With a licensed therapist, you can be assured that their guidance is:
- Is scientifically based
- Is non-judgmental
- Can anticipate outcomes
- Can take time
We asked our Talkspace users and staff to share with our readers the best advice their therapist ever gave them — on anything. Most commonly the “best advice” centered around three topics: making progress, managing your feelings, and dealing with expectations from others.
Below, check out what our contributors shared.
The Best Advice My Therapist Ever Gave Me…
…on making progress
- “You have all the answers within yourself. Listen to yourself. Trust yourself.”
- “To speak up for myself and for my needs.”
- “If you want something different in your life, you need to do something different in your life. You cannot expect results without doing something else.”
- “Enjoy places and activities ALONE. For myself and by myself.”
- “It’s okay to experience a feeling and not have to justify to yourself why you feel that way.”
- “Have compassion for yourself and remain curious with your feelings and intentions rather than condemning them. Be able to be thoughtful and take responsibility for your feelings while avoiding self blaming statements.”
- “Feelings aren’t facts.”
- “It’s OK to feel anxious or uncomfortable. Feel your feelings and then redirect your energy.”
- “He used to tell me when you set unrealistic expectations for the people around you, you are only hurting yourself because you will be disappointed far more often than you would be if you expect less from others. It was honestly life changing for me because I had a whole new perception of my friends. But it’s kinda a sad realization to grasp.”
- “One big thing she mentions really often is how important it is to recognize that some people aren’t as thoughtful or empathetic as others. I shouldn’t expect the same levels from people that I am able to give.”
Talkspace Therapist Cynthia V. Catchings, LCSW-S, reminds us that while things like advice and self-help books can be beneficial in certain cases, working with a professional therapist cannot be replaced. Catchings explains that with therapy the advice you will be getting is not only personalized but a therapist “is trained to help the client and de-escalate during a difficult situation.”
Want to get your own advice from a therapist? Start talking today!